Teachers' views on the acceptability and feasibility of a disability awareness program



Students with disabilities often experience difficulties in their social participation within regular classrooms (e.g., Koster, Pijl, Nakken & Van Houten, 2010). As the social participation of children with disabilities does not always occur spontaneously (e.g., Guralnick, Gottman, & Hammond, 1996), teachers play an importing role in promoting positive contact between students with and without disabilities. In the Netherlands, no theoretically underpinned interventions exist aiming at promoting the social participation of students with disabilities. As negative attitudes among kindergarten students have been established in research, as well as poor social participation at older age, there is a need for an intervention program promoting the social participation. Therefore, an adaptation of the ‘Making Friends’ program (Favazza, Ostrosky, & Mouzourou, 2016) has been made, resulting in a Dutch disability awareness programme for regular kindergarten classes called ‘Everybody belongs!’ (Rademaker, De Boer, Kupers, & Minnaert, 2017). This intervention program is based on the Contact Theory (Allport, 1954) and includes an information component and a contact component. The intervention uses digitally animated storybooks about a character with a disability and guided discussions to teach students more about disabilities. Moreover, cooperative learning groups are used to promote the quality of contact within the classroom. So far, the focus in research has mainly been on the effectiveness of interventions. However, effectiveness may not be only the only requirement for an intervention to promote the social participation of students with disabilities. Interventions that are socially significant, acceptable, and feasible are more likely to succeed, as they also promote sustained use and treatment integrity (Boardman, Arguelles, Vaughn, Hughes, & Klingner, 2005). It is therefore important to develop interventions which teachers are likely to use (Carter & Pesko, 2008). This presentation will discuss some preliminary results of the program ‘Everybody belongs!’ Currently, ‘Everybody belongs!’ is being implemented in the Netherlands. After performing the intervention program, teachers were asked about their experiences, especially with regard to feasibility, acceptability and treatment integrity (N= 8). Their views will be presented at this symposium. Moreover, we will elaborate on the outline of the program and the study-design (including the measures, i.e., acceptance, friendships, empathy).
Originele taal-2English
StatusPublished - 24-aug.-2017
EvenementEuropean Conference on Educational Research - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duur: 21-aug.-201725-aug.-2017


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Educational Research
Verkorte titelECER 2017
AnderReforming Education and the Imperative of Constant Change: Ambivalent roles of policy and educational research
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