Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Early Childhood, Multilingual, and Higher Education

First Committee Member

Tracy Spies

Second Committee Member

Joseph Morgan

Third Committee Member

Cori More

Fourth Committee Member

Gary Larson

Number of Pages



Negative attitudes towards individuals with disabilities can lead to a lack of opportunities in society as well as educational settings. Therefore, it is essential to promote positive attitudes to provide equal opportunities and rights to individuals with disabilities. However, there have been insufficient attempts to explore the attitudes of students enrolled in teacher certification programs. Diverse disability awareness programs have been utilized to enhance positive attitudes, and documentary films are frequently used to deliver such interventions. The current study implemented a series of documentary films as an intervention tool and examined the effects of the disability awareness documentary film intervention on the attitudes of students enrolled in a teacher certification program. Attitudes of a control group and treatment group were examined. The treatment group participated in three intervention phases, each consisting of: (1) watching a documentary film and (2) examining positive media representations. Results indicated that the overall state of attitudes in students enrolled in a teacher education program, as measured in the pre-test, were positive. There were no significant differences in participants’ attitudes between the treatment group and the control group; however, the control group’s attitudes were greater than the treatment group at the post-test. There was no statistically significant difference in the treatment group’s attitudes measured in the pre-test and post-test. However, the treatment group’s post-test attitudes increased in a positive direction across time. The current study also found that there were significant correlations between the treatment group’s attitudes and their evaluations on positive media portrayals of individuals with disabilities (complexity and equal interaction). These findings are discussed alongside recommendations, limitations, implications, and conclusions.


Attitudes; Disability Awareness; Documentary Film; Intervention; Teacher Certification Program


Special Education and Teaching

File Format


File Size

1.4 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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