Measuring faculty attitudes and perceptions toward disability at a four-year university: A validity study

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Title: Measuring faculty attitudes and perceptions toward disability at a four-year university: A validity study
Author: Lombardi, Allison, 1977-
Abstract: The primary purpose of this study was to develop and field test the ExCEL survey instrument, intended to measure faculty attitudes toward and perceptions about students with disabilities at four-year colleges and universities. A secondary purpose was to examine how demographic characteristics of the sample and prior disability-focused training experiences influenced these attitudes and perceptions. A cross validation study was conducted using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. The exploratory factor analysis (EFA) resulted in an eight factor structure: Knowledge of Disability Law, Fairness, Invitation to Disclose, Willingness to Invest Time, Accessibility of Course Materials, Willingness to Adjust Course Assignments, Satisfaction with Campus Resources, and Willingness to Make Testing Accommodations. The confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was intended to confirm the factor structure but resulted in an inadmissible solution, potentially due to model misspecification. These findings show initial reliability and validity of the ExCEL survey and suggest item development as a crucial next step in the development process. Follow-up analyses showed minimal differences between faculty according to gender but significant differences according to faculty rank (e.g., tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure) and department. In addition, group differences emerged according to prior disability-focused training, where faculty who had previous disability-focused training had greater positive attitudes and perceptions toward students with disabilities than did faculty without such training. These results will inform the field about important constructs to consider in instrument development for measuring faculty attitudes and perceptions toward disability, including knowledge of legal mandates and accommodations and knowledge of and willingness to adjust instruction according to the tenets of Universal Design. As well, the findings will inform four-year college and university administrations when planning targeted interventions for faculty members in disability awareness training.
Description: xi, 114 p. : ill. A print copy of this thesis is available through the UO Libraries. Search the library catalog for the location and call number.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/10576
Date: 2010-03


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