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The development, implementation, and evaluation of a preconference training strategy for enhancing parental participation in and satisfaction with the transition planning conference

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The development, implementation, and evaluation of a preconference training strategy for enhancing parental participation in and satisfaction with the transition planning conference
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Child psychology ( jstor )
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Control groups ( jstor )
Disabilities ( jstor )
Individualized education programs ( jstor )
Parent training ( jstor )
Parents ( jstor )
Special education ( jstor )
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Teachers ( jstor )
Dissertations, Academic -- Special Education -- UF
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People with disabilities -- Employment ( lcsh )
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Thesis (Ed. D.)--University of Florida, 1989.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 193-207)
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Typescript.
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Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Rosalie S. Boone.

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THE DEVELOPMENT, IMPLEMENTATION, AND EVALUATION OF A
PRECONFERENCE TRAINING STRATEGY FOR ENHANCING PARENTAL PARTICIPATION IN AND SATISFACTION WITH THE TRANSITION
PLANNING CONFERENCE










By

ROSALIE S. BOONE


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF EDUCATION



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1989






























Copyright 1989 by

Rosalie S. Boone















ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


I want to thank all my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Simmons, Narval, Eliot, and Henry, whose nurturance and love continue to sustain me and whose confidence in me is a constant source of strength. I am glad to have this opportunity to acknowledge the members of my doctoral committee who, despite distance and time, continued to believe in and encourage me throughout the years it took me to complete my degree. Dr. Morsink and Dr. Johnson, especially, provided more support than any doctoral student could hope for, and I will always be grateful.

I am deeply indebted to a number of other individuals for their unwavering faith, tireless support, and generous assistance. I thank Norma Jean Stodden and Ann Nevin for their ability to empower others. A special "thank you" is extended to Sarah Bisconer, Phyllis Browder, and Loretta Serna, without whose friendship, expertise, and support I would not have prevailed. Lydia's encouragement and assistance were truly blessings. I am grateful to Cheryl, Miguel, Joy,-and other friends far and near, whose interest buoyed me and whose tolerance humbled me. To all the


iii











teachers who participated in the study, Laura, Debbie, Steve, Shirley, and Stephanie, I acknowledge your commitment to education and to the well-being of your students. Finally, I sincerely thank Charlie whose patience, nurturance, faith, and assistance never failed.


iv


















TABLE OF CONTENTS



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .................................... iii

ABSTRACT ..................................................... vii

CHAPTERS

I INTRODUCTION .................................. 1

Background of the Problem ..................... 2
Statement of the Problem ...................... 5
Primary Research Questions ....................... 7
Definition of Terms ........................... 8
Delimitations ................................. 16
Limitations ................................... 16

II LITERATURE REVIEW ............................. 17

Introduction .................................. 17
Parent Roles in the Education of Students
with Disabilities ............................ 20
The Nature of Team Decisions and The Team
Decision-Making Process ..................... 37
Barriers to Parent Participation ................. 55
Systematic Development of Training Materials ... 79 Summary . ....................................... 83

III METHODS AND PROCEDURES ........................ 92

Development of a Training Program ................ 92
Description of Research Objectives ............... 95
Description of Subjects ....................... 96
Instrumentation ............................... 100
Description of Training and Evaluation
Procedures ................................... 109
Treatment of the Data ......................... 115
Summary ........................................ 118


v













IV RESULTS ....................................... 120

Research Question 1 ............................ 127
Research Question 2 ............................ 130
Follow-Up Analyses ............................ 134
Research Question 4 ............................ 154
Summary ....................................... 156

V DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS ................... 159

Review of Study Purpose and Objectives .......... 159 Review of the Literature ...................... 160
Review of Research Questions ................... 164
Review of Methods: Program Development and
Implementation .............................. 165
Review of Methods: Program Evaluation .......... 166 Summary of Hypotheses ......................... 168
Summary of Research Findings .................. 169
Interpretation and Discussion of Results ...... 171
Practical Application of Study Results and
Implications ................................ 186
Summary ....................................... 191

REFERENCES .......................................... 193

APPENDICES

A TRANSITION AWARENESS MODULE ................... 209

B TRANSITION AWARENESS TRAINING INSTRUMENT ....... 235

C PARENT CONFERENCE OPINION QUESTIONNAIRE ......... 238

D TRANSITION CONFERENCE PARTICIPATION INSTRUMENT . 240

E INFORMED CONSENT FORM ......................... 242

F GUIDELINES FOR CONDUCTING THE ITP CONFERENCE ... 244

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................. 246


vi











Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education THE DEVELOPMENT, IMPLEMENTATION, AND EVALUATION OF A
PRECONFERENCE TRAINING.STRATEGY FOR ENHANCING PARENTAL PARTICIPATION IN AND SATISFACTION WITH THE TRANSITION PLANNING CONFERENCE

By

Rosalie S. Boone

August 1989

Chairperson: Catherine Morsink Major Department: Special Education

The ideal picture of parent involvement in the

education of students with disabilities has been described as one in which parents collaborate actively with professionals in order to make decisions that affect the education of students with disabilities. Individualized transition planning conferences (ITP conferences) provide the setting in which educators and parents are expected to make decisions concerning the adult program and service delivery needs of students with disabilities. However, barriers such as lack of information, socio-economic concerns, and cultural differences typically impede parents' ability to participate actively in parentprofessional conferences. Furthermore, few attempts have been made to provide training that will prepare parents specifically for active participation in school conferences.


vii









In the current research, a training program was

designed both to prepare ethnically diverse parents for active participation in transition planning conferences and to address the barriers that often impede parent involvement. The development and evaluation of the training program represents the culmination of four years of involvement with parents and disabled students through two projects designed to improve the quality of transition service delivery in the state of Hawaii.

The researcher has described a model for the

development and evaluation of training programs. The program development process, during which training materials and procedures were systematically created, field tested, and revised, has been addressed in detail. Also described is the program evaluation process, during which the impact of training was evaluated by (a) comparing the observed ITP conference participation of 15 parents who received training with the observed participation of 15 parents who did not receive training, and (b) comparing the ITP conference satisfaction ratings of parents who received training with the ratings of parents who received no training. Finally, the researcher has discussed the implications of research findings for the development, delivery, and evaluation of future training designed to increase parents' involvement in the education of their disabled youngsters.


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CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION




Experts have suggested that individualized transition planning is essential for appropriate post-school programming and service delivery (Johnson, Bruininks, & Thurlow, 1987; Schutz, 1986). Individualized transition planning focuses on making decisions that will affect the adult lives of handicapped individuals once they no longer officially fall under the aegis of the public school system. Although not specifically mandated by law as the vehicle for post-school planning, the individualized transition planning (ITP) conference constitutes a parent-professional communication vehicle that is analogous to the individualized education program (IEP) conference.

The desirability and importance of parental

participation in school-based educational planning for handicapped students are well documented in studies that indicate that handicapped students benefit when their parents take an active role in their children's education (Baker, Heifetz, & Murphy, 1980; Bronfenbrenner, 1974; Gallagher & Vietze, 1985; Gordon & Davidson, 1981).

1









2


However, as handicapped students prepare to exit secondary school, thus losing access to comprehensive school-directed service coordination and case management, the need increases for parents to participate actively in developing plans to assure that the adult requirements of their special offspring are met (Polloway, Patton, Payne, & Payne, 1989; Winton, 1986). It was the major hypothesis of the current study that carefully developed training can prepare parents for this role. Thus, one purpose of the study was to develop and implement a parent education module designed to facilitate active parent participation in transition planning conferences. A second purpose was to evaluate the training materials and procedures developed in order to make meaningful revisions prior to material dissemination and general use. The third purpose was to assess the effect of the training program developed upon parent participation in and opinions about the ITP conference held for their handicapped adolescent.

Background of the Problem

In the last decade, significant national attention

has been focused on the importance of parental interaction and participation on educational teams involved in planning for the delivery of educational services to handicapped students. It can reasonably be concluded that in no other legislative enactment has the importance of









3


parental interaction and participation been more clearly emphasized than in the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142). In the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, parental participation in the education of handicapped children was established as a requirement for proper program planning. Turnbull and Blatcher-Dixon (1980) and Turnbull (1983) have cited three factors that contributed to Congressional recognition that parent involvement should be mandated by law:

1. convincing experimental evidence that parents can

influence positively the educational development of their children (Baker, 1984; Baker, Heifetz &

Murphy, 1980; Bronfenbrenner, 1974; Heifetz,

1977; Manolson, 1979);

2. encouraging results of early intervention in

ameliorating the developmental deficits

associated with actual and "at-risk" handicaps

(Bronfenbrenner, 1974);

3. the success of litigation by parents to establish

the educational rights of their handicapped

children.

The principles of PL 94-142 have had major

implications for defining the nature of shared decision making between parents and educators (Turnbull









4


& Blatcher-Dixon, 1980). By mandating that parents be included as members of the team that creates the IEP, PL 94-142 has supported and encouraged active parental participation in defining curriculum and in specifying the nature of special education placement and services appropriate to the needs of handicapped students. As stated in the 1981 Federal Register, the IEP committee meeting "serves as a communication vehicle between parents and school personnel and enables them, as equal participants, to jointly decide what the child's needs are, what services will be provided to meet those needs, and what the anticipated outcomes will be" (p. 5462). Schulz (1987) described parent participation in the development and implementation of the IEP as having the potential to be "the realization of a dream frequently expressed by educators, the opportunity to work with parents in planning for their children" (p. 99).

Dreams notwithstanding, numerous investigators have

found that passing a law that provides the opportunity for parents to participate equally and actively in educational planning does not ensure that they will do so (Goldstein, Strickland, Turnbull, & Curry, 1980; Lynch & Stein, 1987). Turnbull and Turnbull (1986) and Schulz (1987) have









5


provided a thoughtful and provocative discussion of the barriers that impede active parental participation in the IEP process. They have cited psychological, attitudinal, communication, and logistical factors as primary impediments to parent participation in family-school partnerships and, in addition, they have detailed strategies for minimizing those barriers.

Numerous educators have continued to grapple with the problem of how to increase the level of parent involvement in decision making that affects school-based programming and service delivery (Goldstein & Turnbull, 1982; Lynch & Stein, 1987; Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986). Still others have begun to call for active parent involvement in decision-making that affects students' post-school programming and service needs (Hardman & McDonnell, 1987; Johnson et al., 1987). Expectations for cooperative family-school decision making have grown to include systematic planning for the transition of handicapped students from school environments into community settings and productive adult roles.

Statement of the Problem

Although the special education literature contains some data-based studies pertaining to parental









6


participation in IEP conferences (Lusthaus, Lusthaus, & Gibbs, 19al; Scanlon, Arick, & Phelps, 1981), few studies have been conducted that have utilized direct observation as a mechanism for describing that participation (Brinkerhoff & Vincent, 1987; Goldstein et al., 1980; Lynch & Stein, 1982; McKinney & Hocutt, 1982). Furthermore, few data-based investigators have implemented training strategies for increasing parent participation in IEP conferences (Brinkerhoff & Vincent, 1987; Goldstein & Turnbull, 1982). Finally, previous researchers have investigated parent participation in the individualized transition planning conferences that are beginning to take place in response to growing emphasis on meeting the post-school needs of handicapped students.

If educators and other concerned individuals hope to ensure that ITP conferences are effective, materials and strategies that facilitate planning efforts and the participation of parents in these planning efforts must be carefully developed and assessed. Consequently, this investigator has studied the effects of preconference training on parents' participation in subsequent ITP conferences for mildly and moderately handicapped high









7


school students. The major research objectives of the study were as follow:

1. to develop, implement, and measure the

effectiveness of transition awareness

training (TAT) as a strategy for empowering

parents to participate actively in ITP

conferences;

2. to determine the level of ITP

conference participation for parents

who received training;

3. to determine whether parents who

received training and parents who

received no training differ

significantly regarding their

satisfaction with and opinions about

the ITP conference.

Primary Research questions

The investigator, by (a) designing and conducting

parent training that focused on transition awareness, (b) evaluating the effectiveness of this training, (c) measuring the level of ITP conference participation for parents who received transition awareness training and for parents who received no training, and (d) measuring the opinions of trained and untrained parents about the ITP









8


conference which follows the training, explored the following questions:

1. Do parents who have completed Transition

Awareness Training have greater knowledge about

the definition, rationale, and value of

transition planning than do parents who have not

received Transition Awareness Training?

2. Do parents who have completed Transition

Awareness Training participate more fully in the

ITP conference, as measured by the frequency of their conference citations, than do parents who

have not received this preconference training?

3. Do parents who received preconference

Transition Awareness Training differ in

their opinions about and their

satisfaction with the ITP conference

from parents who received no training?



Definition of Terms

The central focus of this study was the development

and evaluation of a training strategy designed to increase parent participation in ITP conferences. Technical terms were used for the purpose of discussion and for reporting procedures, methods, and results. The following definitions are provided in order to clarify unfamiliar









9


terms and to assist the reader in the interpretation of the results.

The term mentally retarded students refers to students with significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning resulting in or associated with impairments in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period (Grossman, 1983, p. 11).

The term learning disabled students refers to students with a disorder in one of more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term does not include children who have learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage (U.S. Office of Education, 1977, p. 65083).

The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is a vehicle provided by Public Law 94-142 for the development of an education program based on multidisciplinary assessment and designed to meet the individual needs of handicapped students (Hardman, Drew, & Egan, 1984). The IEP consists of a written statement developed for each handicapped student in a meeting that includes a local education agency









10


representative, the teacher, the parents or guardian, and,

whenever appropriate, the child. The IEP must include

1. a statement of the present levels of
educational performance;
2. a statement of annual goals, including
short-term instructional objectives;
3. a statement of the specific educational
services to be provided . . ., and the
extent to which [the] child will be
able to participate in regular
educational programs;
4. the projected date for initiation and
anticipated duration of such services, and appropriate objective criteria and
evaluation procedures and schedules for
determining, on at least an annual
basis, whether instructional objectives
are being achieved (Education for All
Handicapped Children Act of 1975, p.
3).

As used in the context of special education,

transition refers to movement from school environments,

roles, and expectations, to the environments, roles, and

expectations of the adult community. In 1983 Congress

authorized a new federal initiative for secondary and

transitional services to handicapped youth. Transition can

be conceptualized as a school-to-community model wherein

transition is viewed as the intermediate phase of the

school-to-adult life continuum. Thus, activities that

occur during transition relate to programming and services

provided jointly by school personnel and personnel from the

employment and other adult sectors of the community.

Investigators reporting on post-school outcomes for









11


handicapped youth have drawn specific attention to the need for improvment in the scope and quality of transition services and service planning efforts (Halpern, Close, & Nelson, 1986; Hasazi, Gordon, & Roe, 1985; Mithaug, Horiuchi, & Fanning, 1985; Wehman, Kregel, & Barcus, 1985).

Individualized Transition Planning refers to the service-oriented and programmatic planning done to facilitate the successful movement of handicapped youth from secondary school settings into work and other adult community environments, roles, and responsibilities. Benz and Halpern (1987) described transition planning as formalizing a "question-answer process directed at determining what the student will be doing, where he or she will be living, and what type of support will be needed to accomplish his or her goals" (p. 508). In response to the Congressional authorization of new initiatives for transitional services, Will (1984), in a document distributed by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation (OSERS), defined the following components as critical to transition planning:

1. effective high school programs that

prepare students to work and live in

the community;

2. a broad range of adult service programs

than can meet the various support needs









12


of individuals with handicaps in employment

and community settings;

3. comprehensive and cooperative

transition planning between educational and community service agencies in order

to develop needed services for

graduates.

The Individualized Transition Plan (ITP) has been suggested as a component of the legally required Individualized Education Plan specifically related to meaningful and efficient preparation for changes within and between environments (Brown, Pumpian, Baumgart, Vandeventer, Ford, Nisbet, Schroeder, & Gruenewald, 1981). Brown et al. have maintained that the Individualized Transition Plan should reflect the following non-mutually exclusive characteristics:

1. Comprehensive nature. The ITP should

be designed and implemented to

represent each domain in which, as an adult,the student will be expected to

function as independently and

productively as possible. Domains which

have been specified as particularly

relevant include vocational,









13


recreational/leisure, residential, and

general community environments.

2. Individualized nature. The ITP should

contain precisely stated transition

objectives, training activities,

materials, and evaluation strategies

which are functionally related to a

unique subsequent life space.

3. Longitudinal nature. Development of

the ITP should begin well before a

student is scheduled to finish high

school and should provide for

increasing amounts of time spent in

actual postschool environments as the

student ages.

4. Involvement of parents and guardians.

The design and implementation of

future-oriented ITPs should reflect

efforts to increase the nature,

intensity, and durability of

parent/guardian involvment in the

educational programs of their children.

5. Participation of both sending and

receiving personnel. Senders, persons

responsible for preparing students to









14


function in subsequent environments, and

receivers, those responsible for providing

services in subsequent environments,

should be involved jointly in designing and implementing experiences which will

maximize students' subsequent functioning.

6. Focused expertise of related service

personnel. Physical therapists,

psychologists, physicians, social workers, occupational therapists,

speech and language therapists,

instructional supervisors,

administrators, and other related

services personnel should obtain

critical information about the range of

environments for which students are

being prepared and should then provide

expertise which will assist in the

transition.

7. Direct instruction in a variety of

actual subsequent environments.

Transition plans should enhance the

potential for development and

generalization of functional skills by









15


providing for instruction in actual

subsequent environments.

Transition Awareness Training refers to training developed by the researcher and formatted into an instructional module. The training was designed to provide knowledge to parents about the value and the benefits of planning for the transition of their disabled son or daughter before the student leaves high school. Parent acquisition of the information provided by the training will be measured by the Transition Awareness Training Instrument.

Parent Citation refers to comments made by parents at the ITP conference. A citation is defined as a communication unit, that is a word or group of words that convey a single semantic meaning and can stand alone (Loban, 1963).

Level of Parent Participation in the ITP conference

refers, in this study, to the frequency of parent citations in ITP conferences. Total number or frequency of parent citations will provide the focus of analyses and discussion. All parent conference citations will be measured using the Transition Conference Participation Instrument.









16


Delimitations

The study was delimited by geographical restriction to five secondary schools representing three school districts on the island of Oahu. Oahu is the capital of the seven inhabited Hawaiian islands. The study was also delimited by the age groupings of subjects, who, as parents of high school students, were primarily in their thirties, forties, and fifties. Finally, ethnic diversity of study subjects was actively sought. Thus the study was delimited by the eight ethnic groups represented among subjects.

Limitations

Sample size constituted a limitation of the study. Thirty subjects participated in the study; 15 were in the experimental group and 15 were in the control group. Due to ITP conference availability, the opportunity to randomize or match subjects was limited.
















CHAPTER II *
LITERATURE REVIEW



Introduction


The role that parents play in the education of their handicapped sons and daughters has received extensive attention and treatment in public and private, as well as in professional and nonprofessional forums. Once viewed as the source of a child's disability or as scapegoats, and even as part of the problem (Kirk & Gallagher, 1979; Turnbull & Turnbull, 1982, 1986), parents of children with handicaps "are now seen . . . as part of the solution" (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1982, p. 115). Parents, educators, advocates, researchers, and a host of theorists have proclaimed the value of an active parental role in education in assisting students with handicapping conditions to gain maximum benefit from their education (Hoover-Dempsey, Bassler, & Brissie, 1987; Turnbull & Turnbull, 1982; Witt, Miller, McIntyre, & Smith, 1984).

Implications of this shift in philosophy regarding the role of parents in the education of children with disabilities can be surmised by reviewing the many roles professionals have expected of parents of students with 17








18


handicaps during the past decade. In Table 1, a listing of the roles most commonly cited in the literature as appropriate for parents of children with disabilities is provided.

