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06/01/2010

A Preliminary Investigation of Parents’ Opinions about Safety Skills Instruction: An Apparent Discrepancy between Importance and Expectation


By: Martin Agran and Michael Krupp

Abstract: The available data suggest that both students and adults with disabilities sustain injuries and are victims of crimes at high levels. Despite these alarming data, several researchers have suggested that safety skills instruction has largely been ignored as a curricular domain. Further, although parents can serve a critical function in educational and transition planning, there is virtually no research that has examined parent perceptions regarding the importance of safety skills instruction in educational programs. The present survey obtained opinions of a sample of parents on selected issues relating to safety skills instruction. The findings suggested that the majority of respondents thought that safety skills were critically important and should be taught both at home and in school. Nevertheless, the respondents reported that few safety skills were included in their child’s IEP; they had not discussed safety skills as potential educational programs with their children; and few discussed safety with their children’s teacher. A Pearson Chi Square analysis revealed a negative relationship between classroom settings and discussion of safety skills by teachers. Implications of these findings to promote safety competence are discussed.
 
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