Meta-analysis of disability simulation research

Ashley Flower, Matthew K. Burns, Nicole A. Bottsford - Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


A commonly attempted approach to modifying attitudes regarding people with disabilities is to place people without disabilities in situations that are designed for them to experience what it is like to have a disability. This approach, called disability simulation, continues despite criticisms including a reported lack of effectiveness data and the potential for negative experiences among participants. The current study examined 41 studies dealing with disability simulation and included 10 studies in a meta-analysls. Results showed an overall median effect size of .04 and a weighted median effect size of .17. Moderator variable weighted effect sizes ranged from .00 to .35. Thus, the data did not suggest that disability simulation was an effective practice, but few negative effects were noted. Suggestions for practice and future research are included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-79
Number of pages8
JournalRemedial and Special Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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