Online Program

Effect of disability training on Bolivian teachers', administrators' and parents' attitudes toward people with disabilities

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Julie Williams, Psy.d., ABPP(RP), School of Professional Psychology, Wright State University, Dayton, OH
Jennifer Stoyell, School of Professional Psychology, Wright State University, Kettering, OH
Jared Embree, MA, Department of Community Health, Wright State University, Kettering, OH
Since 2013, volunteer educators have been hosting a conference in collaboration with The Walter Henry School in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and faculty from the School of Professional Psychology at Wright State University. The purpose of the conference is to work with Bolivian Methodist and public schools, Methodist churches, social services agencies, and families, to help Bolivian schools better accommodate students with disabilities. Children with disabilities in Bolivia are sometimes referred to as the "second patio children", in other words defective, and not to be seen, and therefore, largely hidden from society. The pervasive impact of these beliefs are seen in the gross inequities and injustices experienced by these children. Specific, to education, one study reported that only 1-3 % of children with disabilities in Bolivia ever receive an education despite laws in Bolivia stating children with disabilities are to have equal access to education. As part of the conference and associated trainings, researchers have administered assessments of participants’ attitudes toward people with disabilities. The ATPD was given at the beginning and end of each conference for approximately 50 attendees per year. Measured attitudinal change in teachers, administrators and parents following disability training. No significant change occurred among teachers and parents with a trend towards improved attitudes. However, a significant decline was demonstrated among administrators. There were also differences according to gender and education. Results from three years of ATPD data will be discussed.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss a variety of approaches and applications currently being used to improve accessibility and attitudinal change in schools in Bolivia. Identify low cost opportunities for improving accessibility and attitudes in developing countries. Learn about current activism and law relating to disability issues in Bolivia.

Keyword(s): Disabilities, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Board Certified Rehabilitation Psychologist and have worked exclusively in the capacity of clinician, researcher and teacher in the areas of disability justice. I have also participated in international work and initiated a study on attitudinal beliefs about individuals with disabilities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.