This study examines, in a comparative context, the attitudes of undergraduate students toward the integration of people with disabilities in activity settings. The Physical Educators’ Attitudes Toward Teaching the Handicapped instrument was used to test preservice physical education undergraduates (N = 371) from universities in England, Denmark, Belgium, and Portugal on attitude variables previously found significant in North American research. Mann-Whitney U analysis revealed significant attitudinal differences between the variables of gender, previous experience with disability, and disability classification (physical or learning disability); between cross-cultural influences of the Belgian sample and the English, Danish, and Portuguese samples; and between the English and the Danish samples.
Peter Downs and Trevor Williams
Claudia Emes, Patti Longmuir, and Peter Downs
Adapted physical activity professionals have embraced for some time the concept of a nonmedical model; however, traditional approaches in service delivery continue to exist. Abilities-based is not a model for service delivery; it is an approach that offers a new perspective that is based on person-centerdness, openness, and compatibility. The focus is on the person in a learning situation, not the disability, not the activity, and not the environment. Although these factors cannot be ignored, emphasis in an ability-based approach shifts to the person. Attitude within and toward service delivery is the critical point of departure in the abilities-based approach. This article discusses demystifying disability and building positive attitudes as features of this approach. It then discusses the influence of this approach on how we prepare future professionals of adapted physical activity, and it concludes with an example of an abilities-based program.