Laura Walker

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. Special Education


Language, Literacy, and Special Education


College of Education

First Advisor

Kuder, S. Jay


Special education--Parent participation


Special Education and Teaching


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.