The Initial Development and Validation of the Perceptions of Disability Scale (PoDS): Results from Pilot Studies




Advocacy, attitudes, disability, empathy, recreational therapy, survey, sympathy


The purpose of this study was to report the initial process of developing and validating the Perceptions of Disability Scale (PoDS), a scale designed to map a continuum of sympathy, empathy, and advocacy perspectives on people with disabilities. We first created a 30-item scale based on a thorough literature review and the findings of a previous qualitative study. Then we further refined and validated the scale through 3-phase approach as well as internal consistency reliability evidence and validity evidence based on content, response process, and internal structure. Results suggest that the final 21-item scale has excellent reliability and validity. Suggestions for how the scale can be used in recreational therapy practice and human-service related trainings, and for future research are provided.Subscribe to TRJ

Author Biographies

Alexis McKenney, Temple University

Professor, Recreational Therapy Program DirectorHealth and Rehabilitation Sciences DepartmentCollege of Public Health

Haiying Long, Florida International University

Associate ProfessorDepartment of Counseling, Recreation, and School Psychology 





Research Papers