Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2024

Degree Type

Capstone - Open Access


Dr. Melissa Nemon & Dr. Audrey Falk


Background: People with disabilities face disproportionate barriers when it comes to social and community participation. Barriers are present across all areas and stages of life and encompass attitudinal, communication, environmental, policy, programmatic, and social barriers. Objective: This research has two major goals: 1) to build perspective taking skills by improving disability sensitivity evoking an attitudinal shift and 2) to introduce the Charting the LifeCourse (CtLC) framework exploring person-centered strategies and community support opportunities (allyship) in achieving life goals. Methods: For the purpose of this exploratory-descriptive mixed-methods research approach, an in-person workshop titled “Building Disability Sensitivity: Moving from Reflection to Action” was conducted in partnership with the Merrimack Institute for New Teacher Support (MINTS) at Merrimack College in North Andover. A post workshop online survey was implemented, participants’ behaviors during workshop activities were observed, and activity results were collected. Results: The results of this study clearly indicate that education around disability sensitivity positively affects people’s ability for perspective taking, enhance comfort levels conversing with PWD and has the potential to shift attitudes toward PWD. A majority of participants found the introduction to the CtLC framework useful and believes the tools can enhance their ability to positively influence the lives of PWD.