5017.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 9:15 AM

Abstract #10845

Measuring dimensions of disability and school environment: A population-based study

Rune J. Simeonsson, PhD, MSPH, Gail S. Huntington, PhD, Janey Sturtz McMillen, PhD, and Lauri A. DiFulvio, MA. University of North Carolina, North Carolina Office on Disability and Health, CB 8185, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8185, (919) 966-7826, rune_simeonsson@unc.edu

Education, health care, social and mental health services often define and classify disability differently. This variability contributes to problems in documenting the epidemiology, impact and environmental correlates of childhood disability. This study utilized the revision of the International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities, and Handicaps (ICIDH-Beta1) as an organizing framework for examining school environments and students with disabilities with particular reference to the dimensions of participation and environment. A national random sample survey of 1,180 special education teachers and teachers of students with mobility impairments was conducted. Results of the study focus on: (a) identifying characteristics of students with disabilities, (b) physical, educational and social environment of schools, and (c) school participation and teachers' perceived quality of life of students. Relative congruence of survey items with ICIDH-Beta1 codes was 48% for environment and 33% for participation. Fifty percent of student disability categories were related to five codes. Findings revealed that student impairment, school placement, school size and availability of activities were related to participation. The results are significant in terms of implications for follow-up research and revision of the ICIDH2 taxonomy.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to describe the characteristics of school environments that are encountered by students will disabilities. Participants will also be able to identify at least three specific environmental factors which facilitate or hinder the full participation of students with disabilities in school life

Keywords: Disability, Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA