Influence of Personal Narratives on Businesspeople’s Attitudes Toward AAC Users
John McCarthy, Lacey Donofrio, Laura Dempsey, Katy Birr, Stephanie Pratt
Ohio University, School of Hearing, Speech and Language Sciences
Individuals with severe communication disabilities continue to experience reduced expectations and
opportunities in employment as the result of negative attitudes (McNaughton, Light & Arnold, 2002).
More information is needed on specific ways to change attitudes and behaviors toward individuals who
require AAC (McCarthy & Light, 2005).
Contact with and information about individuals with disabilities has been shown to be effective in
In addition to changing attitudes, it is important to understand how individuals’ behavior in the future
Scales measuring “behavioral intentions” have been used toward this end (Ajzen, 1980).
A Solomon Four Group Design was used (Solomon, 1968).
Subjects were matched for sex then randomly assigned to one of four groups: control/post-test only (CPO),
experimental/post-test only (EPO), control pre/post-test (CPP) and experimental pre/post-test (EPP).
109 subjects completed the study. CPO group: n = 29 (12 females, 17 males), EPO group: n = 29 (14
females, 15 males), CPP group: n = 24 (12 females, 12 males), EPP group: n = 27 (13 females, 14 males).
The mean age of participants = 21.48, median age = 21, age range = 19-35. 97.9% of participants were
Caucasian, 1.05% were African American, and 1.05% were Korean, with 13.8% not responding.
Subjects in the experimental groups read a selected 1st person narrative account of an individual with a
severe communication disability.
experience with AAC, and his employment history and challenges he has faced.
Selected readings were at a 10.4 grade reading level and contained 4,258 words.
A glossary of terms was provided for each reading.