The roles played by parents of students with

disabilities in their children's education can also be more fully understood by conceptualizing them according to the sociological construct of role theory. Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (1983) has defined a role as "a socially expected behavior pattern usually determined by an individual's status in a particular society" (p. 1021). Social theorists have suggested that the roles that individuals play during their lives can be conceptualized as patterns of behavior that are mandated or prescribed by law (mandated roles), patterns of behavior which are generally viewed as ideal (idealized roles), and patterns of behavior in which individuals actually engage (actual roles). Central to an understanding of this conceptualization of roles is the recognition that discrepancies may exist among individuals' mandated, idealized, and actual roles. The present literature review focuses on special education literature published over the last 10-12 years regarding the roles that parents assume in the education of their children with disabilities. In the first sections of the review, the construct of mandated,









19


Table 1

Roles Commonly Ascribed to Parents of Children
with Disabilities


Role


Source


Teachers of children with disabilities




Political advocates/ political activists Organization members Service developers/ providers of special education

Recipients of professionals' decisions Educational decision makers

Participants in the educational process Partners

Providers of information


Shearer & Shearer, 1977 Heward, Dardig, & Rossett, 1979 Schulz, 1982 Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986 McCormick & Schiefelbusch, 1984

Kirk & Gallagher, 1979 Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986

Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986

Kirk & Gallagher, 1979 Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986 Schulz, 1987

Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986 Schulz, 1987

Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986


Kirk & Gallagher, 1979 Schulz, 1987

Kirk & Gallagher, 1979

Yoshida, Fenton, Kaufman, & Maxwell, 1978









20


idealized, and actual roles is used to address the issue of parents' participation in special education.

In this portion of the literature review, assumptions that underlie mandated and idealized parent roles, describes the actual roles that parents play, and identifies discrepancies among these mandated, idealized, and actual roles are explored. In subsequent sections of the review, literature is used first to describe barriers that have impeded parental fulfillment of expected educational roles and then to explore the efficacy of strategies that have been used to increase parent participation in the education of students with disabilities.

Parent Roles in the Education of Students with Disabilities

Turnbull and Turnbull (1982) have described three

education-related roles that, during the past decade, have been widely advocated for parents of children with disabilities and that effectively encompass the roles most often suggested for parents. According to Turnbull and Turnbull, parents of handicapped students are expected to assume the roles of (a) systematic teachers of their offspring, (b) ensurers of educational rights and educational quality, and (c) decision makers in the educational process. Turnbull and Turnbull maintained that these expected parent roles are based on assumptions








21


regarding the presumed impact parents have on the education of their youngsters with disabilities. Parents as Teachers of Handicapped Children: Mandated and Idealized Roles

Although legislation has not explicitly mandated a

teacher role for parents, writers of educational literature have reported that prevailing societal philosophy during the last decade has emphasized and idealized the role of parents as providers of systematic home instruction for children with disabilities. Turnbull and Turnbull (1982) pointed out that support for the idealized role of "parents-as-teachers" was inextricably linked to the belief that, with training, parents can affect the educational development of their youngsters with disabilities. This belief was well illustrated in testimony given during Congressional hearings concerning The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) by Senator Williams, a major proponent of the bill. In referring to the stipulation made in PL 94-142 that annual individualized educational plans be developed for each handicapped student by parents and educators, Williams commented that:

The individualized planning conference is also
intended as a method of providing additional
parent counseling and training so that the parent
may bolster the educational process at
home.... One of the greatest benefits that can
come to the handicapped child is to have parents
brought into the conferences, because the









22


education of the child continues after the
school door closes and the child is at home.
This is one of the reasons the idea of the
mandatory conference was developed, to make sure the parent is part of the education of the child. (126 Congressional Record S1950,
daily ed., June 18, 1975) (Statement of Senator
Williams)

Belief in the value of the parent-teacher role has also been echoed by numerous professionals who have maintained that:

The role of parents in carrying out instructional programs in the home with their handicapped child
is critical. Research shows that handicapped
children progress much faster in all areas when
their home environment supports and extends
school programming. Parents can be instrumental
in teaching their handicapped child many
academic, social, self-help, communication, and
vocational skills. (Heward, Dardig, & Rossett,
1979, p. 6).

According to Turnbull and Turnbull (1982), emphasis on the role of parents as learners and teachers peaked in the 1970s, when increased recognition of the influence of environment on intelligence led to efforts to overcome environmental deficits. Many programs were developed to incorporate minorities and other target populations into the mainstream by improving perceived educational weaknesses of parents and the home environment. Thus, programs such as Head Start offered parent training directed at teaching parents how to be better teachers of their children. This approach was generalized to parents of children with disabilities who were viewed as agents for








23


increasing children's progress and achievement (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1982). Early childhood education programs, in particular, have stressed parent training to such an extent that early childhood projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education were expected to "develop training programs for parents with the objective of teaching parents to be effective in working with and teaching their own child" (Shearer & Shearer, 1977, p. 213).

Turnbull and Turnbull (1982) have hypothesized that underlying the belief in the idealized role of parents as teachers are the following assumptions:

1. All handicapped children will benefit from

parental instruction.

2. All parents can and should be teachers of their

children.

3. All parents are interested and willing to receive

counseling and training to fulfill this role.

While they have acknowledged the impressive success

many parents of children with disabilities have achieved as teachers of their children (Boyd, 1980; Bricker & Bricker, 1976; Karnes & Teska, 1980). Turnbull and Turnbull (1982) have questioned the validity of the above assumptions and have maintained that the idealized role of parents as teachers may not be an appropriate one for all parents of children with handicaps. Referring to the competencies









24


identified by Karnes and Teska (1980) as desirable for parents engaged in direct teaching of the handicapped child at home, Turnbull and Turnbull (1986) have declared that no more is required of master's-level special education teachers. They question "whether it is realistic to expect parents to engage in this role to such a substantial degree" (p. 14). Consequently, Turnbull and Turnbull and other professionals (Foster, Berger, & McLean, 1981; Lynch & Stein, 1982; Morgan,.1982; Yoshida, 1982) have begun to advocate acceptance of a range of parent involvement choices and options matched to the individualized needs and interests of parents (McCormick & Schiefelbusch, 1984; Morgan, 1982; Schulz, 1987; Turnbull & Turnbull, 1982, 1986).

Parents as Teachers of Handicapped Children: Actual Roles

Despite the growing reservations of some professionals regarding the appropriateness of the idealized parent-teacher role for all parents of children with handicaps, evidence does exist that supports the assumption that parents can be effective teachers. Kaiser and Fox (1985) have noted that "there is an increasingly well-defined scientific data base attesting to measurable, reliable, and replicable changes in parent and child








25


behavior as a function of training parents in the application of learning theory-based procedures" (p. 219).

Researchers studying parent effectiveness in the role of teacher have, for the most part, have focused on early intervention efforts with parents of young handicapped children. In particular, parents of young mentally retarded children have been trained to use basic behavioral principles to modify their children's behavior and to teach new skills. In Table 2 some of the studies where results demonstrated that children with disabilities can benefit from instruction delivered by their parents are indicated. These investigators have demonstrated that (a) parents can acquire and demonstrate proficiency in learning behavioral principles and specific theory-based procedures; (b) following training, parents can accurately apply these principles and procedures in interactions with their children; and (c) child behavior can be reliably changed through parents' applications of behavioral procedures (Baker, 1984; Kaiser & Fox, 1985).











Table 2

Studies that Revealed that Children Benefit from Parental Instruction


with Disabilities


Investigator Date Area Taught


Carpenter & Augustine MacDonald, Blott, Gordon, Spiegel, & Hartman Manolson Lombardino & Mangan Sandler, Coren & Thurman Heifetz

Rose

Watson & Bassinger Butterfield & Parson Rose

Freeman & Thompson Rose

Watson & Bassinger Mash & Terdal Heifetz

Rose

Tavormina Tavormina, Hampson, & Luscomb


1973


1974 1979 1983 1983 1977

1974 1974 1973

1974 1973

1974 1974 1973 1977

1974 1975 1976


Communication, language Development














Feeding skills



Motor imitation Self help skills



Appropriate play behaviors Behavior problems


26









27


Many of the studies had similar procedural limitations and methodological problems (Franks, 1982; Gordon & Davidson, 1981; Kaiser & Fox, 1985). Discussions of limitations have focused primarily on

1. analyses of training effects in terms of number

of behaviors treated, settings, time periods over

which behavior change was evaluated;

2. quality of child behavior data;

3. adequacy of the experimental designs used to

evaluate treatment;

4. magnitude of change in parent and in child

behavior;

5. generalizability of results;

6. analysis of the effects of various training

formats on parent performance;

7. durability of effects.

In addition, few researchers have thoroughly analyzed the generalized and long-term effects of behavioral training with parents whose children have mental or behavioral disabilities (Baker, 1984; Lutzker, McGimsey, McRae, & Campbell, 1983). Research reports that have described generalization across settings and maintenance of parent training with children who have mental handicaps were particularly sparse and, because of methodological concerns, should be interpreted cautiously (Kaiser & Fox,









28


1985). Despite methodological flaws, however, the research available supported the assumption that children with disabilities can benefit from systematic parental instruction and thus suggested a somewhat positive relationship between the ideal and the actual parent-teacher role.

Thorough review of the actual role of parents as

teachers was not provided by the researchers cited above. Turnbull and Turnbull (1986) have maintained that professionals, more emphatically than parents, have served as proponents of the parent-teacher role. In support of their contention, they pointed out that most of the literature related to the issue of whether parents should provide ongoing systematic home instruction for their children with disabilities consisted of material reflecting the opinions of professionals about the idealized role of parents as teachers. Turnbull and Turnbull have suggested that, because parents can be effective teachers, many professionals have assumed that all parents should be teachers and are willing to be trained as such. Some empirical evidence was available, however, from which scholars might question these assumptions and identify some discrepancy between the professionally advocated ideal and the actual parent-learner-teacher role.








29


First, investigators who conducted research in the 1970s suggested that children with disabilities do not uniformly achieve significant educational benefits from being taught by their parents, even though the parents have received training for the role. The most frequently cited variables affecting parent and child behavioral training outcomes were socioeconomic variables, such as income and education (Clark, Baker, & Heifetz, 1982; Rinn, Vernon, & Wise, 1975; Rose, 1974; Sadler, Seyden, Howe, & Kaminsky, 1976). Furthermore, parental reading ability, pretraining knowledge of behavioral principles, performance during training, number of teaching sessions logged, and trainer's prediction of follow-through, as well as child birth order and pretreatment rate of compliance, have provided explanatory power for outcome measures (Clark et al., 1982; Sadler et al., 1976). Because it appears that the extent to which parent-teachers are effective in producing child gains is influenced by several factors exclusive of training, the parent-teacher role may not be appropriate for all parents of children with disabilities.

Second, according to some researchers, the role of

parents as learners and teachers has declined recently, due in part to the relatively low attendance rate at training sessions (Rosenberg, Reppucci, & Linney, 1983; Turnbull &









30


Turnbull, 1986). It has been suggested that, although many parents want more information on various topics, they have increasingly less time to carry out formal learning and teaching roles (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986). Thus, the assumption that parents are willing to be trained as teachers may be valid for some parents and invalid for others; the degree of correspondence between the ideal parent-teacher role and the actual parent-teacher role is affected by many variables.

Parents as Ensurers of Educational Rights and Quality Education: Mandated and Idealized Roles

Inherent in the widespread support of an active parent role in the education of students with handicaps is the belief that parent involvement in special education ensures the educational rights of children with disabilities and influences the quality of education these children receive. This belief is undergirded by the assumption that parents are the best advocates for insuring the accountability of the school system and for securing the most appropriate education for their children (Schulz, 1982; Turnbull & Turnbull, 1982).

The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94142) (Federal Register, 1977), by specifying a number of provisions that ensure that schools will involve parents in the educational processes that affect their children with








31


disabilities, underscores belief in the value of parent advocacy and participation. For example, the law prohibits arbitrary or discriminatory evaluation, labeling, or changes in educational placement without parental consent. The law stipulates that parents must be notified and consent to any processes that will affect the basic education of their children. To ensure adherence to specified stipulations, the law further describes due process rights for parents and provides federal funds only to those school districts that are in compliance with its provisions.

Parents as Ensurers of Educational Rights and Quality Education: Actual Roles

A description of the actual role of parents as

ensurers of educational rights and educational quality and of the assumptions underlying support of this role is best approached by reviewing the role from two perspectives: the perspective of parents' collective influence and the perspective of parents' individual influence. This section of the review describes the actual role of parents in ensuring educational rights and quality from the perspective of their collective influence. The extent to which individual parents have influenced or have the potential to influence educational rights and quality will









32


be addressed in subsequent sections that describe the role of parents as educational decision makers.

A review of collective parent activities on behalf of disabled children over the past two decades indicates that indeed parent advocacy has been a strong force in bringing about legislative action on behalf of handicapped children and adolescents (Blackhurst & Berdine, 1981). According to Schulz (1987), this advocacy was the result of three factors: (a) parent concern about the denial of opportunity for handicapped children, (b) parental pressure on public agencies to provide needed services, and (c) the organization and activism of parent groups.

In the late 1960s and 1970s parents began to realize

that, as a result of inequitible educational opportunities, exceptional students were being denied the opportunity to fulfill their potential (Schulz, 1987). Parents were concerned about the outright exclusion of many students with disabilities from public school settings and the stigma borne by others placed in segregated environments within public schools. In addition, they had become disenchanted with the widespread practice of attaching negative labels to children on the basis of assessment procedures, the validity and appropriateness of which were highly questionnable at best and blatantly biased or discriminatory at worst.








33


Concerns for their offspring led parents of children with disabilities to organize national groups that functioned as catalytic agents to bring about broad social change in dealing with individuals with disabilities (President's Committee on Mental Retardation, 1977). Professional organizations such as the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the American Association on Mental Deficiency (AAMD) joined parent activists to form powerful advocacy groups. An advocacy landmark occurred in the late 1960s when parents of students with mental retardation, in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children, successfully sued the state to obtain a free and appropriate education for all children with disabilities. In 1972 a suit filed against the Washington, D.C. Board of Education (Mills v. Board of Education, 1972) resulted in a decree that affirmed the right of all handicapped children to a publicly supported education. Subsequent, usually successful, cases were brought against other school districts over issues of placement and labeling, techniques of psychological diagnosis, and the role of parents in the process of public education (Haring, 1982).

Following the PARC and Mills cases, parents,

professionals, legislators, and other advocates pressed for federal laws that would specify the responsibilities of









34


public schools and the rights of handicapped people. The dynamic impact of this activism was demonstrated in 1975 when Congress passed Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicpped Children Act.

The belief that parent involvement is important for securing the rights of handicapped children and the underlying assumption that parents are effective advocates for ensuring the accountability of the school system are thus strongly supported by the demonstrated impact of collective parent involvement on special education. Samuel Kirk (1984), a distinguished special educator for the past 50 years, has succinctly described the collective influence of parents as follows:

If I were to give credit to one group in this
country for the advancements that have been made
in the education of exceptional children, I would
place the parent organizations and parent
movement in the forefront as the leading force
(p. 41).

Parents as Educational Decision Makers: Mandated Roles

Perhaps the most meaningful, critical, and

controversial role of parents in the special educational arena is that of the parents as educational decision makers. Of the three education-related roles discussed in the current review of literature, this one is most explicitly supported by the weight of federal legislation.








35


Turnbull and Turnbull (1986) and Cone, Delawyer, and Wolfe (1985) have maintained that the role of parents as educational decision makers was established in 1975 when Congress enacted the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142). Indeed, several observers have characterized this law as the most important piece of educational legislation in American history (Boone, 1983; Corrigan, 1978).

In addition to reinforcing traditional beliefs that parents play a very important role in their children's development, Public Law 94-142 (PL 94-142) also includes revolutionary requirements granting decision-making rights to parents of disabled learners (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986). For example, by stipulating that a written individualized education plan (IEP) must be developed for all students with disabilities and that parents must be included as members of the team that develops their child's IEP, PL 94-142 places parents at the heart of the decisionmaking process in defining both the content and the setting of their child's education.

Parents as Educational Decision Makers: Idealized Roles

The primary vehicle for operationalizing the mandated role of parents as educational decision makers is the annual IEP meeting during which the handicapped student's









36


individualized education plan is developed and approved by parents. Clarifications of IEP requirements issued by the U.S. Office of Special Education highlight mandated role expectations and elucidate the idealized role of parents in decision making that affects the education of their disabled offspring. These clarifications state one of the major purposes of the IEP meeting as follows:

The IEP meeting serves as a communication vehicle between parents and school personnel, and enables them as equal participants to jointly decide what
the child's needs are, what services will be
provided to meet those needs, and what the
anticipated outcomes will be (Federal Register,
1981, p. 5462).

The phrases "equal participation" and "jointly decide" convey the expectation that parents will take an active decision-making role in these meetings.

Assumptions that support the mandated and idealized role of parents in educational decision making can be subsumed under two categories: (a) assumptions regarding the nature of team decisions and the anticipated advantages of a team approach to educational decision making (Pfeiffer, 1982) and (b) assumptions regarding parent influence on decisions made by educational teams (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1982). The first category of assumptions will be examined by reviewing studies in which the nature of decisions made by educational teams has been investigated. The second set of assumptions will be addressed by








37


reviewing studies in which the actual role of parents in IEP conferences has been described.

The Nature of Team Decisions and The Team
Decision-Making Process

Primary assumptions regarding the nature and

advantages of a team approach to educational decision making are that (a) team decision making results in more effective educational decisions and (b) team decision making results in greater acceptance of individual responsibility by team members. For example, Pfeiffer (1982) has maintained that group decisions provide safeguards against individual biases or errors in judgment and thus result in greater accuracy in evaluation, classification, and placement decisions. In addition, Ysseldyke, Algozzine, and Mitchell (1982) have observed that federal rules and regulations contain a number of explicit or implicit assumptions about the purposes of team meetings. According to these investigators, "it is assumed that team meetings will facilitate communication between parents and school personnel, that they will facilitate the development of an appropriate IEP, develop procedures to monitor IEP implementation, and establish criteria for evaluating IEP effectiveness" (p. 308). Thus, the basic assumption regarding the nature of decision-making teams









38


seems to be that they result in decisions that are superior to those made by individuals.

The preponderance of evidence regarding the nature of team decision making is found in descriptive studies in which researcers investigated the operation of screening/eligibility or placement teams. Representative of these studies are two studies conducted by Pfeiffer (1981, 1982). In a 1981 study, Pfeiffer examined the variability in decisions that individuals and teams generate by having team members independently complete a simulated placement activity for a student with learning disabilities, a student with mental retardation, and a student with emotional disturbance. When the 35 professionals in the study independently determined appropriate placement programs for the students, no fewer than five separate placements were generated for each student. However, when the same professionals worked in groups of three, no more than three different placement options were generated per student. Pfeiffer replicated the results of the 1981 study in a larger 1982 study conducted with professionals from Puerto Rico. In the latter study, 102 educational evaluators selected from a continuum of seven educational placements, the one placement they felt was the best setting for each of 10 exceptional students. After making independent placement








39


decisions, the professionals were randomly assigned to teams of three and asked to arrive at a consensual placement decision for the 10 students. The placement decisions generated by the teams indicated significantly less variability in than those generated by individuals.

A major limitation of Pfeiffer's investigations is

that the researcher employed simulation rather than direct observation of actual team meetings. Because Pfeiffer failed to explore the actual decision-making processes employed by the placement teams, the value of the studies for clarifying the nature of team decision making is limited. In addition, because no parents were included in the studies, results cannot be generalized to teams that include parent members.

The limitations of the Pfeiffer studies have been addressed by investigators who have taken a process approach to studying team meetings and have noted the role played by parents in these meetings. In the process approach, the investigator identifies those things that should happen procedurally in team meetings and then evaluates the extent to which they actually occur (Ysseldyke & Algozzine, 1984). Specific methodologies used in this approach have included self-report and naturalistic observation.









40


Patton (1976), in an early attempt to describe the

special education process using observational methodology, attended meetings of various admissions committees for special programs serving students classified as being educably retarded, trainably retarded, emotionally disturbed, and gifted. He also conducted interviews with committee members. Patton found that three of the five committees he observed (a) "rubber stamped" the recommendations made to them, (b) often used partial data to make admission decisions, and (c) did not include parents or lay persons in the decision-making process. As a result of his findings, Patton concluded that "confidence cannot necessarily be placed in the decisions which [were] made" (p. 104).

