Improving Perceptions of Individuals With Disabilities Through a Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
A Quantitative Analysis
Keywords:disability, wheelchair, perceptions
An annual wheelchair basketball tournament at a mid-sized university in the southwestern U.S. serves two purposes: first, to raise awareness of individuals with disabilities (IWD) and second, to raise funds for a local Special Olympics event. The purpose of this study was to examine whether participation in or spectating of this event had an impact on the perceptions toward IWD and athletes with disabilities (AWD). Participants in this study (N = 255) completed a survey containing the Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons, Form O (ATDPO) survey as well as a modified version of the ATDP (including wording for athletes). There was a positive correlation between attitudes toward IWD and AWD, Pearson’s r(255) = .441, p < .001. Furthermore, the overall mean for the ATDPO (M = 75.31, SD = 16.19), t(254) = 15.10, p < .001, d = .95, and Athlete version overall mean (M = 45, SD = 8.31), t(254) = 28.84, p < .001, d = 1.81, were significantly higher than the midpoints of each scale (higher than the midpoint reflecting more positive views toward IWD, and lower that the midpoint reflecting less positive views). Finally, females had significantly more positive attitudes toward both IWD and AWD than males. This study supports research that demonstrates females show more positive attitudes toward IWD. However, watching or participating in the wheelchair basketball tournament did not affect these attitudes toward IWD or AWD. Implications and limitations are also provided.
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