The Impact of Inclusion on Peer Attitudes toward Students with Severe Disabilities
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The passage of PL 94-142 of 1975 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990 have led to creating more inclusive learning experiences for students with disabilities. This study investigates the attitudes that nondisabled students have toward students with severe disabilities and whether inclusion has an impact on these attitudes. Participants included 59 fourth grade students from an elementary school in Hartford, Wisconsin. The instrument consisted of a 12-question survey with 11 of the questions ranking their attitudes toward their peers with disabilities using a Likert scale and one yes/no question. Survey question topics included Knowledge and Understanding, Social Interaction and Acceptance, and Classroom Preferences. Based on data analysis, statistically significant differences between the inclusive and non-inclusive group were found in the area of Classroom Preferences, but not in the subcategories of Social Interaction and Acceptance or Knowledge and Understanding. Overall, the participants in this research were found to have positive attitudes toward their peers with severe disabilities, regardless of being in inclusive or non-inclusive classrooms.
students with disabilities