‘Just like you’: A disability awareness programme for children that enhanced knowledge, attitudes and acceptance: Pilot study findings
Ison, N., McIntyre, S., Rothery, S., Smithers-Sheedy, H., Goldsmith, S., Parsonage, S., et al. (2010). ‘Just like you’: A disability awareness programme for children that enhanced knowledge, attitudes and acceptance: Pilot study findings. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 13(5), 360-368. doi:10.3109/17518423.2010.496764
Purpose: Participation of people with disabilities is influenced by environmental and contextual factors. Disability awareness programmes aim to increase knowledge and acceptance of disability. This study evaluated a disability awareness programme for students aged 9–11 in Australia.
Method: Pre–post questionnaires and focus groups evaluated the programme. The intervention took a cognitive-behavioural approach including a person with a disability co-presenting. Students (n = 147) participated in two sessions of discussions, written activities, demonstrations and disability simulation activities.
Results: Significant improvements (p < 0.001) in knowledge, attitudes and acceptance of disability were evident immediately following the intervention. Focus group analyses further demonstrated these findings.
Conclusions: A brief disability awareness programme for children improved knowledge, attitudes and acceptance of disability in the short-term. Further research is required to identify the potential impact of such programmes on inclusion and social participation of people with disabilities both inside and outside of the school setting.
peer-reviewed, disabled persons, awareness, attitude, public opinion, consumer participation, prejudice