Ysseldyke, Algozzine, and Mitchell (1982) also

addressed the issue of parent involvement in team decisions and provided further evidence of serious problems in the team decision-making process. Ysseldyke et al. used IEP legislation and organizational theory literature to develop an instrument for collecting data regarding the effectiveness of placement team meetings. Thirty-four videotapes of actual team meetings held in 16 school districts in Minnesota were reviewed independently by two observers experienced in placement team meetings. Ysseldyke and his associates concluded that the meetings








41


tended to be unstructured, non-goal oriented, and limited in the extent to which parents and other individuals actually participated in decision making.

The assumption that team decision making encourages individual team members' acceptance of responsibility has been challenged by results of a study in which Poland, Thurlow, Ysseldyke, and Mirkin (1982) asked 100 directors of special education to describe the team decision-making process as it was carried out in their shcools. The researchers reported that they had difficulty in getting individuals to assume responsibility for the decisions that were made in team meetings. Poland et al. have reported that when asked who had actually made the decision, nearly all respondents claimed that someone else had been responsible for it and that they, personally, had had little power in the process. So frequently did the researchers receive this response, that they came to refer to this finding as the "Little Red Hen" phenomenon. (When individuals were asked who made decisions, their response was, "Not I.")

Despite correspondence between mandated and idealized parent decision-making roles, literature regarding the nature of team decision making reveals that superiority of the process cannot be assumed. Studies cited showed that even when the role of parents is not considered,








42


implementation of the team decision-making process falls short of idealized expectations. The following review of studies was focused on parent participation in the educational process and provided direct insight into the role parents actually play in making educational decisions. Parents as Educational Decision Makers: Actual Roles

No doubt the impact of collective parent activism has stimulated continuing confidence in the ability of parents to safeguard their exceptional children against the denial of educational rights. However, the impact of parental involvement on the rights of children with disabilities and on the quality of educational decisions is perhaps less conspicuous when viewed from the perspective of individual parents than when viewed from the perspective of collective parent involvement.

As previously indicated, a number of assumptions have been postulated as underlying the mandated and idealized role of active parent involvement in making educational decisions (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1982). Two prominent assumptions are that

1. parents can improve the quality of educational

decisions;

2. parents want to be involved in education decision

making and when given the opportunity will take

advantage of it (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986).








43


In opposition to the first assumption, researchers

have indicated that many parents do not believe that their child needs to be protected from the special education system. Furthermore, many parents remain unconvinced that their contributions can improve the quality of decisions made by teachers (Sonnenschein (1984). Turnbull and Turnbull (1982) have pointed out that the emphasis parents place on having competent teachers reflects this viewpoint. For example, Winton and Turnbull (1981), in a survey of 31 parents of children with disabilities, found that parents frequently expressed confidence in special educators' skills and a desire to defer to these "experts." These results corroborated earlier findings in which Winton (1980) asked parents of preschool children with disabilities to indicate the components of the ideal preschool program for a child with a disability. Few of the parents in this investigation mentioned parent involvement of any kind as a component of an ideal preschool program. In fact, when asked to rank the characteristics of an ideal preschool, respondents in Winton's investigation identified parent involvement as the least important characteristic. The parents maintained, instead, that teacher competency was the most important program component.








44


It appears that passive parental involvement in the educational process is coupled with substantial parent satisfaction with school programs (Ammer & Littleton 1983). Ammer and Littleton surveyed parents of children aged 4 to 24 with behavior disorders, learning disabilities, educable retardation, speech/language impairments, giftedness, and trainable retardation about their present and their desired level of involvement in the education process. The sample included urban, rural, and suburban parents. Of the 217 parents responding to Ammer and Littleton's questionnaire, 87% indicated they were not presently involved in their local school program. Despite their lack of involvement, 74% indicated that they were satisfied that their child's educational needs were being met.

The apparent preference by parents for a more passive, rather than active role in decision making has been further documented in other studies (Hocutt & Wiegerink, 1983; Leyser & Cole, 1984; McKinney & Hocutt, 1982; Turnbull, Winton, Blatcher, & Salkind, 1983). For example, McKinney and Hocutt (1982) interviewed 36 parents in order to ascertain their involvement in the development and implementation of the IEP for their children with learning disabilities. Study subjects represented 10 elementary schools within four school systems serving an urban population in a working-class southern city, a mixed








45


suburban county, a rural county, and an academic community. Researchers conducted a structured interview with parents during a home visit. The researchers found that although 75% of the parents interviewed were able to recall the IEP document, only 31% said that they had helped write it. Of the parents, 43% indicated that they did not participate fully in IEP development. Because of reliance on parental recall and limited sample size, the generalizability of the McKinney and Hocutt findings must be conservatively interpreted.

However, similar findings have been reported from much larger studies conducted in a lower socio-economic status, meduim-sized, urban community in the midwest (Leyser & Cole, 1984) and in a large, culturally and linguistically diverse metropolitan school district in southern California (Lynch & Lewis, 1982; Lynch & Stein, 1982). Leyser and Cole (1984) analyzed 340 questionnaires returned from parents of 700 students representing five special education categories. The researchers found that 85% of parents were satisfied with their children's programs. When parents were asked whether they would like to work with teachers in writing their child's IEP, many parents responded negatively; almost 60% of the parents of students with mild retardation and speech impairments said "no," and 40% of









46


the parents of students with behavior disorders, learning disabilities, and physical handicaps said "no."

Lynch and Stein (1982) used open-ended and forcedchoice items to survey parents of students representing a broad spectrum of disabilities, ages, and ethnic groups about their participation in the development of the IEP, their opportunities to participate in their child's education program, and their satisfaction with the district's special education personnel and processes. Families were interviewed in their homes using questionnaires administered in their native language. Of the 400 parents interviewed, 71% reported active participation in IEP development. Only 14.6%, however, stated that they had expressed opinions and made suggestions during the IEP meeting.

In 1987 Lynch and Stein reported the results of another study that determined Hispanic parents' participation in and satisfaction with their children's special education programs. Findings for these Hispanic parents were compared to the findings for Black and Anglo parents in the previous Lynch and Lewis (1982) and Lynch and Stein (1982) studies. Although only 63 families from the randomly selected pool of 213 were actually interviewed, results of the interviews confirmed the findings of the previous studies. Only 45% of the Hispanic








47


families indicated that they were a part of the IEP process. Fifty percent of the parents felt that they were not active participants in the development of the IEP. A major contribution of the Lynch et al. studies was the identification of variations in parent participation according to disability type and cultural background. For example, Hispanic families interviewed in the 1987 study reported significantly less involvement in the assessment process than did Anglo parents. In addition, both Black and Hispanic parents offered fewer suggestions at the meeting and knew significantly less about what services their child was to receive than did Anglo parents. Like other researchers (Leyser & Cole, 1984; McKinney & Hocutt, 1982), Lynch and her associates found that parents were satisfied with their child's special education program (Lynch & Lewis, 1982; Lynch & Stein, 1982; Lynch & Stein, 1987).

The issue of parents' satisfaction with their level of involvement in making educational decisions was specifically probed by Lusthaus, Lusthaus, and Gibbs (1981). These researchers surveyed 98 parents of students in elementary self-contained and resource classes randomly selected from eight elementary schools in a middle-class suburban district. Parents were asked to complete a written questionnaire indicating their present level of








48


participation and their desired level of participation in nine decision-making areas directly related to their exceptional children's education. Parent responses were classified into three possible roles (a) no involvement,

(b) giving and receiving information, and (c) having control over decisions.

Fifty-eight percent of the questionnaires distributed were returned. Responses revealed that parents most often found themselves in the role of giving and receiving information. The role of no involvement was second most typical, wheras the role of having decisional control was ranked third. When asked to select the roles that they would like to assume, 50% or more of all respondents stated that they wished to continue in an informational role for six of the nine decision-making areas: discipline, class placement, evaluation, instructional grouping, transportation, and special resources. Parents indicated a desire for more control in only three of the areas: (a) decisions regarding what kinds of records should be kept on the student, (b) decisions regarding medical services for the student, and (c) decisions about transferring the student to another school.

In contrast to findings of parental satisfaction with passive participation in the IEP conference (Goldstein, Strictland, Turnbull, and Curry, 1982; Leyser & Cole, 1984;








49


Lusthaus, Lusthaus, & Gibbs, 1981; Lynch & Stein, 1982; Lynch & Stein, 1987), were the findings of Witt et al. (1984). These researchers found that the 243 parents who had participated in previous staffings for their children with disabilities were satisfied by active solicitation and utilization of their input during the meeting. Parents who were satisfied with the staffings they had attended reported that they had been encouraged to participate. In addition, they reported that their ideas had been used in developing their child's educational program.

All of the studies reported employed survey

methodology, and relied on parent recall as the primary data source. However, despite these limitations, the consistency of the findings challenges the assumption that parents want to be involved in educational decision making and will take advantage of opportunities to do so. This assumption has also been called into question by studies in which investigators observed or tape recorded the actual role played by parents in IEP meetings.

In the much-cited observational investigation of IEP conferences, Goldstein et al. (1982) used naturalistic observational procedures to describe the dynamics of these conferences. By coding conference citations according to speaker and listener, Goldstein et al. provided a








50


descriptive analysis of parent-professional interaction in 14 IEP conferences held in three school districts in North Carolina. Analysis of the interaction in the conferences revealed that (a) parents were the primary recipients of 63% of the statements made at the conference and (b) parents at three of the conferences accounted for 63% of all parent citations. Of the 14 conferences observed, in only one instance was the meeting actually devoted to having parent and educators jointly specify educational goals and objectives. As a result of their findings, Goldstein et al. characterized the proceedings of the conferences observed as "the resource teacher taking the initiative to review the already developed IEP with the parent, who was the primary recipient of comments made at the conference" (p. 283). It may be noted that, despite their minimal involvement in decision making, parents in the Goldstein et al. study also expressed over-whelmingly positive reactions to the conferences.

The limited size, nature, and demographic restrictions of the Goldstein et al. study suggest-that caution must be exercised in generalizing the conclusions and implications; however, when the study is considered in conjunction with previously described studies, a consistent picture emerges which suggests that parents: (a) typically do not








51


participate actively in educational decision making, (b) do not to view their input into the decision-making process as being important, (c) are satisfied with the education provided to their child, and (d) are satisfied with their own non-active role in making educational decisions. The studies thus highlight existing discrepancies between parents' mandated and idealized decision-making roles and their actual participation in making educational decisions.

An examination of the decision-making role parents

play in the education of their children with disabilities cannot be considered complete without considering the opportunity afforded to parents to truly influence educational decisions. To this end, it is appropriate to note two additional assumptions purported to underlie support for the mandated and idealized role of parents as education decision makers. These assumptions are as follows:

1. parents' attendance at their children's IEP

meeting will enable them to share in decision

making (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986);

2. professionals want and value parent participation

in educational decision making (Yoshida, Fenton,

Kauffman, & Maxwell, 1978).

The results of research conducted by Yoshida, Fenton, Kaufman, and Maxwell (1978) and Gilliam and Coleman (1981)








52


have provided insight into the potential of individual parents for actually influencing the educational decisions made in IEP meetings. These authors have shown that the active involvement of parents in educational decision making is frequently not perceived as important or desirable by education professionals.

Yoshida et al. (1978) surveyed approximately 1500

administrative, support, and instructional IEP team members regarding planning activities they considered appropriate for parent participation. Of 24 suggested parent roles, only two were endorsed by a majority of respondents as appropriate for parent participation. The passive roles involved gathering and presenting information about the disabled learner. More active roles were rejected overwhelmingly by the team members. For example, only 26% of the professionals said that parents should influence professionals to accept a specific program or finalize education decisions.

The professional opinion that parents should provide

information to the IEP team but not participate actively in making decisions, has been further corroborated in research conducted by Gilliam (1979) and Gilliam and Coleman (1981). In the 1979 study, Gilliam found that parent contributions to team meetings were ranked as only the 9th most important in series comparison with the contributions of 15 other








53


categories of contributors. In the 1981 study, Gilliam and his associate asked 130 IEP participants to rank the relative "status" or importance of participants in the decision-making process. Responses indicated a hierarchy of influence in IEP meetings and no significant correlation between preconceived notions of importance and actual contributions made at the conference. Thus, although in preconference ranking the contributions of parents received a high rating in terms of their importance, they received a low postconference rating in terms of their actual contribution to and influence on the meeting.

Gilliam and Coleman observed that participants perceived as having the most influence on conference proceedings were those who were familiar with test scores, diagnostic reports, and cumulative records. They suggested that parents were not perceived as possessing expertise commensurate with that of other conference members. Thus many researchers might challenge both the assumption that mere parental attendance at the IEP conference is sufficient to ensure parent involvement in the decisionmaking process and the assumption that such involvement is desired and valued by education professionals or by parents themselves.

In sum, the picture of parent involvement roles in the education of students with disabilities is a mixed one. An









54


active parent role in the educational process might be inferred from mandated and idealized expectations for parent participation. Researchers have indicated that many, though not all, parents have been successful as teachers of their children and collectively effective as ensurers of their children's educational rights. At the same time, however, there is strong evidence that the parent role in educational decision making is a passive rather than an active one. It appears also that, despite longstanding theoretical idealization of active parent involvement by many professionals, many do not, in fact, view activism in decision making as an appropriate parental role. Furthermore, this opinion seems to be shared by parents themselves. Perhaps, as suggested by Turnbull and Turnbull (1986), Schulz (1987) and others, the issue of active versus passive parent roles would be best resolved by professional support and acceptance of a variety of parent participation levels. These levels may be determined by individual parents based upon their unique family dynamics or economic conditions such as the need for both parents to work or the need of a single parent to hold two jobs.

The decision of individual parents to assume a passive rather than an active role in the education of their handicapped child should, however, represent an informed








55


choice--a choice made with the knowledge that active, as well as passive participation, is an accessible, encouraged, and actively supported option, as well as an option for which they are prepared. Certainly, in view of reported research findings, the question remains whether parental satisfaction with a passive role in educational decision making (Goldstein et al., 1982; Lewis, Busch, Proger, & Juska, 1981; Leyser & Cole, 1984; Lusthaus, Lusthaus, & Gibbs, 1981; Lynch & Stein, 1982; 1987; McKinney & Hocutt, 1983) results from the application of informed choice or from lack of adequate preparation for active participation.

Barriers to Parent Participation

Educational literature is replete with examples and descriptions of the variables which tend to preclude the active involvement of parents in educational processes that affect the schooling of their children with disabilities. The variable most frequently cited as generating barriers to the educational involvement of parents is socioeconomic status. The impact of SES on the survival, energy, material resources, time, and stress level of families has been identified as significantly deterring active parent participation, particularly by minority parents (Correa, 1987; Fruchter, 1984; Lynch & Stein, 1987).









56


Turnbull and Turnbull (1986) have provided a useful categorization of additional barriers that influence the ability of parents to assume the role of effective team members in educational programming for students with disabilities. The categorization of Turnbull and Turnbull includes (a) psychological barriers, (b) attitudinal barriers, (c) cultural/ideological barriers, and (d) logistical barriers.

Psychological Barriers

Turnbull and Turnbull (1986) have described

psychological barriers as variables that influence individuals' perceptions and the meaning they attach to their perceptions. The interpretation that parents and professionals ascribe to sensory data often takes the form of impressions, conclusions, assumptions, expectations, and/or prejudices that may contribute to ineffective interaction.

Several specific psychological barriers have been

suggested. Marion (1981), for example, has maintained that four sources of anxiety often constitute psychological barriers for parents interacting with education professionals. First, their own experiences as students or previous negative encounters with school personnel may predispose them to ineffective communication. Second, fear of learning that their child is not performing








57


satisfactorily or reluctance to acknowledge that a problem exists may hinder effective parent-professional interaction. Fear of being blamed for the child's problem may constitute a third type of psychological barrier for parents. Finally, previous ego-shattering encounters with school personnel may leave parents feeling hostile or embarrassed about subsequent interactions.

Professional responses to parents may, likewise, be

affected by psychological barriers. For example, teachers may fear that parents blame them for the child's problem (Vernberg & Medway, 1981) or they may feel that parents question their professional competence (Power, 1985).

Hoover-Dempsey, Fassler, and Brissie (1987) have found that the extent to which teachers perceive themselves as competent and effective may influence parent participation levels. Hoover-Dempsey et al. conducted a study of elementary teachers and principals in eight school districts representing different regions (urban, suburban, and rural) of a large mid-Southern state. These researchers were interested in examining variables associated with parent involvement in schools. Hoover-Dempsey et al. found that one of the predictors most consistently involved in parent involvement outcomes was teacher efficacy. Higher average levels of teacher efficacy were associated with higher levels of four parent









58


involvement outcomes: parent involvement in conferences, volunteering, home tutoring, and teacher perceptions of parent support. The findings of Hoover-Dempsey and her associates corroborate previous study findings that have suggested that low levels of teacher efficacy may be causal in reducing teacher-parent contact (Ashton, Webb, & Doda, 1983; Dembo & Gibson, 1985).

Attitudinal Barriers

Attitudinal barriers that influence parent activism in special education programming have been described by many observers. Sonnenschein (1984), for example, has postulated a seven-category conceptualization of professional attitudes and assumptions that.negatively influence parent-professional interaction: (a) the parent as vulnerable client; (b) the parent as patient; (c) the parent as responsible for the child's condition; (d) the parent as less observant, less perceptive, and less intelligent; (e) the parent as adversary; (f) parents as "pushy," "angry," "denying," "resistant," or "anxious;" and

(g) the parent as needing to be kept at a professional distance. Gorham (1975), Gliedman and Roth (1980), Murray and Cornell (1981), and Schulz (1987) have cited similar professional attitudes that may inhibit active parent participation in special education: stereotyping, blaming, denying parental expertise and knowledge about the child.









59


Negative attitudes towards educators on the part of parents have also been described. Schulz (1987) has pointed out that some parents, having found professionals in whom they have confidence, may become too dependent. Others may have unrealistic expectations of the professional and the child and may, therefore, subtly undermine or become dissatisfied with progress. Still other parents may harbor hostile attitudes toward educators that stem from (a) fear of being blamed for the child's problem, (b) jealousy of the professional's relationship with the child, (c) their own negative attitudes or abuse toward the child, or (d) nonacceptance of the child's diagnosis.

Cultural/Ideological Barriers

Culture and ideology create additional barriers that may influence negatively parents' participation in their handicapped child's education (Correa, 1987; Marion, 1979). Correa (1987) has referred to family tradition, family pride, patterns of interaction with nonfamily members, values related to time, and values related to the role of professionals as family-related cultural concerns that have particular influence on the participation of Hispanic parents in the education of their visually impaired children. Fruchter (1984), on the other hand, has cited limited minority administrative representation and control









60


of participatory structures as system-related barriers to active involvement by parents from ethnic and racial minority groups.

The impact of cultural barriers on parent

participation was addressed, using the empirical method, in the previously cited study by Lynch and Stein (1987). These researchers found that the Mexican-American parents in their study did not participate as extensively in their children's special education programs as did parents from other cultural backgrounds. Lynch and Stein reported that, during their interview, Hispanic parents often commented on issues related to culture. The parents felt that education decision making was the responsibility of the school. In addition, Lynch and Stein found that Hispanic parents were less knowledgable about the issues and processes affecting their children's education than parents of Anglo and Black students receiving special education services--a finding that is consistent with other study results (Strickland, 1983; Turnbull et al., 1983).

Linguistic differences were found by Lynch and Stein (1987) as additional barriers to active participation by Hispanic parents. Parents cited lack of bilingual communication as the third most significant barrier to their participation in their child's program. They suggested the availability of bilingual meetings as the









61


most important strategy for increasing their participation in parent education programs sponsored by the school. Black parents in the Lynch and Stein study cited general communication problems with the schools as the major barrier to their participation. Logistical Barriers

Logistical barriers have been found to create significant barriers to parent participation in IEP conferences (Pfeiffer, 1980; Leyser & Cole, 1984). During their interviews of 63 minority families, Lynch and Stein (1987) found that work was cited as the greatest impediment to participation. Transportation problems, child care needs, and time conflicts were cited by 54% of the Hispanic parents as other principal reasons for their nonattendance at the most recent school meeting held.

