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Perspectives

Publication Date

7-1-2018

Abstract

Too often, socially privileged individuals act in ways that display entitlement, ignorance, or disregard for marginalized people, even when they are educated about the dynamics of oppression and privilege. Because education alone may not be sufficient to reduce prejudices held by the privileged, it is necessary to determine which additional factors most effectively motivate privileged individuals to embody support for the marginalized in their everyday actions. One such factor identified as influential in the cultivation of inter-group harmony is inter-group contact. In this research, I focus on able-bodied people and their sense of entitlement to their surroundings; specifically, I examine whether meaningful inter-group contact between people with disabilities and able-bodied people who have been educated about disability issues and who acknowledge their able-bodied privilege affects their appropriation of amenities designed for people who use mobility devices. My findings have implications for policies and programs: initiatives that incorporate both educational and interactional components are better equipped to foster disabilityfriendly climates than are single-axis approaches.

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