Asselin, Troutman, & Arrington, 1992; Nelson, Dodd, Smith, 1990; Rose, 1993; Satcher, 1992).
The survey consisted of 35 major items (several of them included sub-items) to solicit information such as (a) faculty demographic background (i.e., gender, rank, teaching experience); (b) personal experience or contact with individuals with disabilities, willingness to make accommodations, and knowledge of disabilities, disability legislation, and of support services; (c) faculty needs for information and training; and (d) faculty input regarding accommodations they made for students with disabilities in their classrooms. Items which focused specifically on students with learning disabilities (i.e., accommodations and items directed only to faculty in education asking about teacher certification candidates who have learning disabilities) were also included. Findings from the analyses of the data on students with learning disabilities is reported in Vogel, Leyser, Brulle, and Wyland (in preparation).
The survey form contained structured 4-point Likert-type items where (1 = low degree of support or willingness to accommodate and 4 = a high level of support or willingness to accommodate) as well as items to which the response was between 1 and 4 with (1 = strongly disagree and 4 = strongly agree). Multiple choice items and several open-ended questions asking for additional comments and faculty suggestions were also included. Faculty were not asked to identify themselves and complete anonymity was assured in the cover letter. Prior to its use, the survey instrument was reviewed by several faculty and staff members within and outside the university to obtain their input, suggestions, and recommendations regarding the wording and clarity of the questionnaire before its final printing. A Chronbach alpha coefficient of reliability for the faculty survey used in this study yielded a coefficient of .86.
Following a request from the University Office of Contracts, Records, and Reports, a list and mailing labels for all full-time teaching faculty and temporary faculty (instructors) employed half-time or more were obtained (graduate students were not included). During the spring semester of 1996, each participant was sent via campus mail a survey questionnaire, a cover letter, and a campus address return envelope. The letter explained the purpose of the survey and the importance of the input for the development of programs and activities for students with disabilities. Anonymity was assured and the letter indicated that participation was voluntary. Names and telephone numbers of the researchers were provided for those wanting additional information or having questions. Respondents were allowed two weeks to complete and return the survey. The study was announced in a weekly publication for faculty and staff at the university to encourage participation. A follow-up reminder postcard was sent to all faculty after the deadline. On this card, a thank you note was included for faculty who already returned the form, and a request for those who did not respond, to complete and return the form within two weeks. Faculty were given a phone number to call in case the original survey was not received or misplaced in order to request a replacement form.