Vol. 51 No. 4 (2021)
Articles

Experiences matter: Educators’ attitudes toward disability in higher education

John Freer
St. Clair College & University of Windsor
Tanya Kaefer
Lakehead University

Published 2021-12-21

Keywords

  • disability,
  • attitude,
  • professors,
  • post-secondary,
  • determinant factors,
  • experience
  • ...More
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How to Cite

Freer, J., & Kaefer , T. (2021). Experiences matter: Educators’ attitudes toward disability in higher education. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 51(4), 54–66. https://doi.org/10.47678/cjhe.v51i4.189093

Abstract

This study investigated 128 post-secondary educators’ attitudes toward disability at a college and a university in southwestern Ontario, Canada. The participants completed the Educators’ Attitudes toward Disability Scale (EADS) and a demographic questionnaire that included questions about their experiences with disability. There were three research questions at the heart of this study: (1) What are post-secondary educators’ overall attitudes toward disability? (2) Do demographic factors predict post-secondary educators’ attitudes toward disability? (3) Does exposure to people with disability predict post-secondary educators’ attitudes toward disability? The findings of this study suggest post-secondary educators hold overall
positive attitudes toward disability and there were very few differences observed between groups (e.g., based on age, gender, discipline, etc.). Educators’ experiences with people who have a disability, however, were positively associated with their attitudes. This factor included personal experiences (e.g., friends, family, etc.), but also professional experiences (e.g., students in their classes).

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