Measuring Environmental Factors and School Participation for Children with Disabilities

Claudia Cappa, Janet Njelesani, Nicole Neil, Asma Maladwala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To assess whether every child’s right to education is met, it is necessary to measure the participation of children with disabilities in school through statistically sound and internationally comparable measures. We conducted a scoping study to identify existing instruments that measure environmental factors related to the participation of children with disabilities in school. The review identified 12 measures for a total of 282 question items. Most measures were used in disability surveys and answered by a proxy respondent. Many used definitions of disability framed under the medical model, focusing on impairments as the primary cause of the lack of school participation. No one set of questions on school environment and participation that would produce internationally comparable data was identified. School environment and participation measures have the potential to provide a statistical summary of the environmental factors that act as barriers to or facilitators of participation in school. This could help identify key bottlenecks that can be addressed to promote every child’s right to education. A statistically sound, internationally comparable measure has yet to be developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1312-1327
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Disability, Development and Education
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2023


  • Child
  • children
  • disability
  • education
  • environment
  • measurement
  • participation
  • surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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