Promoting inclusion and positive attitudes of students with intellectual disability through disability awareness and inclusive physical education classes

Fiona Rillotta, Pammi Raghavendra, Abi Thirumanickam

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: School‐based disability awareness improves attitudes towards disability; however, awareness programs rarely consider sport (for example, physical education (PE) classes) as a medium for promoting inclusion. Sport encourages participation, interaction, team work, and good health. This study investigated the effect of disability awareness and inclusive PE classes on the attitudes of students without disabilities towards students with disabilities.

Methods: A sequential mixed methods design was used. Twelve Year 7 mainstream students (aged 12–13) participated in disability awareness and inclusive PE classes as part of school curriculum, over 1.5 school terms. Disability awareness involved: introduction to different disabilities, simulation activities, and self‐reflection. The inclusive PE classes involved structured small and large group activities (e.g. bowling, cricket) with students with intellectual/developmental disabilities from a co‐located special school. A survey measuring attitudes and frequency of interaction with students with disabilities was completed before and after inclusive activities.

Results: Knowledge of disability increased after the disability awareness and inclusive PE classes. The PE classes enabled students to initiate play and interactions with students with intellectual/developmental disabilities, including encouragement, turn taking, teaching and instruction.

Implications: The findings from this study offer preliminary information about the importance of providing disability awareness together with inclusive school activities such as PE classes. This helps promote social inclusion and interactions amongst peers with and without disabilities.
Original languageEnglish
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2019
EventInternational Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) 16th World Congress: Future4All - SEC Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Aug 20199 Aug 2019
http://www.iassidd2019.com/

Conference

ConferenceInternational Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) 16th World Congress
Abbreviated titleIASSIDD19
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityGlasgow, Scotland
Period6/08/199/08/19
Internet address

Keywords

  • Inclusive education
  • Disability awareness
  • Attitudes
  • students without disabilities

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