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ERIC Number: EJ1083842
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Prevalence of Physical Disability and Accommodation Needs among Students in Physical Therapy Education Programs
Hinman, Martha R.; Peterson, Cathryn A.; Gibbs, Karen A.
Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, v28 n3 p309-328 Fall 2015
Most research on graduate students with disabilities (SWDs) has focused on medical education. The purposes of this study were to: (1) estimate the prevalence of students with physical disabilities (SWPDs) in physical therapy programs, (2) identify common types of physical disabilities, (3) document the types of accommodations requested by SWPDs, (4) describe perceptions of faculty and students related to the impacts of accommodations, (5) describe the success rate of SWPDs, and (6) compare perceptions of faculty and students regarding potential employment opportunities and licensure restriction for SWPDs. Two surveys were created to gather quantitative and qualitative data from program directors, faculty, and students from the 210 PT and 280 PTA programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. Respondents included 190 faculty and 720 students and results indicated that there are fewer SWPDs in physical therapy programs than in all graduate programs nationwide (5%, 7% respectively) and a small number of them experience some form of discrimination. The physical disabilities encountered are mostly sensory and half receive accommodations with little impact on other students or faculty. While more programs are providing students with information on the essential functions for PTs/PTAs, more data are needed to inform the academy about factors influencing whether or not SWDs pursue careers in physical therapy, clinical instructors' and patients' perceptions, and resources used to foster success.
Association on Higher Education and Disability. 107 Commerce Center Drive Suite 204, Huntersville, NC 28078. Tel: 704-947-7779; Fax: 704-948-7779; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A