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Attitudes of typically developing peers affect the inclusion experience of children with disabilities in regular school. One way to promote positive attitudes is by increasing disability awareness throughout typically developing peers; however, this practice has been controversial on the most effective methods and practices. This study evaluates whether a multi-component disability awareness program is effective at promoting positive attitudes of typically developing students towards their peers with disabilities. Fifth-grade students (n=51) from three classrooms participated in this study. Two experimental groups and one control group were formed and the intervention followed a multiple baseline design. The disability awareness programme was implemented via weekly 50-minutes sessions over a 8-week period. In line with suggestions from literature, this programme used a multiple-components approach for promoting attitudes towards children with disabilities improvement through the combination of cognitive and behavioural interventions. The components were, following this order of implementation: (1) explanatory and positive information delivery, (2) simulation activities, (3) training in social interaction strategies, (4) activities and interaction opportunities with people with disabilities, and (5) whole-school disability awareness activities in which participants disseminated their learning throughout the school community. The attitudes change was measured through the use of different measurement tools: observation of the interaction behaviour between students with and without disabilities belonging to the two experimental groups; interview with the teacher that accompanied the intervention program implementation; focus groups with children from the two experimental groups; and use of the self-report reduced version of the Chedoke-McMaster Attitudes Towards Children with Handicaps scale, applied to the three groups. The results will inform about the effectiveness of different methods in the promotion of positive attitudes towards students with disabilities. The findings will be discussed with regard to the fit between the multidimensional nature of attitudes and models of attitudes change.

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Sílvia Alves 3714
Scientific production

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Pedro Lopes-dos-Santos (Portugal) 10571
Scientific production
Manuela Sanches-Ferreira (Portugal) 10572
Scientific production
Mónica Silveira-Maia (Portugal) 10565
Scientific production