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Leslie Hussey


Nurse educators are tasked with preparing safe, competent nurses but are faced with unique challenges in helping students with disabilities. Students with learning disabilities require accommodations which are alterations or adjustments within the learning environment and are developed by the instructor. The purpose of this 3-manuscript dissertation, guided by the universal design for instruction (UDI), was to explore the attitudes and instructional methods used among nursing faculty related to teaching students with learning disabilities. Three research questions were framed as parallel studies to address the gap in understanding how faculty view nursing students with disabilities, how clinical specialty influences faculty's teaching methods, and what UDI teaching methods faculty use. Nursing faculty who teach in the classroom for prelicensure nursing programs were recruited to complete the Instructional Methods and Attitudes Faculty Survey. Data from 102 participants were analyzed using a Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test, which indicated significant differences between the use of inclusive teaching methods (hands-on or interactive and problem solving, communication and interaction among students brainstorming, and providing class outlines or lecture slides before class). There were no differences when comparing faculty attitudes toward UDI familiarity, disability familiarity, and clinical specialty. The implementation of UDI promotes social change by creating an inclusive learning environment that increases the likelihood of success for students with learning disabilities. Future research should focus on best practices to educate faculty about inclusive teaching paradigms, such as UDI and explore faculty and student perspectives about the use and implementation of UDI.

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