Date of Award

Spring 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership


Educational Leadership

Committee Director

William A. Owings

Committee Member

Linda Bol

Committee Member

Jayne Sullivan


Due to legislation, advances in technology, and hopefully, a more positive social acceptance, students with disabilities are entering college at a faster rate than has ever been experienced. Data reveal that the largest increase in identified disabilities of incoming college freshmen are in the area of learning disabilities. However, many students with disabilities do not complete their college education, partly due to faculty members' lack of knowledge about various disabilities, less than accepting attitudes, and the lack of accommodations made for them. Using the Scale of Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons (SADP) and the Disability Knowledge Questionnaire, the impact of an on-line training program on college faculty's attitudes and knowledge of students with disabilities was examined. Disability-related legislation, adaptive teaching strategies, information about learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder, and accommodations for students with disabilities was presented in an on-line format.

While no significant differences were found between groups, the results revealed that on-line training led to slightly improved scores on both the post Scale of Attitudes Toward Disabled Persons and the post Disability Knowledge Questionnaire. Qualitative data revealed that many faculty were willing to provide accommodations to assist students with learning disabilities, but were cautious about any changes that would jeopardize the integrity of the course content. Faculty also identified the need for students with learning disabilities to be more proactive when requesting accommodations. Further research is recommended to explore the best method of bringing about the desired changes when providing training.