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ERIC Number: ED507317
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
Advancing Parent-Professional Leadership: Effective Strategies for Building the Capacity of Parent Advisory Councils in Special Education. The Institute Brief. Issue No. 27
Boeltzig, Heike; Kusminsky, Matthew N.; Foley, Susan M.; Robison, Richard; Popper, Barbara; Gutierrez-Wilson, Marilyn
Institute for Community Inclusion
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, last amended in 2004 (IDEA 2004), encourages parents and educators to work collaboratively, emphasizing that as a team they are uniquely suited to make decisions that help improve the educational experiences and outcomes of children with disabilities. The Advancing Parent-Professional Leadership in Education (APPLE) Project was funded to develop the leadership skills of parents individually and within their communities. The project took place in Massachusetts, where school districts are required to have a special education parent advisory council (SEPAC). As part of the overall evaluation of the APPLE project, 35 parents who participated in the leadership training were asked about ways to create a better SEPAC and improve its capacity to effectively collaborate with educators. The 35 parents represented 21 SEPACs in Massachusetts. This brief presents effective strategies and recommendations to support parent leaders and advocates in special education, whether they are part of a SEPAC or another similar group. The brief recommends that parent leaders and advocates in special education: (1) have clear goals and objectives for parental involvement; (2) connect parents to and help them utilize existing resources; (3) provide ways for parents to identify and value their own leadership styles; and (4) be clear that all parents' voices and perspectives are needed and valued. (Lists 5 online resources.)
Institute for Community Inclusion. University of Massachusetts Boston, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125. Tel: 617-287-4300; Fax: 617-287-4352; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serial; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Parents; Practitioners
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS)
Authoring Institution: University of Massachusetts Boston, Institute for Community Inclusion
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act