THE NORA PROJECT: MEASURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF A LONG TERM PROGRAM TO IMPACT ELEMENTARY STUDENTS' PERCEPTION OF PEERS WITH DISABILITIES
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disability awareness, inclusive education, students' attitudes, elementary
Given the historical trend of children with disabilities being socially rejected in the school setting, this study set out to explore such a notion in deeper depth. More specifically, this study sought to explore the effectiveness of an intervention program on elementary students’ attitudes and sentiments regarding their peers with disabilities. Typically developing students were also introduced to the curriculum of The Nora Project, a yearlong classroom-based intervention designed to educate general education students about disabilities and foster friendships between ability groups. The Empathy Questionnaire for Children and Adolescents was utilized to collect data from two separate elementary school classes, over a two-year period, with pre-intervention and post-intervention data recorded. Results over the two years display a positive change in students’ attitudes regarding their peers with disabilities and illuminate the effectiveness of a time-intensive disability intervention for typically developing elementary-aged students.