Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Students with Disabilities

ECTS Value: 3 ECTS

Contact Hours: 15

Self Study Hours: 36

Assessment Hours: 24


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

This module is concerned on how society values and perceives people with disabilities and the sets of values that certain groups have adopted as their common understanding and the way of looking at people, places and settings. The views and attitudes adopted by individuals have changed over time and educators become aware that throughout history there have been fixed and specific views towards people with disabilities. This has an impact on how society responds to people with disabilities. This module encourages educators to review and adapt their views about the rights and values that need to be in place in order to enable and empower students with disabilities to lead full and active lives. Educators are encouraged to reflect upon their own values and attitudes and celebrate such positive views about the rights and values that need to be in place to enable and empower students with disabilities in their schools.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Reflect on one’s own values and attitudes that need to be in place to enable and empower students with disabilities in the community;

b. Collaborate with other members of staff to reflect upon their own values and attitudes with regard to students with disabilities;

c. Create opportunities in the community to celebrate the rights and values that need to be in place to enable and empower students with disabilities in their schools.


a. Describe the impact of 21st century approaches, policies and theories as they relate to the lives of students with disabilities;

b. List views about the rights and values that need to be in place in order to enable and empower students with disabilities to lead full and active lives;

c. Identify the theories of normalisation, social role valorisation, the five accomplishments and the social model of disability;

d. Describe the difference between the concept and philosophy of inclusion, the individual deficit model and more traditional approaches;

e. Identify different ways of including students with profound learning disabilities and sensory impairment in planning meetings.


a. Apply the principles and tools of Person Centred Planning;

b. Construct methods and tools that assist communities to be inclusive;

c. Demonstrate current approaches to the provision of day occupation and leisure and consider good practices and opportunities for improvement.

Assessment Methods

This programme adopts continuous and summative methods of assessment including assignments, online tasks, reflective journals, projects and video presentations. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List

1. Ajuwon, P. M., Lechtenberger, D., Griffin-Shirley, N., Sokolosky, S., Zhou, L., & Mullins, F. E. (2012). General Education Pre-Service Teachers Perceptions of Including Students with Disabilities in Their Classrooms. International Journal of Special Education, 27(3), 100-107.

2. Atkinson, D., Jackson, M., & Walmsley, J. (1997). Forgotten lives: Exploring the history of learning disability. BILD publications.

3. Ball, K. F. (2012). An investigation of the attitudes of school leaders toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education setting.

4. Campbell, J. (2002). Valuing diversity: The disability agenda–we’ve only just begun. Disability & Society, 17(4), 471-478.

5. Gaines, T., & Barnes, M. (2017). Perceptions and attitudes about inclusion: Findings across all grade levels and years of teaching experience. Cogent Education, 4(1), 1313561.

6. Kelly, B., & Byrne, B. (2015). Valuing disabled children and young people. Child Care in Practice, 21(1), 1-5.

7. Simpson, G., & Price, V. (2010). From inclusion to exclusion: Some unintended consequences of valuing people. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38(3), 180-186.

8. Thomas, G. and Loxley, A. (2022) Deconstructing Special Education and Constructing Inclusion. Third Edition. Open university Press.

9. Vorhaus, J. (2017). Valuing profoundly disabled people: Fellowship, community and ties of birth. Routledge.

10. Yasutake, D., & Lerner, J. (1996). Teachers’ Perceptions of Inclusion for Students with Disabilities: A Survey of General and Special Educators. Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 7(1), 1-7.

Supplementary Reading List

1. Cook, B. G., Tankersley, M., Cook, L., & Landrum, T. J. (2000). Teachers attitudes toward their included students with disabilities. Exceptional children, 67(1), 115-135.

2. Esmail, S., Darry, K., Walter, A., & Knupp, H. (2010). Attitudes and perceptions towards disability and sexuality. Disability and rehabilitation, 32(14), 1148-1155.

3. Klingner, J. K., & Vaughn, S. (1999). Students’ perceptions of instruction in inclusion classrooms: Implications for students with learning disabilities. Exceptional children, 66(1), 23-37.

4. Paseka, A., & Schwab, S. (2020). Parents’ attitudes towards inclusive education and their perceptions of inclusive teaching practices and resources. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 35(2), 254-272.

5. Kamenopoulou, L., Buli-Holmberg, J., & Siska, J. (2016). An exploration of student teachers’ perspectives at the start of a post-graduate study programme on Inclusion and Special Needs Education. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 20(7), 743-755. DOI:

6. Qi, J., Wang, L., & Ha, A. (2017). Perceptions of Hong Kong physical education teachers on the inclusion of students with disabilities. Asia pacific journal of education, 37(1), 86-102.

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