On April 7, 2021, Dr. Tarek Zidan, an assistant professor at IU School of Social Work – South Bend, was awarded $8,500 in honor of the IU South Bend Faculty Research 2020-2021 Grant. Dr. Zidan received this grant supporting his proposed study titled, “Perceptions of Muslim Americans Towards Persons with Disabilities: A Qualitative Study.”
According to Dr. Zidan, this study attempts to fill this gap in the literature and highlight the lived experiences of the Muslim American community without disabilities regarding their attitudes towards persons with disabilities of all faiths, including non-Muslims, by using a phenomenological approach utilizing qualitative method techniques such as interviews and focus groups in collecting a data from a sample of Muslim Americans living in South Bend, Indiana.
By completing this study, Dr. Zidan hopes to bring awareness to the Muslim community in South Bend surrounding the stigma, superstition, and stereotypes often faced by persons with disabilities. By developing a cultural understanding of the group’s sociodemographic characteristics and social contacts with persons with disabilities and acculturation patterns, Dr. Zidan hopes that social work researchers/practitioners can learn how such factors impact Muslims’ attitudes towards persons with disabilities.