Workshop Evaluation and Survey
Students demonstrate an improvement in attitudes and behavior towards people with a disability as a result of our in-school workshops. The schools we work with report a reduction in bullying and other antisocial behaviors. Students who have suffered persecution and exclusion from their classmates find themselves included and respected as never before. Most importantly, these changes are deep and long-lasting because they originate within the hearts of the students themselves through their own personal experience, rather than being handed down as instruction from an adult.
In 2012, ATOU completed a three-year independent evaluation project, based on the Chedoke-McMaster Attitudes Towards Children with Handicaps (CATCH) Survey. The total sample included 778 pre- and post-test matched student pairs. The results demonstrated statistically significant improvement in feelings, intentions, and beliefs associated with people with a disability.
The 2012-2013 teacher/student survey responses highlight a significant increase in positive attitudes towards peers with a disability:
• 94% of responding students said it would now be easier to make friends with someone with a disability
• 86% teachers said ATOU improved peer interactions in their classroom
• 100% teachers want each of their classes to experience the ATOU workshop
ATOU continues to evaluate the impact of its programs through post-program surveys. These surveys indicated higher levels of empathy and understanding by the respondents than the CATCH Survey. During the 2016-2017 school year:
1) 89% of responding students indicated increased ease in befriending individuals with disabilities
2) 98% of responding teachers reported improved peer interactions following the ATOU workshop
3) 99% of schools that participated the previous year participated in 2015- 2016. Lack of funding caused the remaining 1% to cancel.