The negative impact of logistical problems on parent participation was supported across all ethnic and income groups in the Lynch and Stein study (1987). Seventy-four percent of Hispanic parents cited the selection of convenient times, the provision of earlier notice, and the provision of child care as the factore that would best ensure their presence in school activities. Black parents suggested the provision of more communication with parents and the provision of child care.









62


IEP Conference Variables

Some researchers have suggested that additional

barriers to active parent participation in educational planning for students with special needs may be found among IEP conference variables. As a result of their survey of 243 parents whose children represented nine special education categories, Witt, Miller, McIntyre, and Smith (1984) identified six independent variables that together accounted for 78% of the variance in parental satisfaction with interdisciplinary staffings. Foremost among these variables was staffing length; parents who reported satisfaction with the staffing indicated that- enough time had been allowed for the meeting. Witt et al. tentatively suggest, as a result of this finding, that insufficient time for meetings may effectively prevent mutual problem solving, reduce the interchange between parents and school personnel, and result in unilateral decision making on the part of the school district.

The number of professionals present in an IEP meeting has been postulated as an additional conference variable that may deter parent participation. Marion (1979) has warned that "the greatest deterrent to minority parent participation is that they might feel overwhelmed when they walk into a meeting and feel all the school people are lined up against them" (p. 9). Witt and his associates








63


(1984) found, however, that the variable of group size had little practical significance for the 234 parents interviewed in their study. Group size accounted for only three percent of the total variance in parental satisfaction with the conference. Parents in the study indicated that input from a number of people contributed to a good educational program and that it did not inhibit them or prevent good discussion. The failure of Witt et al. to identify the ethnicity of parents in their study makes it difficult to clarify the impact of group size on minority parent participation. Turnbull and Turnbull (1986) have suggested that meeting group size may affect different parents in different ways.

An investigation conducted by Wolf and Troup (1980)

sought to assess the methods used to involve parents in the development of IEPs for their children. In the Wolf and Troup study, 37 families of junior high students in a low income urban school were randomly divided into two groups. One group received written notice typically used by the school to 'invite parents to their regular IEP meeting. Notices were sent home with students and were the only communication parents in this group received. Parents in the second group were sent a letter in the mail inviting them to the IEP meeting. The letter was free of jargon and contained a tear-off section on which parents could









64


indicate their preferred time for meeting. A stamped, hand-addressed envelope was also enclosed so that parents might return their response to their child's resource teacher.

Six days after the mailing of the first letter, short hand-written notes were sent to parents who had not yet responded. Again, a response card and a stamped, addressed envelope were included. Parents who failed to respond to this second letter received a telephone call to ask if notices had been received and to emphasize the importance of parents' participation in the IEP meeting. Finally, home visits were made to parents who had neither responded to written communications not been reached by telephone.

Only 22% of parents who received the conventional IEP notice participated, whereas 58% of parents in the latter group participated in their child's IEP meeting. Wolf and Troup (1980) have maintained that the methods they used to communicate with this group not only increased the number of participating parents, but also improved the quality of their participation.

The results of the Wolf and Troup study, although

contributing somewhat to an area in which empirical data are conspicuously absent, must be interpreted cautiously as the researchers included no data beyond the percentage of parents attending the IEP conferences. Thus,








65


participation in the study was defined only in terms of attendance at the meeting; neither data on nor operational definitions of participation quality were provided.

A more methodologically sound investigation of

strategies for increasing parent participation in IEP meetings was conducted by Goldstein and Turnbull (1982). In the Goldstein and Turnbull study, 45 parents of children with learning disabilities were chosen from five elementary schools in one local education agency. Parents were randomly assigned to three groups. The first group received questions prior to the conference concerning their goals for their child, the student's educational potential, and the development of an IEP. The second group was accompanied to the conference by the school guidance counselor who functioned in the role of parent advocate. The third group received no intervention. Parental contributions (frequency and topical areas) at the IEP meeting were coded by a researcher who observed all parents in the study. Following the conference, parents received a questionnaire to which they responded in a telephone conference with a researcher within a week after the conference. The questionnaire probed their perceptions of their participation in the conference and their satisfaction with the conference and the resulting IEP.









66


The Goldstein et al. study resulted in the following findings:

1. The mean number of relevant contributions during

the IEP meeting was greater for the two

intervention groups than for the control group.

2. There was no significant difference between the

two intervention groups with regard to mean

number of contributions.

3. Significantly more contributions were made by

parents who were accompanied by a parent advocate

than by parents in the control group.

4. No statistical difference was found between the

groups for perception of participation or

parental satisfaction.

Although sounder than the study by Wolf and Troup (1980), the Goldstein et al. study has limitations that necessitate conservative interpretation and generalization of findings. For example, the authors described neither the subject selection process nor the subjects themselves. In addition, from a practical and ideological standpoint, the provision of an advocate may not be cost-effective and may reinforce the existing stereotype that parents are incapable of participating in the development of an IEP.

Of the approaches described for increasing parent

participation in special education processes, the provision








67


of parent training and education has perhaps received the most emphasis. Various categories of parent education approaches have been discussed in special education literature. Table 3 indicates some of these categories.



Table 3

Typology of Parent Education Approaches



Author Focus Program Category


Mori Early Intervention Home based
(1983) Center based
Home/Center based
Parent operated

Roth & Weller Parent Education/ Therapeutic
(1985) Counseling Informative
Management
Helpful hints

Shea & Bauer Parent Group Informational
(1986) Education Communication groups
Problem-solving groups

Discussion groups
Training groups


Most frequently advocated as the foci of parent training aimed at increasing participation in IEP conferences have been training regarding (a) the IEP process, (b) instructional planning skills for an IEP team member, and (c) effective interpersonal skills (Cutler,









68


1981; Goldstein et al., 1980; Markel & Greenbaum, 1979; Simpson, 1982; Lynch & Stein, 1987; Strickland & Goldstein, 1978). However, few data based descriptions exist regarding the impact of such training on parent participation outcomes.

A notable exception to this observation is an

investigation conducted by Brinkerhoff and Vincent (1987). Brinkerhoff and Vincent sought to increase parental decision making at the IEP meeting by implementing, for parents and school staff, a training package which resulted in IEPs that would link program goals to day-to-day living.

Fourteen parents with young handicapped children

participated in the study and were randomly assigned to an experimental and a control group. Parents in the experimental group (a) completed a developmental assessment on their child's current performance, (b) recorded a family profile, and (c) had a preconference meeting with a school/community liaison person to discuss the purpose and meaning of an IEP, the IEP participants and their roles, and the way in which information from the developmental assessment would contribute to IEP development. Parents in the control group received a letter stating the purpose of an IEP and the parent's role at the meeting.









69


Five school staff members were trained to facilitate parent participation by introducing parents in the experimental group to developmental assessment instruments and by completing an assessment summary sheet with these parents. Parents' subsequent IEP meetings were audiotaped and results were analyzed to determine (a) the duration of the meetings; (b) parents' percentage of contributions, percentage of decisions, number of parent generated goals; and (c) staff's percentage of contributions on instructional methods, percentage of decisions, number of home programming suggestions, and frequency for including parents in the decision making process. Follow-up questionnaires were completed by parents and staff. Questionnaire items focused on the quality of perceived parent participation, satisfaction with meeting content, and utility of developmental assessment information elicited from parents prior to the meeting.

Analysis of data regarding conference length indicated no significant difference in the average duration of experimental and control IEP meetings (42 minutes and 49, respectively.) Analysis of parent data indicated significantly greater participation for experimental parents than for control parents: respective mean percentages were 41 to 23 for parent contributions and 56 to 28 for parent decisions. Parents in the experimental









70


group generated 11 goals, whereas those in the control group generated only 2.

When all staff suggestions to parents were considered, there was no significant difference in the proportion of instructional suggestions they made to parents in the experimental group versus those they made to parents in the control group. However, staff averaged significantly more home-programming suggestions to parents in the experimental group than to parents in the control group (13 to 7, respectively.) In addition, staff made, on the average, significantly fewer decisions at experimental group IEP meetings than they did at control group meetings (44 to 72). The average number of jointly developed decisions was three for experimental group IEP meetings and less than one for control group meetings. This was reported as a significant difference beyond the .01 level.

Analysis of parent follow-up questionnaires revealed no significant differences for experimental and control group parents with regard to perceived participation. Both experimental and control group parents indicated extremely high levels of satisfaction. In addition to parent participation gains, the Brinkerhoff and Vincent study also produced improvements in the conference interaction of school staff.









71


Parent Participation in Transition Planning Conferences

Simpson (1982) maintained that parents must be

competent in more than a single type of conference. He has suggested that, as appropriate, training developed to facilitate parent participation should acquaint parents with the protocol, information needs, communication, evaluation mechanisms, and agenda preparation methods for a variety of parent-teacher conferences: evaluation sessions, problem-solving sessions, progress report conferences, and IEP meetings.

This investigator maintains that recent federal and local emphasis on transition and postschool service delivery necessitates that parents be competent in individualized transition conferences. No reports of parent participation in ITP conferences or of efforts to enhance participation at these conferences yet exist in professional literature. However, given researchers' findings that parent involvement in IEP conferences is typically passive and given the many barriers to participation previously described, it is reasonable to assume that active parental involvement in individualized transition planning conferences may not occur without intervention that prepares parents for the conferences. As Leyser and Cole (1984, p. 200) have noted, "It is not enough to afford parents the opportunity to participate








72


actively in the education of their child as mandated by law; a concerted effort needs to be made to prepare and train parents for the roles expected of them."

Everson and Moon (1987) have asserted that parents and family members are the most important elements in the process of transition from school to adult life because they are the only people to have continuous and stable contact with the student throughout the entire process. Two sources of empirical data provide compelling rationales for parent involvement in planning for the school-to-adult life transition of students with disabilities. The first is the research from which one may conclude that there are a number of disabled adults whose physical or mental disability prevents them from participating in a major adult activity: work.

Based on their review of major national studies that examined the level of economic self-sufficiency among individuals with a work disability, Kiernan and Bruininks (1986) have estimated that (a) between 1.4 and 1.64 million developmentally disabled adults are either unemployed or not in the labor force and (b) 34 percent of these individuals would like to work. Rusch and Phelps (1987) in reporting the results of a 1986 Harris telephone survey with a cross-section of 1,000 persons with handicaps, aged 16 and over, have concluded that:








73


1. 67% of all Americans with handicaps, between ages

16 and 64, are not working.

2. Individuals with handicaps are 75% more likely to

be employed part-time.

3. 67% of all unemployed persons with handicaps say

that they want to work.

The significant societal and personal costs associated with the unemployment and underemployment of youth with disabilities have raised the issue of transition to the level of a national priority (Rusch & Phelps, 1987). Among the variables thought to contribute to pervasive unemployment among youth with handicaps are the lack of transitional plans (Cobb & Phelps, 1983) and the lack of transitional support services (Rusch & Phelps, 1987).

The second source of data suggesting the need to involve parents actively in school transition-related conferences and activities is provided by studies in which the power of certain variables for predicting the postschool employment and community living status of youth and adults with handicapping conditions has been examined. In one such study, Kernan and Koegel (1980) examined the effect of the family and service delivery system support on the competitive status of 48 individuals with mild mental retardation. Essentially, their analysis revealed the following:









74


1. Individuals with mild retardation were likely to

be employed competitively or to be moving up the

employment ranks when there was an active and

involved family or service delivery support

system impelling the individual toward

competitive employment.

2. Individuals were less likely to be successful in

attaining employment or took longer to do so when

there was some encouragement (but little active

involvement) from either the family or service

delivery system.

3. Individuals were likely to remain in a sheltered

workshop or avoid seeking employment when family

support was not intact or when support from the

delivery system failed to emerge.

Schalock, Wolzen, Ross, Elliott, Werbel, and Peterson (1986) have presented the results of an evaluation of the employment and living status of 108 individuals with learning disabilities, educable mental handicaps, and mental retardation who graduated during the 5-year period between 1979-1983 from rural schools employing a community-based job exploration and training model. The researchers related statistically 19 predictor variables to 11 employment-related outcome variables. There were a









75


number of potential weaknesses of the study: complete data sets were available on only 108 or 81% of the 134 graduates, no squared multiple R exceeded 52%, and the sample size was small. Nevertheless, the investigation yielded potentially important implications for involving parents in transition meetings and vocational plans.

For example, although predictor variables differed according to the outcome measure analyzed, family involvement was one of the three most consistent predictor variables across outcome variables; the other two were number of semester hours in vocational programs and type of handicapping condition. Students whose families were rated as moderately to highly involved with their child's program (attending all IEP meetings and annual reviews and assuming an active role in vocational planning) did significantly better on each outcome variable.

Two additional factors suggest that active parent involvement in conferences that plan for the school-toadult life transition of students with disabilities may be more important than their active participation in IEP conferences that focus on school programming. The first factor relates to important distinctions between the nature of public school service delivery to students and the nature of community agency service delivery to adults.









76


Specifically, PL 94-142 mandates that schools identify students with disabilities and that they identify, locate, and provide any services deemed necessary to effect the educational progress of these students. Thus, a single entity--the public school--performs comprehensive case management and service delivery coordination for disabled students and their parents.

Public Law 98-199 (PL 98-199) amended PL 94-142 to place greater emphasis on transition. However, the law does not specify that a single agency has primary responsibility for identifying and coordinating the numerous services such adults might need to become productive workers, family members, and citizens of the community. Consequently, if young adults with disabilities are to access the variety of services that may be crucial to their successful adjustment in the community, the major responsibility for service location, case management, and service coordination falls squarely upon the shoulders of their families.

The second factor that highlights the importance of

active parental involvement in planning for the adult lives of their disabled children is inherent in descriptions of structural problems in the adult system of services. Conley, Noble, and Elder (1986) have cited staff









77


inadequacies, the number and complexity of service programs, resistance to change, eligibility problems, coordination problems, and absence of services as serious deterrents to the employment and community adjustment for disabled adults.

These problems cannot be remediated successfully by parents alone. Nevertheless, they emphasize the need for parents to develop knowledge and awareness that will better equip them to deal with the confusing world of adult services. The years preceeding a disabled student's transition from school to the community provide an optimal opportunity for parents to acquire this knowledge. Individualized transition planning conferences can provide parents with helpful information about services for disabled adults and can enable them to take advantage of the school's case management and service coordination experience to initiate contact with community services and programs. Additionally, this planning time can provide an opportunity for school personnel to gradually prepare parents to assume greater responsibility for case management and service coordination.

Wehman, Kregel, and Barcus (1985) have maintained that informed participation of parents and guardians is a critical component in the vocational transition process. They have also maintained that parents should be made aware








78


of employment alternatives available to their sons and daughters upon graduation and should be provided with an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to participate effectively in transition planning.

Wehman et al. (1987) believed that parent education

programs provide an effective method of training parents to represent their child's vocational interests. These authors suggested that transition-related parent education activities, which should begin at least by the time the student reaches age 16, should

1. orient parents to the community agencies providing

post school services to individuals with

disabilities;

2. familiarize parents with the specific

responsibilities of special education, vocational

education, vocational rehabilitation, and adult

service programs in the vocational transition

process; and

3. prepare parents to work with various agencies to

develop transition plans and to apply for future

services.

According to Wehman et al., systematically planned parent education programs will improve the effectiveness and maintenance of parent involvement in the transition process.









79


Systematic Development of Training Materials

The first step in planning an effective parent

education program is to devel-op training materials. The process for the systematic development and testing of training/instructional materials has been described by numerous educators (Armstrong, 1971; Briggs, 1970; Deterline, 1968; Morsink, 1980; Popham & Baker, 1971). Armstrong (1971) has suggested a 12-step flow-chart model which illustrates how research, development, and evaluation can provide information to improve material. Essentially, Armstrong's model views material and learner characteristics as inputs that facilitate specified learning as the output goal. The model includes development and research rationales, experimental testing of the program's content, and testing of the program's effectiveness with the target group. Although the model is comprehensive in overall scope and sequence, it is not explicit about directions for program writing. In addition, the model lacks adequate feedback loops during the early stages of development.

A shorter delineation by Popham and Baker (1971) of phases of the product development cycle supplements the Armstrong model with explicit directions for the formulation, specification, and prototype tryout of materials. Instructional design models developed by









80


Deterline (1968) and Briggs (1970) have contributed to the process of material development and evaluation at the level of program writing. In Table 4 the development/evaluation sequence for each of these models is delineated.

Morsink (1980) has synthesized previous models and has generated a comprehensive logic diagram for systematically developing and testing instructional materials. The model stresses evaluation and redesign. The model contains six major steps or decision points, each with a number of subtasks and continuous feedback loops:

1. State problem.

2. Formulate rationale.

3. Develop specifications.

4. Develop prototype materials.

5. Evaluate materials.

6. Disseminate materials.

Although more comprehensive and specific than the other models described, the model developed by Morsink addresses the design and evaluation of student instructional materials only. The present investigation, however, was focused upon the development and evaluation of a process that includes both training materials and procedures designed to increase parents' participation in ITP meetings. Therefore, the model has been modified to








81


Table 4

Selected Instructional Development/Evaluation Models


Model


Development/Evaluation Sequence


Armstrong (1971)












Popham and Baker (1971)


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10. 11.
12.


State research rationale Select program rationale Plan experiment Write program Write tests Produce package Contact field Conduct field testing Evaluate program Conduct experimental evaluation Revise
Disseminate


1. Formulate concept
Decision on the product's worth, cost, availability of competing products, and target population
2. Develop instructional specification
Delineation of objectives and
entry-level behaviors
3. Try out prototype items
Administration of prototype items
to target group for the purpose of
modifying specifications
4. Develop product
Initial preparation, small tryouts,
and revisions
5. Conduct product tryout
Extensive use of materials with
targeted groups in the setting for
which materials were developed
6. Revise product
Changes made as a result of data
collected during tryout
7. Complete operation analysis
Staff appraisal of procedures









82


Table 4--Continued


Model


Development/Evaluation Sequence


Deterline (1968) Briggs (1970)


1. State objectives
Statement of training objectives in
terms of observable behaviors
2. Design criterion tests
Design of test items which match
objectives
3. Specify training requirements
Identification of training needed
4. Conduct task analysis
Task analysis to clarify objectives
and plan instruction
5. Select instructional media
Selection of media based on
objectives, task analysis, and
criterion test
6. Select methods
Use of objectives, task analysis,
and criterion test to determine how
to present content 7. Conduct validation
Test of trainees' attainment of
objectives as basis for revision of
instruction

1. State objective and performance
standards
2. prepare tests over the objective
3. Analyze objectives for structure and
sequence
4. Identify assumed entering
competencies
5. Prepare pretests and remedial
instruction, adaptive program, or
dual-track program
6. Select media and write prescriptions
7. Develop first draft materials
8. Conduct small-group tryouts and
revise
9. Conduct classroom tryouts and revise 10. Evaluate performance








83


reflect this broader emphasis. The resulting logic diagram contains six major steps for the development and evaluation of a process designed to increase parent participation. Each step of the new model contains a number of substeps and provides continuous feedback loops. Figure 1 depicts the new model.

The remainder of Chapter II is a summary of the parent

participation literature previously described as it relates to steps 1 and 2 of the model (statement of the problem and formulation of rationale). Steps 3-6 are explained in Chapters III, IV, and V. The steps include procedures for the development and evaluation of the training program, the statement of results, the discussion of the process, and the recommended modifications that should be addressed prior to dissemination.

Summary

Critical issues affecting Step 1 of the model,

statement of the problem, have been examined throughout the review of literature. To summarize, parents of students with disabilities have not been active participants in IEP conferences; there is little cause to hope that they will take a more active role in ITP conferences without intervention. Parents targeted for this study are those who have adolescents enrolled in secondary programs for students with learning disabilities or mental retardation.









