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Early Exposure to People with Physical and Sensory Disabilities and Later Attitudes Toward Social Interactions and Inclusion

Emily M. Lund, Tom Seekins

Abstract

This study assessed the relationship between exposure to classmates with visible impairments in primary and secondary schools with later attitudes toward people with disabilities.  Fifty college students (mean age = 20.28 years; 76% female) completed measures assessing the extent and quality of recalled exposure to classmates with disabilities in elementary and secondary school. Attitudes toward social inclusion and toward a hypothetical social interaction were also measured. Participants reported generally high levels and quality of exposure, with significantly more exposure at the secondary level. Quality of exposure at both the elementary and secondary levels was significantly (p < .01) correlated with more positive cognitions (i.e., thoughts) during a hypothetical social interaction. Cognitions were not significantly correlated with emotions or behaviors and amount of elementary exposure was negatively correlated with attitudes to social inclusion (p < .05). These results suggest a possible relation between positive early experiences and later friendship intentions that should be further explored.

Continue reading at: http://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/pders/article/view/4825

Upcoming Montana's Rural Health Initiative Webinar!

Building Inclusive Playgrounds in Montana:  Examples from Missoula and Helena

Thurday, August 7, 2014   |   12:00 to 1:00 P.M. MTN

Register here: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/490294786

Learn how two Montana communities brought accessible opportunities to local playgrounds to make fun - inclusive. 

Meg Traci, Director of the Montana Disability and Health Program of the Rural Institute will be one of the presenters.

Outdoor play is critical for healthy child development, and children learn from play in a variety of ways:  physical, cognitive, emotional, and sensory.  Children with disabilities are empowered when the built environment meets their needs for play. Indeed, all children benefit when play spaces are designed for children of all abilities to play together.

Continue reading about RHI Webinar

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