Minority Parents' Perceptions on Special Education
Under IDEA, parent participation is mandated and guaranteed for all students with disabilities. Participation is considered being an active member in all special education services, discussions, assessments, eligibility determination, goal creation, progress monitoring, behavior support plans, and transitions (from elementary to secondary, and secondary to post-secondary) (Wolfe and Duran, 2013). Parents and families are more likely to participate meaningfully once they have a complete understanding of protocols and expectations. With limited understanding, minority parent participation in the special education process in the United States remains significantly lower than their European American counterparts. Understanding the responsibilities local education agencies have to families of children with disabilities can help bring together all participants in a meaningful manner. With improved parental perceptions, an IEP Committee should and could include parents in the creation of an appropriate individualized education plan (IEP) for the student.
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