84













I. STATE PROBLEM


**VMATMNO





1ESEMMC
QUEMMM N STAXE RESEMtCH
STATED MESON





TEM DEMNEM NO DEMIE TEMW


FiQure 1. Logic diagram for Development and Evaluation of a Parent Participation Process









85


II. SELECT RATIONALE FOR
PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT







REVIEW LTRTURE NO PARENT PATC:PATIO






BARIEM TO
PARTRCWAT*ON NO IDENTIFY BARRIERS



.. EVERATURE NO BRISREN






NO PRGRAUS NO ETFECIN


EXISTING
REVIEW LITERATURE NO PARN TRAINING






F RIAS N O




rTP PARENT TAN NO SIL~MD Figure 1--Continued.









86


]]IA. DEVELOP TRAINING PROGRAM


TRAINING MA E
DESCRIBED?





MODULE OBJEC=ES No SPECIFY MODULE
SPECQlED OBECTTVES





PROGRAM PiLOT NO CNUTS~l
TESTED?GRU YOT






REVISIONS PNOES





PARENT TRAINING NO CONDUCT PARN


Figure 1--Continued.










III B. EVALUATE TRAINING PROGRAM












- oS L C SI E T















SEC=N COME CMONDW






INNO













A E DATA Figure 1--Continued.


87







88


IV. ANALYZE DATA V. DISCUSS RESULTS OF PROGRAM EVALUATION
















T E
| CVO.DUCEMNTE | OTHC NLSS


Figure 1--Continued.









89


A rationale (Step 2) for the development and

evaluation of a program for improving parent participation has been provided in the literature reviewed. Those who have studied the problem have disclosed an obvious distinction between the role many individuals think parents should play in the education of students with disabilities and the roles they actually take. Thus, the review supports a major premise of the present study: a difference exists between the idealized and the actual participation roles of parents.

The purpose of the program developed and evaluated in this investigation was to train parents to participate in ITP conferences in a way that more closely approximates the ideal of active involvement. It was the primary hypothesis of this investigation that the development of training materials and the delivery of training would bring actual parent participation into closer alignment with expected ideals. It is acknowledged that the provision of training alone is not sufficient to solve the problem of minimal parent participation, since psychological, attitudinal, cultural, and logistic barriers often mitigate strongly against active parent involvement.

Although a few training programs currently exist in

the area of transition training, none of them are designed









90


to enable parents to overcome these barriers. In addition, none of the existing programs have been systematically developed and empirically validated.

According to the summary of the literature, parent

participation can be enhanced if there is a comprehensive training program which includes the following:

1. general guidelines and suggestions to professionals

about enhancing parent participation and parenteducator communication;

2. specific guidelines for professionals about

preparing and conducting conferences;

3. suggestions to parents about preconference

activities that would enhance their active

involvement; and

4. training packages, modules, and models, that are

designed to enhance parent participation in

meetings.

These packages should be systematically developed, with consideration for the socio-economic, cultural, emotional, and logistic or environmental variables that may affect parent participation (Lynch & Stein, 1987; Marion, 1979; Schulz, 1987; Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986). Finally, the entire training program should be evaluated, through an empirical method, using multiple data sources, to determine the impact of the program on parents'









91



knowledge about, participation in, and satisfaction with the ITP conference. The procedures for the development and evaluation of this type of training program, have been described in Chapter III.















CHAPTER III
METHODS AND PROCEDURES



Chapter III contains a description of the methods and procedures of the training program development process and of the empirical study designed to evaluate the training program and materials. For purposes of presentation, the chapter has been divided into six sections. The sections contain, respectively, descriptions of (a) the development of the training program, (b) the research objectives, (c) the subjects, (d) the instrumentation, (e) the evaluation procedures, (f) the training-methods, and (g) treatment of the data.

Development of Training Program

As indicated by Step III of the logic diagram at the end of Chapter II, description of the training materials constituted the first substep in the process of developing the training program. The training program materials developed for the present study included a parent training module and three evaluation instruments. The training module was designed to provide parents with knowledge that might enable them to participate more actively in the ITP


92




Full Text

PAGE 1

THE DEVELOPMENT, IMPLEMENTATION, AND EVALUATION OF A PRECONFERENCE TRAINING STRATEGY FOR ENHANCING PARENTAL PARTICIPATION IN AND SATISFACTION WITH THE TRANSITION PLANNING CONFERENCE By ROSALIE S. BOONE A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1989

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Copyright 1989 by Rosalie S. Boone

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ACKNOWLE DGEMENTS I want to thank all my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Simmons, Narval, Eliot, and Henry, whose nurturance and love continue to sustain me and whose confidence in me is a constant source of strength. I am glad to have this opportunity to acknowledge the members of my doctoral committee who, despite distance and time, continued to believe in and encourage me throughout the years it took me to complete my degree. Dr. Morsink and Dr. Johnson, especially, provided more support than any doctoral student could hope for, and I will always be grateful. I am deeply indebted to a number of other individuals for their unwavering faith, tireless support, and generous assistance. I thank Norma Jean Stodden and Ann Nevin for their ability to empower others. A special "thank you" is extended to Sarah Bisconer, Phyllis Browder, and Loretta Serna, without whose friendship, expertise, and support I would not have prevailed. Lydia's encouragement and assistance were truly blessings. I am grateful to Cheryl, Miguel, Joy, and other friends far and near, whose interest buoyed me and whose tolerance humbled me. To all the 111

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teachers who participated in the study, Laura, Debbie, Steve, Shirley, and Stephanie, I acknowledge your commitment to education and to the well-being of your students. Finally, I sincerely thank Charlie whose patience, nurturance, faith, and assistance never failed. IV

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TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iii ABSTRACT vii CHAPTERS I INTRODUCTION 1 Background of the Problem 2 Statement of the Problem 5 Primary Research Questions 7 Definition of Terms 8 Delimitations 16 Limitations 16 II LITERATURE REVIEW 17 Introduction 17 Parent Roles in the Education of Students with Disabilities 20 The Nature of Team Decisions and The Team Decision-Making Process 37 Barriers to Parent Participation 55 Systematic Development of Training Materials ... 79 Summary • 83 III METHODS AND PROCEDURES 9 2 Development of a Training Program 92 Description of Research Objectives 95 Description of Subjects 96 Instrumentation 100 Description of Training and Evaluation Procedures 109 Treatment of the Data 115 Summary 118 v

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IV RESULTS 120 Research Question 1 127 Research Question 2 130 Follow-Up Analyses 134 Research Question 4 154 Summary 156 V DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS 159 Review of Study Purpose and Objectives 159 Review of the Literature 160 Review of Research Questions 164 Review of Methods: Program Development and Implementation 165 Review of Methods: Program Evaluation 166 Summary of Hypotheses 168 Summary of Research Findings 169 Interpretation and Discussion of Results 171 Practical Application of Study Results and Implications 186 Summary 191 REFERENCES 19 3 APPENDICES A TRANSITION AWARENESS MODULE 209 B TRANSITION AWARENESS TRAINING INSTRUMENT 235 C PARENT CONFERENCE OPINION QUESTIONNAIRE 238 D TRANSITION CONFERENCE PARTICIPATION INSTRUMENT . 240 E INFORMED CONSENT FORM 242 F GUIDELINES FOR CONDUCTING THE ITP CONFERENCE ... 244 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 246 vi

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education THE DEVELOPMENT, IMPLEMENTATION, AND EVALUATION OF A PRECONFERENCE TRAINING. STRATEGY FOR ENHANCING PARENTAL PARTICIPATION IN AND SATISFACTION WITH THE TRANSITION PLANNING CONFERENCE By Rosalie S. Boone August 1989 Chairperson: Catherine Morsink Major Department: Special Education The ideal picture of parent involvement in the education of students with disabilities has been described as one in which parents collaborate actively with professionals in order to make decisions that affect the education of students with disabilities. Individualized transition planning conferences (ITP conferences) provide the setting in which educators and parents are expected to make decisions concerning the adult program and service delivery needs of students with disabilities. However, barriers such as lack of information, socio-economic concerns, and cultural differences typically impede parents' ability to participate actively in parentprofessional conferences. Furthermore, few attempts have been made to provide training that will prepare parents specifically for active participation in school conferences . vii

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In the current research, a training program was designed both to prepare ethnically diverse parents for active participation in transition planning conferences and to address the barriers that often impede parent f involvement. The development and evaluation of the training program represents the culmination of four years of involvement with parents and disabled students through two projects designed to improve the quality of transition service delivery in the state of Hawaii. The researcher has described a model for the development and evaluation of training programs. The program development process, during which training materials and procedures were systematically created, field tested, and revised, has been addressed in detail. Also described is the program evaluation process, during which the impact of training was evaluated by (a) comparing the observed ITP conference participation of 15 parents who received training with the observed participation of 15 parents who did not receive training, and (b) comparing the ITP conference satisfaction ratings of parents who received training with the ratings of parents who received no training. Finally, the researcher has discussed the implications of research findings for the development, delivery, and evaluation of future training designed to increase parents' involvement in the education of their disabled youngsters. viii

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CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Experts have suggested that individualized transition planning is essential for appropriate post-school programming and service delivery (Johnson, Bruininks, & Thurlow, 1987; Schutz, 1986). Individualized transition planning focuses on making decisions that will affect the adult lives of handicapped individuals once they no longer officially fall under the aegis of the public school system. Although not specifically mandated by law as the vehicle for post-school planning, the individualized transition planning (ITP) conference constitutes a parent-professional communication vehicle that is analogous to the individualized education program (IEP) conference. The desirability and importance of parental participation in school-based educational planning for handicapped students are well documented in studies that indicate that handicapped students benefit when their parents take an active role in their children's education (Baker, Heifetz, & Murphy, 1980; Bronf enbrenner , 1974; Gallagher & Vietze, 1985; Gordon & Davidson, 1981). 1

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2 However, as handicapped students prepare to exit secondary school, thus losing access to comprehensive school-directed service coordination and case management, the need increases for parents to participate actively in developing plans to assure that the adult requirements of their special offspring are met (Polloway, Patton, Payne, & Payne, 1989; Winton, 1986). It was the major hypothesis of the current study that carefully developed training can prepare parents for this role. Thus, one purpose of the study was to develop and implement a parent education module designed to facilitate active parent participation in transition planning conferences. A second purpose was to evaluate the training materials and procedures developed in order to make meaningful revisions prior to material dissemination and general use. The third purpose was to assess the effect of the training program developed upon parent participation in and opinions about the ITP conference held for their handicapped adolescent. Background of the Problem In the last decade, significant national attention has been focused on the importance of parental interaction and participation on educational teams involved in planning for the delivery of educational services to handicapped students. It can reasonably be concluded that in no other legislative enactment has the importance of

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3 parental interaction and participation been more clearly emphasized than in the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94-142). In the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, parental participation in the education of handicapped children was established as a requirement for proper program planning. Turnbull and Blatcher-Dixon (1980) and Turnbull (1983) have cited three factors that contributed to Congressional recognition that parent involvement should be mandated by law: 1. convincing experimental evidence that parents can influence positively the educational development of their children (Baker, 1984; Baker, Heifetz & Murphy, 1980; Bronfenbrenner , 1974; Heifetz, 1977; Manolson, 1979); 2. encouraging results of early intervention in ameliorating the developmental deficits associated with actual and "at-risk" handicaps (Bronfenbrenner, 1974) ; 3. the success of litigation by parents to establish the educational rights of their handicapped children. The principles of PL 94-142 have had major implications for defining the nature of shared decision making between parents and educators (Turnbull

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4 & Blatcher-Dixon, 1980) . By mandating that parents be included as members of the team that creates the IEP, PL 94-142 has supported and encouraged active parental participation in defining curriculum and in specifying the nature of special education placement and services appropriate to the needs of handicapped students. As stated in the 1981 Federal Register , the IEP committee meeting "serves as a communication vehicle between parents and school personnel and enables them, as equal participants , to jointly decide what the child's needs are, what services will be provided to meet those needs, and what the anticipated outcomes will be" (p. 5462) . Schulz (1987) described parent participation in the development and implementation of the IEP as having the potential to be "the realization of a dream frequently expressed by educators, the opportunity to work with parents in planning for their children" (p. 99) . Dreams notwithstanding, numerous investigators have found that passing a law that provides the opportunity for parents to participate equally and actively in educational planning does not ensure that they will do so (Goldstein, Strickland, Turnbull, & Curry, 1980? Lynch & Stein, 1987). Turnbull and Turnbull (1986) and Schulz (1987) have

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5 provided a thoughtful and provocative discussion of the barriers that impede active parental participation in the IEP process. They have cited psychological, attitudinal, communication, and logistical factors as primary impediments to parent participation in family-school partnerships and, in addition, they have detailed strategies for minimizing those barriers. Numerous educators have continued to grapple with the problem of how to increase the level of parent involvement in decision making that affects school-based programming and service delivery (Goldstein & Turnbull, 1982; Lynch & Stein, 1987; Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986). Still others have begun to call for active parent involvement in decision-making that affects students ' post-school programming and service needs (Hardman & McDonnell, 1987; Johnson et al . , 1987). Expectations for cooperative family-school decision making have grown to include systematic planning for the transition of handicapped students from school environments into community settings and productive adult roles. Statement of the Problem Although the special education literature contains some data-based studies pertaining to parental

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6 participation in IEP conferences (Lusthaus, Lusthaus, & Gibbs, 1981; Scanlon, Arick, & Phelps, 1981), few studies have been conducted that have utilized direct observation as a mechanism for describing that participation (Brinkerhoff & Vincent, 1987; Goldstein et al., 1980; Lynch & Stein, 1982; McKinney & Hocutt, 1982). Furthermore, few data-based investigators have implemented training strategies for increasing parent participation in IEP conferences (Brinkerhoff & Vincent, 1987; Goldstein & Turnbull, 1982) . Finally, previous researchers have investigated parent participation in the individualized transition planning conferences that are beginning to take place in response to growing emphasis on meeting the post-school needs of handicapped students. If educators and other concerned individuals hope to ensure that ITP conferences are effective, materials and strategies that facilitate planning efforts and the participation of parents in these planning efforts must be carefully developed and assessed. Consequently, this investigator has studied the effects of preconference training on parents ' participation in subsequent ITP conferences for mildly and moderately handicapped high

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7 school students. The major research objectives of the study were as follow: 1. to develop, implement, and measure the effectiveness of transition awareness training (TAT) as a strategy for empowering parents to participate actively in ITP conferences ; 2. to determine the level of ITP conference participation for parents who received training; 3 . to determine whether parents who received training and parents who received no training differ significantly regarding their satisfaction with and opinions about the ITP conference. Primary Research Questions The investigator, by (a) designing and conducting parent training that focused on transition awareness, (b) evaluating the effectiveness of this training, (c) measuring the level of ITP conference participation for parents who received transition awareness training and for parents who received no training, and (d) measuring the opinions of trained and untrained parents about the ITP

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8 conference which follows the training, explored the following questions: 1. Do parents who have completed Transition Awareness Training have greater knowledge about the definition, rationale, and value of transition planning than do parents who have not received Transition Awareness Training? 2. Do parents who have completed Transition Awareness Training participate more fully in the ITP conference, as measured by the frequency of their conference citations, than do parents who have not received this preconference training? 3 . Do parents who received preconference Transition Awareness Training differ in their opinions about and their satisfaction with the ITP conference from parents who received no training? Definition of Terms The central focus of this study was the development and evaluation of a training strategy designed to increase parent participation in ITP conferences. Technical terms were used for the purpose of discussion and for reporting procedures, methods, and results. The following definitions are provided in order to clarify unfamiliar

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9 terms and to assist the reader in the interpretation of the results. The term mentally retarded students refers to students with significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning resulting in or associated with impairments in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period (Grossman, 1983, p. 11). The term learning disabled students refers to students with a disorder in one of more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term does not include children who have learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage (U.S. Office of Education, 1977, p. 65083). The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is a vehicle provided by Public Law 94-142 for the development of an education program based on multidisciplinary assessment and designed to meet the individual needs of handicapped students (Hardman, Drew, & Egan, 1984) . The IEP consists of a written statement developed for each handicapped student in a meeting that includes a local education agency

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10 representative, the teacher, the parents or guardian, and, whenever appropriate, the child. The IEP must include 1. a statement of the present levels of educational performance; 2. a statement of annual goals, including short-term instructional objectives; 3. a statement of the specific educational services to be provided . . . , and the extent to which [the] child will be able to participate in regular educational programs; 4. the projected date for initiation and anticipated duration of such services, and appropriate objective criteria and evaluation procedures and schedules for determining, on at least an annual basis, whether instructional objectives are being achieved (Education for All Handicapped Children Act of 1975, p. 3) . As used in the context of special education, transition refers to movement from school environments, roles, and expectations, to the environments, roles, and expectations of the adult community. In 1983 Congress authorized a new federal initiative for secondary and transitional services to handicapped youth. Transition can be conceptualized as a school-to-community model wherein transition is viewed as the intermediate phase of the school-to-adult life continuum. Thus, activities that occur during transition relate to programming and services provided jointly by school personnel and personnel from the employment and other adult sectors of the community. Investigators reporting on post-school outcomes for

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11 handicapped youth have drawn specific attention to the need for improvment in the scope and quality of transition services and service planning efforts (Halpern, Close, & Nelson, 1986; Hasazi, Gordon, & Roe, 1985; Mithaug, Horiuchi, & Fanning, 1985; Wehman, Kregel, & Barcus, 1985). Individualized Transition Planning refers to the service-oriented and programmatic planning done to facilitate the successful movement of handicapped youth from secondary school settings into work and other adult community environments, roles, and responsibilities. Benz and Halpern (1987) described transition planning as formalizing a "question-answer process directed at determining what the student will be doing, where he or she will be living, and what type of support will be needed to accomplish his or her goals" (p. 508) . In response to the Congressional authorization of new initiatives for transitional services, Will (1984), in a document distributed by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation (OSERS) , defined the following components as critical to transition planning: 1. effective high school programs that prepare students to work and live in the community; a broad range of adult service programs than can meet the various support needs 2 .

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12 of individuals with handicaps in employment and community settings; 3. comprehensive and cooperative transition planning between educational and community service agencies in order to develop needed services for graduates . The Individualized Transition Plan (ITP) has been suggested as a component of the legally required Individualized Education Plan specifically related to meaningful and efficient preparation for changes within and between environments (Brown, Pumpian, Baumgart, Vandeventer, Ford, Nisbet, Schroeder, & Gruenewald, 1981) . Brown et al. have maintained that the Individualized Transition Plan should reflect the following non-mutually exclusive characteristics: 1. Comprehensive nature. The ITP should be designed and implemented to represent each domain in which, as an adult, the student will be expected to function as independently and productively as possible. Domains which have been specified as particularly relevant include vocational,

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13 recreational/leisure, residential, and general community environments. t 2. Individualized nature. The ITP should contain precisely stated transition objectives, training activities, materials, and evaluation strategies which are functionally related to a unigue subseguent life space. 3. Longitudinal nature. Development of the ITP should begin well before a student is scheduled to finish high school and should provide for increasing amounts of time spent in actual postschool environments as the student ages. 4. Involvement of parents and guardians. The design and implementation of future-oriented ITPs should reflect efforts to increase the nature, intensity, and durability of parent/guardian involvment in the educational programs of their children. Participation of both sending and receiving personnel. Senders, persons responsible for preparing students to 5.

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14 function in subsequent environments, and receivers, those responsible for providing services in subsequent environments, should be involved jointly in designing and implementing experiences which will maximize students' subsequent functioning. 6. Focused expertise of related service personnel. Physical therapists, psychologists, physicians, social workers, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, instructional supervisors, administrators, and other related services personnel should obtain critical information about the range of environments for which students are being prepared and should then provide expertise which will assist in the transition. 7 . Direct instruction in a variety of actual subsequent environments. Transition plans should enhance the potential for development and generalization of functional skills by

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providing for instruction in actual subsequent environments. 15 Transition Awareness Training refers to training developed by the researcher and formatted into an instructional module. The training was designed to provide knowledge to parents about the value and the benefits of planning for the transition of their disabled son or daughter before the student leaves high school. Parent acquisition of the information provided by the training will be measured by the Transition Awareness Training Instrument. Parent Citation refers to comments made by parents at the ITP conference. A citation is defined as a communication unit, that is a word or group of words that convey a single semantic meaning and can stand alone (Loban, 1963) . Level of Parent Participation in the ITP conference refers, in this study, to the frequency of parent citations in ITP conferences. Total number or frequency of parent citations will provide the focus of analyses and discussion. All parent conference citations will be measured using the Transition Conference Participation Instrument.

