Author(s)

Laura Walker

Date Approved

7-2-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Special Education

Department

Language, Literacy, and Special Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Kuder, S. Jay

Subject(s)

Special education--Parent participation

Disciplines

Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a parent informational forum in empowering parents to engage in the special education decision making for their child with special needs in an urban elementary district. A pre-survey and post-survey were completed by parents who attended a bilingual information session. Both surveys contained nine identical indicator statements that parents rated on a four point scale. The post survey contained an additional eight indicator statements and four open ended responses. Fifteen parents attend the forum and completed the pre-survey, while seven parents completed the post-survey. Results showed a drop in parental belief that they were equal partners with school professionals. Drops were also seen in parent's belief that the school was responsible for the development of an educational program, and knowing how to make changes in an educational program. These drops could possibly be explained by parents developing an understanding or their role and their rights as parents of students receiving special education services. Approximately 70% of parents left the forum feeling empowered to participate in meetings.

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