(1) Exploring Parent Perceptions of Shared Decision Making and Outcomes of IEP Meetings: Power in Play

Chelsea T. Morris
University of West Georgia

Lindsey A. Chapman
University of Florida

Stacey M. Kesten
University of Miami

Batya Elbaum
University of Miami

Abstract

To ensure access to education for students with disabilities, U.S. federal law specifies requirements for developing students’ Individualized Education Program (IEP; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2004). In particular, provisions are outlined for parents of students with disabilities to be included as members of the decision making process. However, studies continue to find that full participation in IEP meetings is an unrealized ideal. The present study was undertaken in order to better understand Florida parents’ perspectives on the decision making and outcomes associated with IEP meetings. A qualitative analysis of written comments provided by parents (n = 614) highlights seven descriptive categories that provide insights about the who, how, and why of IEP decision making and the power dynamics that impede equal, meaningful participation and partnerships. Implications are drawn for practitioners and schools.

Citation

Morris, C.T., Chapman, L.A., Kesten, S.M., & Elbaum, B. (2021) Exploring Parent Perceptions of Shared Decision Making and Outcomes of IEP Meetings: Power in Play. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 59(1), 197-209.

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