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16 Delimitations The study was delimited by geographical restriction to five secondary schools representing three school districts on the island of Oahu. Oahu is the capital of the seven inhabited Hawaiian islands. The study was also delimited by the age groupings of subjects, who, as parents of high school students, were primarily in their thirties, forties, and fifties. Finally, ethnic diversity of study subjects was actively sought. Thus the study was delimited by the eight ethnic groups represented among subjects. Limitations Sample size constituted a limitation of the study. Thirty subjects participated in the study; 15 were in the experimental group and 15 were in the control group. Due to ITP conference availability, the opportunity to randomize or match subjects was limited.

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CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction The role that parents play in the education of their handicapped sons and daughters has received extensive attention and treatment in public and private, as well as in professional and nonprofessional forums. Once viewed as the source of a child's disability or as scapegoats, and even as part of the problem (Kirk & Gallagher, 1979; Turnbull & Turnbull, 1982, 1986), parents of children with handicaps "are now seen ... as part of the solution" (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1982, p. 115). Parents, educators, advocates, researchers, and a host of theorists have proclaimed the value of an active parental role in education in assisting students with handicapping conditions to gain maximum benefit from their education (Hoover-Dempsey, Bassler, & Brissie, 1987; Turnbull & Turnbull, 1982; Witt, Miller, McIntyre, & Smith, 1984). Implications of this shift in philosophy regarding the role of parents in the education of children with disabilities can be surmised by reviewing the many roles professionals have expected of parents of students with 17

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18 handicaps during the past decade. In Table 1, a listing of the roles most commonly cited in the literature as appropriate for parents of children with disabilities is provided. The roles played by parents of students with disabilities in their children's education can also be more fully understood by conceptualizing them according to the sociological construct of role theory. Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (1983) has defined a role as "a socially expected behavior pattern usually determined by an individual's status in a particular society" (p. 1021). Social theorists have suggested that the roles that individuals play during their lives can be conceptualized as patterns of behavior that are mandated or prescribed by law (mandated roles) , patterns of behavior which are generally viewed as ideal (idealized roles), and patterns of behavior in which individuals actually engage (actual roles) . Central to an understanding of this conceptualization of roles is the recognition that discrepancies may exist among individuals' mandated, idealized, and actual roles. The present literature review focuses on special education literature published over the last 10-12 years regarding the roles that parents assume in the education of their children with disabilities. In the first sections of the review, the construct of mandated,

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19 Table 1 Roles Commonly Ascribed to with Disabilities Parents of Children Role Source Teachers of children with disabilities Shearer & Shearer, 1977 Heward, Dardig, & Rossett, 1979 Schulz, 1982 Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986 McCormick & Schiefelbusch, 1984 Political advocates/ political activists Kirk & Gallagher, 1979 Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986 Organization members Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986 Service developers/ providers of special education Kirk & Gallagher, 1979 Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986 Schulz, 1987 Recipients of professionals' decisions Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986 Schulz, 1987 Educational decision makers Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986 Participants in the educational process Kirk & Gallagher, 1979 Schulz, 1987 Partners Kirk & Gallagher, 1979 Providers of information Yoshida, Fenton, Kaufman, & Maxwell, 1978

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20 idealized, and actual roles is used to address the issue of parents' participation in special education. In this portion of the literature review, assumptions that underlie mandated and idealized parent roles, describes the actual roles that parents play, and identifies discrepancies among these mandated, idealized, and actual roles are explored. In subsequent sections of the review, literature is used first to describe barriers that have impeded parental fulfillment of expected educational roles and then to explore the efficacy of strategies that have been used to increase parent participation in the education of students with disabilities. Parent Roles in the Education of Students with Disabilities Turnbull and Turnbull (1982) have described three education-related roles that, during the past decade, have been widely advocated for parents of children with disabilities and that effectively encompass the roles most often suggested for parents. According to Turnbull and Turnbull, parents of handicapped students are expected to assume the roles of (a) systematic teachers of their offspring, (b) ensurers of educational rights and educational quality, and (c) decision makers in the educational process. Turnbull and Turnbull maintained that these expected parent roles are based on assumptions

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21 regarding the presumed impact parents have on the education of their youngsters with disabilities. Parents as Teachers of Handicapped Children: Mandated and Idealized Roles Although legislation has not explicitly mandated a teacher role for parents, writers of educational literature have reported that prevailing societal philosophy during the last decade has emphasized and idealized the role of parents as providers of systematic home instruction for children with disabilities. Turnbull and Turnbull (1982) pointed out that support for the idealized role of "parents-as-teachers" was inextricably linked to the belief that, with training, parents can affect the educational development of their youngsters with disabilities. This belief was well illustrated in testimony given during Congressional hearings concerning The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) by Senator Williams, a major proponent of the bill. In referring to the stipulation made in PL 94-142 that annual individualized educational plans be developed for each handicapped student by parents and educators, Williams commented that: The individualized planning conference is also intended as a method of providing additional parent counseling and training so that the parent may bolster the educational process at home.... One of the greatest benefits that can come to the handicapped child is to have parents brought into the conferences, because the

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22 education of the child continues after the school door closes and the child is at home. This is one of the reasons the idea of the mandatory conference was developed, to make sure the parent is part of the education of the child. (126 Congressional Record S1950, daily ed., June 18, 1975) (Statement of Senator Williams) Belief in the value of the parent-teacher role has also been echoed by numerous professionals who have maintained that: The role of parents in carrying out instructional programs in the home with their handicapped child is critical. Research shows that handicapped children progress much faster in all areas when their home environment supports and extends school programming. Parents can be instrumental in teaching their handicapped child many academic, social, self-help, communication, and vocational skills. (Heward, Dardig, & Rossett, 1979, p. 6) . According to Turnbull and Turnbull (1982), emphasis on the role of parents as learners and teachers peaked in the 1970s, when increased recognition of the influence of environment on intelligence led to efforts to overcome environmental deficits. Many programs were developed to incorporate minorities and other target populations into the mainstream by improving perceived educational weaknesses of parents and the home environment. Thus, programs such as Head Start offered parent training directed at teaching parents how to be better teachers of their children. This approach was generalized to parents of children with disabilities who were viewed as agents for

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23 increasing children's progress and achievement (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1982). Early childhood education programs, in particular, have stressed parent training to such an extent that early childhood projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education were expected to "develop training programs for parents with the objective of teaching parents to be effective in working with and teaching their own child" (Shearer & Shearer, 1977, p. 213). Turnbull and Turnbull (1982) have hypothesized that underlying the belief in the idealized role of parents as teachers are the following assumptions: 1. All handicapped children will benefit from parental instruction. 2. All parents can and should be teachers of their children. All parents are interested and willing to receive counseling and training to fulfill this role. While they have acknowledged the impressive success many parents of children with disabilities have achieved as teachers of their children (Boyd, 1980; Bricker & Bricker, 1976; Karnes & Teska, 1980). Turnbull and Turnbull (1982) have questioned the validity of the above assumptions and have maintained that the idealized role of parents as teachers may not be an appropriate one for all parents of children with handicaps. Referring to the competencies

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24 identified by Karnes and Teska (1980) as desirable for parents engaged in direct teaching of the handicapped child * at home, Turnbull and Turnbull (1986) have declared that no more is required of master's-level special education teachers. They question "whether it is realistic to expect parents to engage in this role to such a substantial degree" (p. 14) . Consequently, Turnbull and Turnbull and other professionals (Foster, Berger, & McLean, 1981; Lynch & Stein, 1982; Morgan, . 1982 ; Yoshida, 1982) have begun to advocate acceptance of a range of parent involvement choices and options matched to the individualized needs and interests of parents (McCormick & Schiefelbusch, 1984; Morgan, 1982; Schulz, 1987; Turnbull & Turnbull, 1982, 1986) . Parents as Teachers of Handicapped Children: Actual Roles Despite the growing reservations of some professionals regarding the appropriateness of the idealized parent-teacher role for all parents of children with handicaps, evidence does exist that supports the assumption that parents can be effective teachers. Kaiser and Fox (1985) have noted that "there is an increasingly well-defined scientific data base attesting to measurable, reliable, and replicable changes in parent and child

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25 behavior as a function of training parents in the application of learning theory-based procedures" (p. 219). Researchers studying parent effectiveness in the role of teacher have, for the most part, have focused on early intervention efforts with parents of young handicapped children. In particular, parents of young mentally retarded children have been trained to use basic behavioral principles to modify their children's behavior and to teach new skills. In Table 2 some of the studies where results demonstrated that children with disabilities can benefit from instruction delivered by their parents are indicated. These investigators have demonstrated that (a) parents can acquire and demonstrate proficiency in learning behavioral principles and specific theory-based procedures; (b) following training, parents can accurately apply these principles and procedures in interactions with their children; and (c) child behavior can be reliably changed through parents' applications of behavioral procedures (Baker, 1984; Kaiser & Fox, 1985).

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26 Table 2 Studies that Revealed that Children with Disabilities Benefit from Parental Instruction Investigator Date Area Taught Carpenter & Augustine 1973 Communication , language MacDonald, Blott, Gordon, Spiegel, & Hartman 1974 Development Manolson 1979 Lombardino & Mangan 1983 Sandler, Coren & Thurman 1983 Heifetz 1977 Rose 1974 Watson & Bassinger 1974 Butterfield & Parson 1973 Feeding skills Rose 1974 Freeman & Thompson 1973 Motor imitation Rose 1974 Self help skills Watson & Bassinger 1974 Mash & Terdal 1973 Appropriate playbehaviors Heifetz 1977 Behavior problems Rose 1974 Tavormina 1975 Tavormina, Hampson, & Luscomb 1976

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27 Many of the studies had similar procedural limitations and methodological problems (Franks, 1982; Gordon & Davidson, 1981; Kaiser & Fox, 1985) . Discussions of limitations have focused primarily on 1. analyses of training effects in terms of number of behaviors treated, settings, time periods over which behavior change was evaluated; 2. quality of child behavior data; 3. adequacy of the experimental designs used to evaluate treatment; 4 . magnitude of change in parent and in child behavior; 5. generalizability of results; 6. analysis of the effects of various training formats on parent performance; 7. durability of effects. In addition, few researchers have thoroughly analyzed the generalized and long-term effects of behavioral training with parents whose children have mental or behavioral disabilities (Baker, 1984; Lutzker, McGimsey, McRae, & Campbell, 1983) . Research reports that have described generalization across settings and maintenance of parent training with children who have mental handicaps were P ar ^icularly sparse and, because of methodological concerns, should be interpreted cautiously (Kaiser & Fox,

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28 1985) . Despite methodological flaws, however, the research available supported the assumption that children with disabilities can benefit from systematic parental instruction and thus suggested a somewhat positive relationship between the ideal and the actual parent-teacher role. Thorough review of the actual role of parents as teachers was not provided by the researchers cited above. Turnbull and Turnbull (1986) have maintained that professionals, more emphatically than parents, have served as proponents of the parent-teacher role. In support of their contention, they pointed out that most of the literature related to the issue of whether parents should provide ongoing systematic home instruction for their children with disabilities consisted of material reflecting the opinions of professionals about the idealized role of parents as teachers. Turnbull and Turnbull have suggested that, because parents can be effective teachers, many professionals have assumed that all parents should be teachers and are willing to be trained as such. Some empirical evidence was available, however, from which scholars might question these assumptions and identify some discrepancy between the professionally advocated ideal and the actual parent-learner-teacher role.

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29 First, investigators who conducted research in the 1970s suggested that children with disabilities do not uniformly achieve significant educational benefits from being taught by their parents, even though the parents have received training for the role. The most freguently cited variables affecting parent and child behavioral training outcomes were socioeconomic variables, such as income and education (Clark, Baker, & Heifetz, 1982; Rinn, Vernon, & Wise, 1975; Rose, 1974; Sadler, Seyden, Howe, & Kaminsky, 1976) . Furthermore, parental reading ability, pretraining knowledge of behavioral principles, performance during training, number of teaching sessions logged, and trainer's prediction of follow-through, as well as child birth order and pretreatment rate of compliance, have provided explanatory power for outcome measures (Clark et al., 1982; Sadler et al., 1976). Because it appears that the extent to which parent-teachers are effective in producing child gains is influenced by several factors exclusive of training, the parent— teacher role may not be appropriate for all parents of children with disabilities. Second, according to some researchers, the role of parents as learners and teachers has declined recently, due in part to the relatively low attendance rate at training sessions (Rosenberg, Reppucci, & Linney, 1983; Turnbull &

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30 Turnbull, 1986). It has been suggested that, although many parents want more information on various topics, they have increasingly less time to carry out formal learning and teaching roles (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986). Thus, the assumption that parents are willing to be trained as teachers may be valid for some parents and invalid for others; the degree of correspondence between the ideal parent-teacher role and the actual parent— teacher role is affected by many variables. Parents as E nsurers of Educational Rights and Quality Educati on; Mandated and Idealized Roles Inherent in the widespread support of an active parent role in the education of students with handicaps is the belief that parent involvement in special education ensures the educational rights of children with disabilities and influences the quality of education these children receive. This belief is undergirded by the assumption that parents are the best advocates for insuring the accountability of the school system and for securing the most appropriate education for their children (Schulz, 1982; Turnbull & Turnbull, 1982). The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (PL 94142 ) (Federal Register, 1977), by specifying a number of Provisions that ensure that schools will involve parents in the educational processes that affect their children with

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31 disabilities, underscores belief in the value of parent advocacy and participation. For example, the law prohibits arbitrary or discriminatory evaluation, labeling, or changes in educational placement without parental consent. The law stipulates that parents must be notified and consent to any processes that will affect the basic education of their children. To ensure adherence to specified stipulations, the law further describes due process rights for parents and provides federal funds only to those school districts that are in compliance with its provisions. Parents as E nsurers of Educational Rights and Quality Education: Actual Roles A description of the actual role of parents as ensurers of educational rights and educational quality and of the assumptions underlying support of this role is best approached by reviewing the role from two perspectives: the perspective of parents' collective influence and the perspective of parents' individual influence. This section of the review describes the actual role of parents in ensuring educational rights and quality from the perspective of their collective influence. The extent to which individual parents have influenced or have the potential to influence educational rights and quality will

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32 be addressed in subsequent sections that describe the role of parents as educational decision makers. A review of collective parent activities on behalf of disabled children over the past two decades indicates that indeed parent advocacy has been a strong force in bringing about legislative action on behalf of handicapped children and adolescents (Blackhurst & Berdine, 1981) . According to Schulz (1987), this advocacy was the result of three factors: (a) parent concern about the denial of opportunity for handicapped children, (b) parental pressure on public agencies to provide needed services, and (c) the organization and activism of parent groups. In the late 1960s and 1970s parents began to realize that, as a result of inequitible educational opportunities, exceptional students were being denied the opportunity to fulfill their potential (Schulz, 1987). Parents were concerned about the outright exclusion of many students with disabilities from public school settings and the stigma borne by others placed in segregated environments within public schools. In addition, they had become disenchanted with the widespread practice of attaching negative labels to children on the basis of assessment procedures, the validity and appropriateness of which were highly questionnable at best and blatantly biased or discriminatory at worst.

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33 Concerns for their offspring led parents of children with disabilities to organize national groups that functioned as catalytic agents to bring about broad social change in dealing with individuals with disabilities (President's Committee on Mental Retardation, 1977 ) . Professional organizations such as the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the American Association on Mental Deficiency (AAMD) joined parent activists to form powerful advocacy groups. An advocacy landmark occurred in the late 1960s when parents of students with mental retardation, in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Children, successfully sued the state to obtain a free and appropriate education for all children with disabilities. in 1972 a suit filed against the Washington, D.C. Board of Education (Mills v. Board of Education, 1972) resulted in a decree that affirmed the right of all handicapped children to a publicly supported education. Subsequent, usually successful, cases were brought against other school districts over issues of placement and labeling, techniques of psychological diagnosis, and the role of parents in the process of public education (Haring, 1982) . Following the PARC and Mills cases, parents, professionals, legislators, and other advocates pressed for federal laws that would specify the responsibilities of

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34 public schools and the rights of handicapped people. The dynamic impact of this activism was demonstrated in 1975 when Congress passed Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicpped Children Act. The belief that parent involvement is important for securing the rights of handicapped children and the underlying assumption that parents are effective advocates for ensuring the accountability of the school system are thus strongly supported by the demonstrated impact of collective parent involvement on special education. Samuel Kirk (1984) , a distinguished special educator for the past 50 years, has succinctly described the collective influence of parents as follows: If I were to give credit to one group in this country for the advancements that have been made in the education of exceptional children, I would place the parent organizations and parent movement in the forefront as the leading force (P41) . Parents as Educational Decision Makers: Mandated Roles Perhaps the most meaningful, critical, and controversial role of parents in the special educational arena is that of the parents as educational decision makers. Of the three education-related roles discussed in the current review of literature, this one is most explicitly supported by the weight of federal legislation.

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35 Turnbull and Turnbull (1986) and Cone, Delawyer, and Wolfe (1985) have maintained that the role of parents as educational decision makers was established in 1975 when Congress enacted the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) . Indeed, several observers have characterized this law as the most important piece of educational legislation in American history (Boone, 1983; Corrigan, 1978) . In addition to reinforcing traditional beliefs that parents play a very important role in their children's development. Public Law 94—142 (PL 94—142) also includes revolutionary requirements granting decision-making rights to parents of disabled learners (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986) . For example, by stipulating that a written individualized education plan (IEP) must be developed for students with disabilities and that parents must be included as members of the team that develops their child's IEP, PL 94-142 places parents at the heart of the decisionmaking process in defining both the content and the setting of their child's education. Parents as Educational Decision Makers: Idealized Roles The primary vehicle for operationalizing the mandated role of parents as educational decision makers is the annual IEP meeting during which the handicapped student's

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36 individualized education plan is developed and approved by parents. Clarifications of IEP requirements issued by the U.S. Office of Special Education highlight mandated role expectations and elucidate the idealized role of parents in decision making that affects the education of their disabled offspring. These clarifications state one of the major purposes of the IEP meeting as follows: The IEP meeting serves as a communication vehicle between parents and school personnel, and enables them as equal participants to jointly decide what the child's needs are, what services will be provided to meet those needs, and what the anticipated outcomes will be (Federal Register 1981, p. 5462). The phrases "equal participation" and "jointly decide" convey the expectation that parents will take an active decision-making role in these meetings. Assumptions that support the mandated and idealized role of parents in educational decision making can be subsumed under two categories: (a) assumptions regarding the nature of team decisions and the anticipated advantages of a team approach to educational decision making (Pfeiffer, 1982) and (b) assumptions regarding parent influence on decisions made by educational teams (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1982). The first category of assumptions will be examined by reviewing studies in which the nature of decisions made by educational teams has been investigated. The second set of assumptions will be addressed by

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.37 reviewing studies in which the actual role of parents in IEP conferences has been described. The Nature of Team Decisions and The Team Decision-Making Process Primary assumptions regarding the nature and advantages of a team approach to educational decision making are that (a) team decision making results in more effective educational decisions and (b) team decision making results in greater acceptance of individual responsibility by team members. For example, Pfeiffer (1982) has maintained that group decisions provide safeguards against individual biases or errors in judgment and thus result in greater accuracy in evaluation, classification, and placement decisions. In addition, Ysseldyke, Algozzine, and Mitchell (1982) have observed that federal rules and regulations contain a number of explicit or implicit assumptions about the purposes of team meetings. According to these investigators, "it is assumed that team meetings will facilitate communication between parents and school personnel, that they will facilitate the development of an appropriate IEP, develop procedures to monitor IEP implementation, and establish criteria for evaluating IEP effectiveness" (p. 308). Thus, the basic assumption regarding the nature of decision-making teams

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38 seems to be that they result in decisions that are superior to those made by individuals. The preponderance of evidence regarding the nature of team decision making is found in descriptive studies in which researcers investigated the operation of screening/eligibility or placement teams. Representative of these studies are two studies conducted by Pfeiffer (1981, 1982). In a 1981 study, Pfeiffer examined the variability in decisions that individuals and teams generate by having team members independently complete a simulated placement activity for a student with learning disabilities, a student with mental retardation, and a student with emotional disturbance. When the 35 professionals in the study independently determined appropriate placement programs for the students, no fewer than five separate placements were generated for each student. However, when the same professionals worked in groups of three, no more than three different placement options were generated per student. Pfeiffer replicated the results of the 1981 study in a larger 1982 study conducted with professionals from Puerto Rico. In the latter study, 102 educational evaluators selected from a continuum of seven educational placements, the one placement they felt was the best setting for each of 10 exceptional students. After making independent placement

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39 decisions, the professionals were randomly assigned to teams of three and asked to arrive at a consensual placement decision for the 10 students. The placement decisions generated by the teams indicated significantly less variability in than those generated by individuals. A major limitation of Pfeiffer's investigations is that the researcher employed simulation rather than direct observation of actual team meetings. Because Pfeiffer failed to explore the actual decision-making processes employed by the placement teams, the value of the studies for clarifying the nature of team decision making is limited. In addition, because no parents were included in the studies, results cannot be generalized to teams that include parent members. The limitations of the Pfeiffer studies have been addressed by investigators who have taken a process approach to studying team meetings and have noted the role played by parents in these meetings. In the process approach, the investigator identifies those things that should happen procedurally in team meetings and then evaluates the extent to which they actually occur (Ysseldyke & Algozzine, 1984) . Specific methodologies used in this approach have included self-report and naturalistic observation.

