Date of Defense

Spring 4-21-1994


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Margaret Hunter, Occupational Therapy

Second Advisor

Joye Williams, Occupational Therapy

Third Advisor

Michelle Marceau, Washington Elementary School


cultural sensitivity, stereotyping


Recent federal legislation is increasing opportunities for and visibility of individuals with disabilities in American society. Pervasive negative attitudes and a misunderstanding of the disabled population held by nondisabled citizens need to be addressed. Stereotypes develop in early childhood, therefore, early education regarding negative attitudes eventually leads to a more universal acceptance of persons with disabilities. This study deals with whether disability awareness programming based on occupational therapy principles in a public school setting leads to increased awareness and positive attitudes of children, as measured using a pretest-posttest nonequivalent control group design. The analysis of the data obtained through this study showed that experiential educational programming which focused on a variety of disabilities increased understanding and acceptance of disabled individuals by third grade students who participated in this program.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only