Title

Evaluating the Environment on a University Campus Toward Students with Learning Disabilities

Presenter Information

Samantha Jackle
Cristina Bistricean

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed in 1990, prohibits discrimination against individuals with physical and/or mental impairment(s)–ensuring equal access to education, employment, and other public accommodations nationwide. Perhaps one implication of the ADA is that college campuses are experiencing increased enrollment rates among individuals with disabilities. The present study was designed to measure undergraduate students’ perceptions of individuals with learning disabilities, as well as their knowledge of the resources available at their university to support said individuals. Male (n = 36) and female (n = 96) respondents responded to forty-three questions pertaining to their own knowledge and attitudes toward individuals with learning disabilities, as well as their perceptions of other students’ attitudes using a Likert scale of 1 to 6 (1 = strongly disagree; 6 = strongly agree). The majority of respondents agreed that someone with a disability could be successful on campus if they received additional support (M = 4.87, SD = 0.81) and disagreed with the statement that individuals with learning disabilities should figure out the college environment on their own (M = 2.64, SD = 1.01). The current findings indicate that undergraduate students, in general, support services for those with learning disabilities and believe themselves and others to be accepting of said students. However, the use of self-report methods suggests the possible influence of social desirability bias among respondents. Further investigations should utilize methods that are independent of self-report, which may yield more accurate assessments of actual perceptions.

Poster Number

51

Faculty Mentor(s)

Kara Gabriel

Additional Mentoring Department

Psychology

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May 16th, 2:15 PM May 16th, 4:44 PM

Evaluating the Environment on a University Campus Toward Students with Learning Disabilities

SURC Ballroom C/D

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed in 1990, prohibits discrimination against individuals with physical and/or mental impairment(s)–ensuring equal access to education, employment, and other public accommodations nationwide. Perhaps one implication of the ADA is that college campuses are experiencing increased enrollment rates among individuals with disabilities. The present study was designed to measure undergraduate students’ perceptions of individuals with learning disabilities, as well as their knowledge of the resources available at their university to support said individuals. Male (n = 36) and female (n = 96) respondents responded to forty-three questions pertaining to their own knowledge and attitudes toward individuals with learning disabilities, as well as their perceptions of other students’ attitudes using a Likert scale of 1 to 6 (1 = strongly disagree; 6 = strongly agree). The majority of respondents agreed that someone with a disability could be successful on campus if they received additional support (M = 4.87, SD = 0.81) and disagreed with the statement that individuals with learning disabilities should figure out the college environment on their own (M = 2.64, SD = 1.01). The current findings indicate that undergraduate students, in general, support services for those with learning disabilities and believe themselves and others to be accepting of said students. However, the use of self-report methods suggests the possible influence of social desirability bias among respondents. Further investigations should utilize methods that are independent of self-report, which may yield more accurate assessments of actual perceptions.