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40 Patton (1976) , in an early attempt to describe the special education process using observational methodology, attended meetings of various admissions committees for special programs serving students classified as being educably retarded, trainably retarded, emotionally disturbed, and gifted. He also conducted interviews with committee members. Patton found that three of the five committees he observed (a) "rubber stamped" the recommendations made to them, (b) often used partial data to make admission decisions, and (c) did not include parents or lay persons in the decision-making process. As a result of his findings, Patton concluded that "confidence cannot necessarily be placed in the decisions which [were] made" (p. 104) . Ysseldyke, Algozzine, and Mitchell (1982) also addressed the issue of parent involvement in team decisions and provided further evidence of serious problems in the team decision-making process. Ysseldyke et al. used IEP legislation and organizational theory literature to develop an instrument for collecting data regarding the effectiveness of placement team meetings. Thirty— four videotapes of actual team meetings held in 16 school districts in Minnesota were reviewed independently by two observers experienced in placement team meetings. Ysseldyke and his associates concluded that the meetings

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41 tended to be unstructured, non-goal oriented, and limited in the extent to which parents and other individuals actually participated in decision making. The assumption that team decision making encourages individual team members' acceptance of responsibility has been challenged by results of a study in which Poland, Thurlow, Ysseldyke , and Mirkin (1982) asked 100 directors of special education to describe the team decision-making process as it was carried out in their shcools. The researchers reported that they had difficulty in getting individuals to assume responsibility for the decisions that were made in team meetings. Poland et al. have reported that when asked who had actually made the decision, nearly all respondents claimed that someone else had been responsible for it and that they, personally, had had little power in the process. So frequently did the researchers receive this response, that they came to refer to this finding as the "Little Red Hen" phenomenon. (When individuals were asked who made decisions, their response was, "Not I.") Despite correspondence between mandated and idealized parent decision-making roles, literature regarding the nature of team decision making reveals that superiority of the process cannot be assumed. Studies cited showed that even when the role of parents is not considered,

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42 implementation of the team decision-making process falls short of idealized expectations. The following review of studies was focused on parent participation in the educational process and provided direct insight into the role parents actually play in making educational decisions. Parents as Educational Decision Makers: Actual Roles No doubt the impact of collective parent activism has stimulated continuing confidence in the ability of parents to safeguard their exceptional children against the denial of educational rights. However, the impact of parental involvement on the rights of children with disabilities and on the quality of educational decisions is perhaps less conspicuous when viewed from the perspective of individual parents than when viewed from the perspective of collective parent involvement. As previously indicated, a number of assumptions have been postulated as underlying the mandated and idealized role of active parent involvement in making educational decisions (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1982). Two prominent assumptions are that 1. parents can improve the quality of educational decisions ; 2. parents want to be involved in education decision making and when given the opportunity will take advantage of it (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986).

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43 In opposition to the first assumption, researchers have indicated that many parents do not believe that their t child needs to be protected from the special education system. Furthermore, many parents remain unconvinced that their contributions can improve the quality of decisions made by teachers (Sonnenschein (1984) . Turnbull and Turnbull (1982) have pointed out that the emphasis parents place on having competent teachers reflects this viewpoint. For example, Winton and Turnbull (1981) , in a survey of 31 parents of children with disabilities, found that parents frequently expressed confidence in special educators' skills and a desire to defer to these "experts." These results corroborated earlier findings in which Winton (1980) asked parents of preschool children with disabilities to indicate the components of the ideal preschool program for a child with a disability. Few of the parents in this investigation mentioned parent involvement of any kind as a component of an ideal preschool program. In fact, when asked to rank the characteristics of an ideal preschool, respondents in Winton 's investigation identified parent involvement as the least important characteristic. The parents maintained, instead, that teacher competency was the most important program component.

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44 It appears that passive parental involvement in the educational process is coupled with substantial parent satisfaction with school programs (Ammer & Littleton 1983) . Ammer and Littleton surveyed parents of children aged 4 to 24 with behavior disorders, learning disabilities, educable retardation, speech/ language impairments, giftedness, and trainable retardation about their present and their desired level of involvement in the education process. The sample included urban, rural, and suburban parents. Of the 217 parents responding to Ammer and Littleton's guest ionnaire , 87% indicated they were not presently involved in their local school program. Despite their lack of involvement, 74% indicated that they were satisfied that their child's educational needs were being met. The apparent preference by parents for a more passive, rather than active role in decision making has been further documented in other studies (Hocutt & Wiegerink, 1983; Leyser & Cole, 1984; McKinney & Hocutt, 1982; Turnbull, Winton, Blatcher, & Salkind, 1983). For example, McKinney and Hocutt (1982) interviewed 36 parents in order to ascertain their involvement in the development and implementation of the IEP for their children with learning disabilities. Study subjects represented 10 elementary schools within four school systems serving an urban population in a working-class southern city, a mixed

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45 suburban county, a rural county, and an academic community. Researchers conducted a structured interview with parents during a home visit. The researchers found that although 75% of the parents interviewed were able to recall the IEP document, only 31% said that they had helped write it. Of the parents, 4 3-s indicated that they did not participate fully in IEP development. Because of reliance on parental recall and limited sample size, the generalizability of the McKinney and Hocutt findings must be conservatively interpreted. However, similar findings have been reported from much larger studies conducted in a lower socio-economic status, meduim-sized, urban community in the midwest (Leyser & Cole, 1984) and in a large, culturally and linguistically diverse metropolitan school district in southern California (Lynch & Lewis, 1982; Lynch & Stein, 1982). Leyser and Cole (1984) analyzed 340 questionnaires returned from parents of 700 students representing five special education categories. The researchers found that 85% of parents were satisfied with their children's programs. When parents were asked whether they would like to work with teachers in writing their child's IEP, many parents responded negatively; almost 60% of the parents of students with mild retardation and speech impairments said "no, II and 40% of

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46 the parents of students with behavior disorders, learning disabilities, and physical handicaps said "no." Lynch and Stein (1982) used open-ended and forcedchoice items to survey parents of students representing a broad spectrum of disabilities, ages, and ethnic groups about their participation in the development of the IEP, their opportunities to participate in their child's education program, and their satisfaction with the district's special education personnel and processes. Families were interviewed in their homes using questionnaires administered in their native language. Of the 400 parents interviewed, 71% reported active participation in IEP development. Only 14.6%, however, stated that they had expressed opinions and made suggestions during the IEP meeting. In 1987 Lynch and Stein reported the results of another study that determined Hispanic parents ' participation in and satisfaction with their children's special education programs. Findings for these Hispanic parents were compared to the findings for Black and Anglo parents in the previous Lynch and Lewis (1982) and Lynch and Stein (1982) studies. Although only 63 families from the randomly selected pool of 213 were actually interviewed, results of the interviews confirmed the findings of the previous studies. Only 45% of the Hispanic

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47 families indicated that they were a part of the IEP process. Fifty percent of the parents felt that they were not active participants in the development of the IEP. A major contribution of the Lynch et al. studies was the identification of variations in parent participation according to disability type and cultural background. For example, Hispanic families interviewed in the 1987 study reported significantly less involvement in the assessment process than did Anglo parents. In addition, both Black and Hispanic parents offered fewer suggestions at the meeting and knew significantly less about what services their child was to receive than did Anglo parents. Like other researcher? (Leyser & Cole, 1984; McKinney & Hocutt, 1982) , Lynch and her associates found that parents were satisfied with their child's special education program (Lynch & Lewis, 1982; Lynch & Stein, 1982; Lynch & Stein, 1987) . The issue of parents' satisfaction with their level of involvement in making educational decisions was specifically probed by Lusthaus, Lusthaus, and Gibbs (1981) . These researchers surveyed 98 parents of students in elementary self-contained and resource classes randomly selected from eight elementary schools in a middle-class suburban district. Parents were asked to complete a wr -'-^^ :en questionnaire indicating their present level of

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48 participation and their desired level of participation in nine decision-making areas directly related to their exceptional children's education. Parent responses were classified into three possible roles (a) no involvement, (b) giving and receiving information, and (c) having control over decisions. F i ft y -e ight percent of the questionnaires distributed were returned. Responses revealed that parents most often found themselves in the role of giving and receiving information. The role of no involvement was second most typical, wheras the role of having decisional control was ranked third. When asked to select the roles that they would like to assume, 50% or more of all respondents stated that they wished to continue in an informational role for six of the nine decision-making areas: discipline, class placement, evaluation, instructional grouping, transportation, and special resources. Parents indicated a desire for more control in only three of the areas: (a) decisions regarding what kinds of records should be kept on the student, (b) decisions regarding medical services for the student, and (c) decisions about transferring the student to another school. In contrast to findings of parental satisfaction with passive participation in the IEP conference (Goldstein, Strictland, Turnbull, and Curry, 1982; Leyser & Cole, 1984;

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49 Lusthaus, Lusthaus, & Gibbs, 1981; Lynch & Stein, 1982; Lynch & Stein, 1987), were the findings of Witt et al. (1984) . These researchers found that the 243 parents who had participated in previous staffings for their children with disabilities were satisfied by active solicitation and utilization of their input during the meeting. Parents who were satisfied with the staffings they had attended reported that they had been encouraged to participate. In addition, they reported that their ideas had been used in developing their childÂ’s educational program. All of the studies reported employed survey methodology, and relied on parent recall as the primary data source. However, despite these limitations, the consistency of the findings challenges the assumption that parents want to be involved in educational decision making and will take advantage of opportunities to do so. This assumption has also been called into question by studies in which investigators observed or tape recorded the actual role played by parents in IEP meetings. In the much-cited observational investigation of IEP conferences, Goldstein et al. (1982) used naturalistic observational procedures to describe the dynamics of these conferences. By coding conference citations according to speaker and listener, Goldstein et al. provided a

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50 descriptive analysis of parent-professional interaction in 14 IEP conferences held in three school districts in North Carolina. Analysis of the interaction in the conferences revealed that (a) parents were the primary recipients of 63% of the statements made at the conference and (b) parents at three of the conferences accounted for 63% of all parent citations. Of the 14 conferences observed, in only one instance was the meeting actually devoted to having parent and educators jointly specify educational goals and objectives. As a result of their findings, Goldstein et al. characterized the proceedings of the conferences observed as "the resource teacher taking the initiative to review the already developed IEP with the parent, who was the primary recipient of comments made at the conference" (p. 283). It may be noted that, despite their minimal involvement in decision making, parents in the Goldstein et al. study also expressed over-whelmingly positive reactions to the conferences. The limited size, nature, and demographic restrictions of the Goldstein et al. study suggest -that caution must be exercised in generalizing the conclusions and implications; however, when the study is considered in conjunction with previously described studies, a consistent picture emerges which suggests that parents: (a) typically do not

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51 participate actively in educational decision making, (b) do not to view their input into the decision-making process as being important, (c) are satisfied with the education provided to their child, and (d) are satisfied with their own non-active role in making educational decisions. The studies thus highlight existing discrepancies between parentsÂ’ mandated and idealized decision-making roles and their actual participation in making educational decisions. An examination of the decision-making role parents play in the education of their children with disabilities cannot be considered complete without considering the opportunity afforded to parents to truly influence educational decisions. To this end, it is appropriate to note two additional assumptions purported to underlie support for the mandated and idealized role of parents as education decision makers. These assumptions are as follows: 1. parents' attendance at their children's IEP meeting will enable them to share in decision making (Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986); 2. professionals want and value parent participation in educational decision making (Yoshida, Fenton, Kauffman, & Maxwell, 1978). The results of research conducted by Yoshida, Fenton, Kaufman, and Maxwell (1978) and Gilliam and Coleman (1981)

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52 have provided insight into the potential of individual parents for actually influencing the educational decisions made in IEP meetings. These authors have shown that the active involvement of parents in educational decision making is frequently not perceived as important or desirable by education professionals. Yoshida et al. (1978) surveyed approximately 1500 administrative, support, and instructional IEP team members regarding planning activities they considered appropriate for parent participation. Of 24 suggested parent roles, only two were endorsed by a majority of respondents as appropriate for parent participation. The passive roles involved gathering and presenting information about the disabled learner. More active roles were rejected overwhelmingly by the team members. For example, only 26% of the professionals said that parents should influence professionals to accept a specific program or finalize education decisions. The professional opinion that parents should provide information to the IEP team but not participate actively in making decisions, has been further corroborated in research conducted by Gilliam (1979) and Gilliam and Coleman (1981) . In the 1979 study, Gilliam found that parent contributions to team meetings were ranked as only the 9th most important in series comparison with the contributions of 15 other

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53 categories of contributors. In the 1981 study, Gilliam and his associate asked 130 IEP participants to rank the relative "status” or importance of participants in the decision-making process. Responses indicated a hierarchy of influence in IEP meetings and no significant correlation between preconceived notions of importance and actual contributions made at the conference. Thus, although in preconference ranking the contributions of parents received a high rating in terms of their importance, they received a low postconference rating in terms of their actual contribution to and influence on the meeting. Gilliam and Coleman observed that participants perceived as having the most influence on conference proceedings were those who were familiar with test scores, diagnostic reports, and cumulative records. They suggested that parents were not perceived as possessing expertise commensurate with that of other conference members. Thus many researchers might challenge both the assumption that mere parental attendance at the IEP conference is sufficient to ensure parent involvement in the decisionmaking process and the assumption that such involvement is desired and valued by education professionals or by parents themselves . In sum, the picture of parent involvement roles in the education of students with disabilities is a mixed one. An

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54 active parent role in the educational process might be inferred from mandated and idealized expectations for f parent participation. Researchers have indicated that many, though not all, parents have been successful as teachers of their children and collectively effective as ensurers of their children's educational rights. At the same time, however, there is strong evidence that the parent role in educational decision making is a passive rather than an active one. It appears also that, despite longstanding theoretical idealization of active parent involvement by many professionals, many do not, in fact, view activism in decision making as an appropriate parental role. Furthermore , this opinion seems to be shared by parents themselves. Perhaps, as suggested by Turnbull and Turnbull (1986), Schulz (1987) and others, the issue of active versus passive parent roles would be best resolved by professional support and acceptance of a variety of parent participation levels. These levels may be determined by individual parents based upon their unique family dynamics or economic conditions such as the need for both parents to work or the need of a single parent to hold two jobs. The decision of individual parents to assume a passive rather than an active role in the education of their handicapped child should, however, represent an informed

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55 choice a choice made with the knowledge that active, as well as passive participation, is an accessible, encouraged, and actively supported option, as well as an option for which they are prepared. Certainly, in view of reported research findings, the question remains whether parental satisfaction with a passive role in educational decision making (Goldstein et al . , 1982; Lewis, Busch, Proger, & Juska, 1981; Leyser & Cole, 1984; Lusthaus, Lusthaus, & Gibbs, 1981; Lynch & Stein, 1982; 1987; McKinney & Hocutt, 1983) results from the application of informed choice or from lack of adequate preparation for active participation. Bar riers to Parent Participation Educational literature is replete with examples and descriptions of the variables which tend to preclude the active involvement of parents in educational processes that affect the schooling of their children with disabilities. The variable most frequently cited as generating barriers to the educational involvement of parents is socioeconomic status. The impact of SES on the survival, energy, material resources, time, and stress level of families has been identified as significantly deterring active parent participation, particularly by minority parents (Correa, 1987; Fruchter, 1984; Lynch & Stein, 1987).

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56 Turnbull and Turnbull (1986) have provided a useful categorization of additional barriers that influence the ability of parents to assume the role of effective team members in educational programming for students with disabilities. The categorization of Turnbull and Turnbull includes (a) psychological barriers, (b) attitudinal barriers, (c) cultural/ideological barriers, and (d) logistical barriers. Psychological Barriers Turnbull and Turnbull (1986) have described psychological barriers as variables that influence individuals' perceptions and the meaning they attach to their perceptions. The interpretation that parents and professionals ascribe to sensory data often takes the form of impressions, conclusions, assumptions, expectations, and/or prejudices that may contribute to ineffective interaction. Several specific psychological barriers have been suggested. Marion (1981), for example, has maintained that four sources of anxiety often constitute psychological barriers for parents interacting with education professionals. First, their own experiences as students or previous negative encounters with school personnel may predispose them to ineffective communication. Second, fear of learning that their child is not performing

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57 satisfactorily or reluctance to acknowledge that a problem exists may hinder effective parent-professional interaction. Fear of being blamed for the child's problem may constitute a third type of psychological barrier for parents. Finally, previous ego-shattering encounters with school personnel may leave parents feeling hostile or embarrassed about subsequent interactions. Professional responses to parents may, likewise, be affected by psychological barriers. For example, teachers may fear that parents blame them for the child's problem (Vernberg & Medway, 1981) or they may feel that parents question their professional competence (Power, 1985) Hoover-Dempsey, Fassler, and Brissie (1987) have found that the extent to which teachers perceive themselves as competent and effective may influence parent participation levels. Hoover-Dempsey et al. conducted a study of elementary teachers and principals in eight school districts representing different regions (urban, suburban, and rural) of a large mid-Southern state. These researchers were interested in examining variables associated with parent involvement in schools. Hoover-Dempsey et al. found that one of the predictors most consistently involved in parent involvement outcomes was teacher efficacy. Higher average levels of teacher efficacy were associated with higher levels of four parent

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58 involvement outcomes: parent involvement in conferences, volunteering, home tutoring, and teacher perceptions of parent support. The findings of Hoover-Dempsey and her associates corroborate previous study findings that have suggested that low levels of teacher efficacy may be causal in reducing teacher-parent contact (Ashton, Webb, & Doda, 1983; Dembo & Gibson, 1985). Attitudinal Barriers Attitudinal barriers that influence parent activism in special education programming have been described by many observers. Sonnenschein (1984), for example, has postulated a seven-category conceptualization of professional attitudes and assumptions that. negatively influence parent-professional interaction: (a) the parent as vulnerable client; (b) the parent as patient; (c) the parent as responsible for the child's condition; (d) the parent as less observant, less perceptive, and less intelligent; (e) the parent as adversary; (f) parents as "pushy," "angry," "denying," "resistant," or "anxious;" and (g) the parent as needing to be kept at a professional distance. Gorham (1975), Gliedman and Roth (1980), Murray and Cornell (1981), and Schulz (1987) have cited similar professional attitudes that may inhibit active parent participation in special education: stereotyping, blaming, denying parental expertise and knowledge about the child.

