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ERIC Number: EJ1085897
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
"The Idea of Accessibility and the Reality of Accessibility Are Very Different!" Using a Wheelchair Experience to Teach Preservice Special Educators about Accessibility
Coleman, Mari Beth; Cady, Jo Ann; Rider, Robert A.
Physical Disabilities: Education and Related Services, v34 n2 p32-54 2015
P-12 students who have mobility limitations often face environmental and social barriers that have an impact on educational performance; thus, teachers who work with these students need to have an understanding of these barriers. One potential way for teachers to understand environmental and social barriers is to experience them from a first-hand perspective such as through the usage of mobility devices. The provision of such "disability simulation" experiences during university training programs is somewhat controversial. The authors of the current study do not feel it is possible to simulate the experience of having a disability; however, they feel that providing wheelchair experiences can aid preservice special education teachers in identifying the barriers that need to be considered for their students with mobility issues. Thus, the purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine the impact of an accessibility assessment assignment on preservice special education teachers. Data sources included written reflections about the experience, follow-up surveys, and interviews with preservice teachers. An overwhelming majority of preservice teachers reported positive benefits from participating in the experience, with the largest reported benefit being new insights into accessibility barriers.
Division for Physical, Health, and Multiple Disabilities, Council for Exceptional Children. 1110 North Glebe Road Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201. Tel: 888-232-7733; Fax: 703-264-9494; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A