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59 Negative attitudes towards educators on the part of parents have also been described. Schulz (1987) has pointed out that some parents, having found professionals in whom they have confidence, may become too dependent. Others may have unrealistic expectations of the professional and the child and may, therefore, subtly undermine or become dissatisfied with progress. Still other parents may harbor hostile attitudes toward educators that stem from (a) fear of being blamed for the child's problem, (b) jealousy of the professional's relationship with the child, (c) their own negative attitudes or abuse toward the child, or (d) nonacceptance of the child's diagnosis. Cultural/Ideoloqical Barriers Culture and ideology create additional barriers that may influence negatively parents' participation in their handicapped child's education (Correa, 1987; Marion, 1979). Correa (1987) has referred to family tradition, family pride, patterns of interaction with nonfamily members, values related to time, and values related to the role of professionals as family-related cultural concerns that have particular influence on the participation of Hispanic parents in the education of their visually impaired children. Fruchter (1984), on the other hand, has cited limited minority administrative representation and control

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60 of participatory structures as system-related barriers to active involvement by parents from ethnic and racial minority groups. The impact of cultural barriers on parent participation was addressed, using the empirical method, in the previously cited study by Lynch and Stein (1987) . These researchers found that the Mexican-American parents in their study did not participate as extensively in their children's special education programs as did parents from other cultural backgrounds. Lynch and Stein reported that, during their interview, Hispanic parents often commented on issues related to culture. The parents felt that education decision making was the responsibility of the school. In addition. Lynch and Stein found that Hispanic parents were less knowledgable about the issues and processes affecting their children's education than parents of Anglo and Black students receiving special education services — a finding that is consistent with other study results (Strickland, 1983; Turnbull et al . , 1983). Linguistic differences were found by Lynch and Stein (1987) as additional barriers to active participation by Hispanic parents. Parents cited lack of bilingual communication as the third most significant barrier to their participation in their child's program. They suggested the availability of bilingual meetings as the

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61 most important strategy for increasing their participation in parent education programs sponsored by the school. Black parents in the Lynch and Stein study cited general communication problems with the schools as the major barrier to their participation. Logistical Barriers Logistical barriers have been found to create significant barriers to parent participation in IEP conferences (Pfeiffer, 1980; Leyser & Cole, 1984) . During their interviews of 63 minority families, Lynch and Stein (1987) found that work was cited as the greatest impediment to participation. Transportation problems, child care needs, and time conflicts were cited by 54% of the Hispanic parents as other principal reasons for their nonattendance at the most recent school meeting held. The negative impact of logistical problems on parent participation was supported across all ethnic and income groups in the Lynch and Stein study (1987). Seventy-four percent of Hispanic parents cited the selection of convenient times, the provision of earlier notice, and the provision of child care as the factore that would best ensure their presence in school activities. Black parents suggested the provision of more communication with parents and the provision of child care.

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62 IEP Conference Variables Some researchers have suggested that additional barriers to active parent participation in educational planning for students with special needs may be found among IEP conference variables. As a result of their survey of 243 parents whose children represented nine special education categories, Witt, Miller, McIntyre, and Smith (1984) identified six independent variables that together accounted for 78% of the variance in parental satisfaction with interdisciplinary staffings. Foremost among these variables was staffing length; parents who reported satisfaction with the staffing indicated that enough time had been allowed for the meeting. Witt et al. tentatively suggest, as a result of this finding, that insufficient time for meetings may effectively prevent mutual problem solving, reduce the interchange between parents and school personnel, and result in unilateral decision making on the part of the school district. The number of professionals present in an IEP meeting has been postulated as an additional conference variable that may deter parent participation. Marion (1979) has warned that "the greatest deterrent to minority parent participation is that they might feel overwhelmed when they walk into a meeting and feel all the school people are lined up against them" (p. 9) . Witt and his associates

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63 (1984) found, however, that the variable of group size had little practical significance for the 234 parents interviewed in their study. Group size accounted for only three percent of the total variance in parental satisfaction with the conference. Parents in the study indicated that input from a number of people contributed to a good educational program and that it did not inhibit them or prevent good discussion. The failure of Witt et al. to identify the ethnicity of parents in their study makes it difficult to clarify the impact of group size on minority parent participation. Turnbull and Turnbull (1986) have suggested that meeting group size may affect different parents in different ways. An investigation conducted by Wolf and Troup (1980) sought to assess the methods used to involve parents in the development of IEPs for their children. In the Wolf and Troup study, 37 families of junior high students in a low income urban school were randomly divided into two groups. One group received written notice typically used by the school to 'invite parents to their regular IEP meeting. Notices were sent home with students and were the only communication parents in this group received. Parents in the second group were sent a letter in the mail inviting them to the IEP meeting. The letter was free of jargon and contained a tear-off section on which parents could

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64 indicate their preferred time for meeting. A stamped, hand-addressed envelope was also enclosed so that parents might return their response to their child's resource teacher. Six days after the mailing of the first letter, short hand-written notes were sent to parents who had not yet responded. Again, a response card and a stamped, addressed envelope were included. Parents who failed to respond to this second letter received a telephone call to ask if notices had been received and to emphasize the importance of parents' participation in the IEP meeting. Finally, home visits were made to parents who had neither responded to written communications not been reached by telephone. Only 22% of parents who received the conventional IEP notice participated, whereas 58% of parents in the latter group participated in their child's IEP meeting. Wolf and Troup (1980) have maintained that the methods they used to communicate with this group not only increased the number of participating parents, but also improved the quality of their participation. The results of the Wolf and Troup study, although contributing somewhat to an area in which empirical data are conspicuously absent, must be interpreted cautiously as the researchers included no data beyond the percentage of parents attending the IEP conferences. Thus,

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65 participation in the study was defined only in terms of attendance at the meeting; neither data on nor operational definitions of participation quality were provided. A more methodologically sound investigation of strategies for increasing parent participation in IEP meetings was conducted by Goldstein and Turnbull (1982) . In the Goldstein and Turnbull study, 45 parents of children with learning disabilities were chosen from five elementary schools in one local education agency. Parents were randomly assigned to three groups. The first group received questions prior to the conference concerning their goals for their child, the student's educational potential, and the development of an IEP. The second group was accompanied to the conference by the school guidance counselor who functioned in the role of parent advocate. The third group received no intervention. Parental contributions (frequency and topical areas) at the IEP meeting were coded by a researcher who observed all parents in the study. Following the conference, parents received a questionnaire to which they responded in a telephone conference with a researcher within a week after the conference. The questionnaire probed their perceptions of their participation in the conference and their satisfaction with the conference and the resulting IEP.

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66 The Goldstein et al . study resulted in the following findings : 1. The mean number of relevant contributions during the IEP meeting was greater for the two intervention groups than for the control group. 2. There was no significant difference between the two intervention groups with regard to mean number of contributions. 3. Significantly more contributions were made by parents who were accompanied by a parent advocate than by parents in the control group. 4. No statistical difference was found between the groups for perception of participation or parental satisfaction. Although sounder than the study by Wolf and Troup (1980), the Goldstein et al. study has limitations that necessitate conservative interpretation and generalization of findings. For example, the authors described neither the subject selection process nor the subjects themselves. In addition, from a practical and ideological standpoint, the provision of an advocate may not be cost-effective and may reinforce the existing stereotype that parents are incapable of participating in the development of an IEP. Of the approaches described for increasing parent participation in special education processes, the provision

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67 of parent training and education has perhaps received the most emphasis. Various categories of parent education f approaches have been discussed in special education literature. Table 3 indicates some of these categories. Table 3 Typology of Parent Education Approaches Author Focus Program Category Mori (1983) Early Intervention Home based Center based Home/Center based Parent operated Roth & (1985) Weller Parent Education/ Counseling Therapeutic Informative Management Helpful hints Shea & (1986) Bauer Parent Group Education Informational Communication groups Problem-solving groups Discussion groups Training groups Most frequently advocated as the foci of parent training aimed at increasing participation in IEP conferences have been training regarding (a) the IEP process, (b) instructional planning skills for an IEP team member, and (c) effective interpersonal skills (Cutler,

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68 1981; Goldstein et al., 1980; Market & Greenbaum, 1979; Simpson, 1982; Lynch & Stein, 1987; Strickland & Goldstein, 1978) . However, few data based descriptions exist regarding the impact of such training on parent participation outcomes. A notable exception to this observation is an investigation conducted by Brinkerhoff and Vincent (1987) . Brinkerhoff and Vincent sought to increase parental decision making at the IEP meeting by implementing, for parents and school staff, a training package which resulted in IEPs that would link program goals to day-to-day living. Fourteen parents with young handicapped children participated in the study and were randomly assigned to an experimental and a control group. Parents in the experimental group (a) completed a developmental assessment on their child's current performance, (b) recorded a family profile, and (c) had a preconference meeting with a school/community liaison person to discuss the purpose and meaning of an IEP, the IEP participants and their roles, and the way in which information from the developmental assessment would contribute to IEP development. Parents in the control group received a letter stating the purpose of an IEP and the parent's role at the meeting.

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69 Five school staff members were trained to facilitate parent participation by introducing parents in the experimental group to developmental assessment instruments and by completing an assessment summary sheet with these parents. Parents' subsequent IEP meetings were audiotaped and results were analyzed to determine (a) the duration of the meetings; (b) parents' percentage of contributions, percentage of decisions, number of parent generated goals; and (c) staff's percentage of contributions on instructional methods, percentage of decisions, number of home programming suggestions, and frequency for including parents in the decision making process. Follow-up questionnaires were completed by parents and staff. Questionnaire items focused on the quality of perceived parent participation, satisfaction with meeting content, and utility of developmental assessment information elicited from parents prior to the meeting. Analysis of data regarding conference length indicated no significant difference in the average duration of experimental and control IEP meetings (42 minutes and 49, respectively.) Analysis of parent data indicated significantly greater participation for experimental parents than for control parents: respective mean percentages were 41 to 23 for parent contributions and 56 to 28 for parent decisions. Parents in the experimental

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group generated 11 goals, whereas those in the control group generated only 2 . 70 When all staff suggestions to parents were considered, there was no significant difference in the proportion of instructional suggestions they made to parents in the experimental group versus those they made to parents in the control group. However, staff averaged significantly more home-programming suggestions to parents in the experimental group than to parents in the control group (13 to 7, respectively.) In addition, staff made, on the average, significantly fewer decisions at experimental group IEP meetings than they did at control group meetings (44 to 72). The average number of jointly developed decisions was three for experimental group IEP meetings and less than one for control group meetings. This was reported as a significant difference beyond the .01 level. Analysis of parent follow-up questionnaires revealed no significant differences for experimental and control group parents with regard to perceived participation. Both experimental and control group parents indicated extremely high levels of satisfaction. In addition to parent participation gains, the Brinkerhoff and Vincent study also produced improvements in the conference interaction of school staff.

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71 Parent Participation in Transi t ion Planning Pnnferenrps Simpson (1982) maintained that parents must be competent in more than a single type of conference. He has suggested that, as appropriate, training developed to facilitate parent participation should acquaint parents with the protocol, information needs, communication, evaluation mechanisms, and agenda preparation methods for a variety of parent-teacher conferences: evaluation sessions, problem-solving sessions, progress report conferences, and IEP meetings. This investigator maintains that recent federal and local emphasis on transition and postschool service delivery necessitates that parents be competent in individualized transition conferences. No reports of parent participation in ITP conferences or of efforts to enhance participation at these conferences yet exist in professional literature. However, given researchers' findings that parent involvement in IEP conferences is typically passive and given the many barriers to participation previously described, it is reasonable to assume that active parental involvement in individualized transition planning conferences may not occur without intervention that prepares parents for the conferences. As Leyser and Cole (1984, p. 200) have noted, "It is not enough to afford parents the opportunity to participate

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72 actively in the education of their child as mandated by law; a concerted effort needs to be made to prepare and train parents for the roles expected of them." Everson and Moon (1987) have asserted that parents and family members are the most important elements in the process of transition from school to adult life because they are the only people to have continuous and stable contact with the student throughout the entire process. Two sources of empirical data provide compelling rationales for parent involvement in planning for the school-to-adult life transition of students with disabilities. The first is the research from which one may conclude that there are a number of disabled adults whose physical or mental disability prevents them from participating in a major adult activity: work. Based on their review of major national studies that examined the level of economic self-sufficiency among individuals with a work disability, Kiernan and Bruininks (1986) have estimated that (a) between 1.4 and 1.64 million developmental ly disabled adults are either unemployed or not in the labor force and (b) 34 percent of these individuals would like to work. Rusch and Phelps (1987) in reporting the results of a 1986 Harris telephone survey with a cross-section of 1,000 persons with handicaps, aged 16 and over, have concluded that:

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73 1. 67% of all Americans with handicaps, between ages 16 and 64, are not working. 2. Individuals with handicaps are 75% more likely to be employed part-time. 3. 67% of all unemployed persons with handicaps say that they want to work. The significant societal and personal costs associated with the unemployment and underemployment of youth with disabilities have raised the issue of transition to the level of a national priority (Rusch & Phelps, 1987). Among the variables thought to contribute to pervasive unemployment among youth with handicaps are the lack of transitional plans (Cobb & Phelps, 1983) and the lack of transitional support services (Rusch & Phelps, 1987 ). The second source of data suggesting the need to involve parents actively in school transition-related conferences and activities is provided by studies in which the power of certain variables for predicting the postschool employment and community living status of youth and adults with handicapping conditions has been examined. In one such study, Kernan and Koegel (1980) examined the effect of the family and service delivery system support on the competitive status of 48 individuals with mild mental retardation. Essentially, their analysis revealed the following:

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74 1. Individuals with mild retardation were likely to be employed competitively or to be moving up the employment ranks when there was an active and involved family or service delivery support system impelling the individual toward competitive employment. 2. Individuals were less likely to be successful in attaining employment or took longer to do so when there was some encouragement (but little active involvement) from either the family or service delivery system. 3. Individuals were likely to remain in a sheltered workshop or avoid seeking employment when family support was not intact or when support from the delivery system failed to emerge. Schalock, Wolzen, Ross, Elliott, Werbel, and Peterson (1986) have presented the results of an evaluation of the employment and living status of 108 individuals with learning disabilities, educable mental handicaps, and mental retardation who graduated during the 5-year period between 1979-1983 from rural schools employing a community-based job exploration and training model. The researchers related statistically 19 predictor variables to 11 employment-related outcome variables. There were a

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75 number of potential weaknesses of the study: complete data sets were available on only 108 or 81% of the 134 graduates, no squared multiple R exceeded 52%, and the sample size was small. Nevertheless, the investigation yielded potentially important implications for involving parents in transition meetings and vocational plans. For example, although predictor variables differed according to the outcome measure analyzed, family involvement was one of the three most consistent predictor variables across outcome variables; the other two were number of semester hours in vocational programs and type of handicapping condition. Students whose families were rated as moderately to highly involved with their child's program (attending all IEP meetings and annual reviews and assuming an active role in vocational planning) did significantly better on each outcome variable. Two additional factors suggest that active parent involvement in conferences that plan for the school-toadult life transition of students with disabilities may be more important than their active participation in IEP conferences that focus on school programming. The first factor relates to important distinctions between the nature of public school service delivery to students and the nature of community agency service delivery to adults.

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76 Specifically, PL 94-142 mandates that schools identify students with disabilities and that they identify, locate, and provide any services deemed necessary to effect the educational progress of these students. Thus, a single entity — the public school — performs comprehensive case management and service delivery coordination for disabled students and their parents. Public Law 98-199 (PL 98-199) amended PL 94-142 to place greater emphasis on transition. However, the law does not specify that a single agency has primary responsibility for identifying and coordinating the numerous services such adults might need to become productive workers, family members, and citizens of the community. Consequently, if young adults with disabilities are to access the variety of services that may be crucial to their successful adjustment in the community, the major responsibility for service location, case management, and service coordination falls squarely upon the shoulders of their families. The second factor that highlights the importance of active parental involvement in planning for the adult lives of their disabled children is inherent in descriptions of structural problems in the adult system of services. Conley, Noble, and Elder (1986) have cited staff

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77 inadequacies, the number and complexity of service programs, resistance to change, eligibility problems, coordination problems, and absence of services as serious deterrents to the employment and community adjustment for disabled adults. These problems cannot be remediated successfully by parents alone. Nevertheless, they emphasize the need for parents to develop knowledge and awareness that will better equip them to deal with the confusing world of adult services. The years preceeding a disabled student's transition from school to the community provide an optimal opportunity for parents to acquire this knowledge. Individualized transition planning conferences can provide parents with helpful information about services for disabled adults and can enable them to take advantage of the school's case management and service coordination experience to initiate contact with community services and programs. Additionally, this planning time can provide an opportunity for school personnel to gradually prepare parents to assume greater responsibility for case management and service coordination. Wehman, Kregel, and Barcus (1985) have maintained that informed participation of parents and guardians is a critical component in the vocational transition process. They have also maintained that parents should be made aware

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78 of employment alternatives available to their sons and daughters upon graduation and should be provided with an t opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to participate effectively in transition planning. Wehman et al . (1987) believed that parent education programs provide an effective method of training parents to represent their child's vocational interests. These authors suggested that transition-related parent education activities, which should begin at least by the time the student reaches age 16, should 1. orient parents to the community agencies providing post school services to individuals with disabilities ; 2. familiarize parents with the specific responsibilities of special education, vocational education, vocational rehabilitation, and adult service programs in the vocational transition process; and 3 . prepare parents to work with various agencies to develop transition plans and to apply for future services. According to Wehman et al . , systematically planned parent education programs will improve the effectiveness and maintenance of parent involvement in the transition process .

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79 Systematic Development of Training Materials The first step in planning an effective parent education program is to develop training materials. The process for the systematic development and testing of training/instructional materials has been described by numerous educators (Armstrong, 1971; Briggs, 1970; Deterline, 1968; Morsink, 1980; Popham & Baker, 1971). Armstrong (1971) has suggested a 12-step flow-chart model which illustrates how research, development, and evaluation can provide information to improve material. Essentially, Armstrong's model views material and learner characteristics as inputs that facilitate specified learning as the output goal. The model includes development and research rationales, experimental testing of the program's content, and testing of the program's effectiveness with the target group. Although the model is comprehensive in overall scope and sequence, it is not explicit about directions for program writing. In addition, the model lacks adequate feedback loops during the early stages of development. A shorter delineation by Popham and Baker (1971) of phases of the product development cycle supplements the Armstrong model with explicit directions for the formulation, specification, and prototype tryout of materials. Instructional design models developed by

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80 Deterline (1968) and Briggs (1970) have contributed to the process of material development and evaluation at the level of program writing. In Table 4 the development/evaluation sequence for each of these models is delineated. Morsink (1980) has synthesized previous models and has generated a comprehensive logic diagram for systematically developing and testing instructional materials. The model stresses evaluation and redesign. The model contains six major steps or decision points, each with a number of subtasks and continuous feedback loops: 1. State problem. 2. Formulate rationale. 3. Develop specifications. 4. Develop prototype materials. 5. Evaluate materials. 6. Disseminate materials. Although more comprehensive and specific than the other models described, the model developed by Morsink addresses the design and evaluation of student instructional materials only. The present investigation, however, was focused upon the development and evaluation of a process that includes both training materials and procedures designed to increase parents' participation in ITP meetings. Therefore, the model has been modified to

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81 Table 4 Selected Instructional Development/Evaluation Models Model Development/Evaluation Sequence Armstrong (1971) 1. State research rationale 2. Select program rationale 3 . Plan experiment 4. Write program 5. Write tests 6. Produce package 7. Contact field 8. Conduct field testing 9. Evaluate program 10. Conduct experimental evaluation 11. Revise 12. Disseminate Popham and Baker (1971) 1. Formulate concept Decision on the product's worth, cost, availability of competing products, and target population 2. Develop instructional specification Delineation of objectives and entry-level behaviors 3 . Try out prototype items Administration of prototype items to target group for the purpose of modifying specifications 4. Develop product Initial preparation, small tryouts, and revisions 5 . Conduct product tryout Extensive use of materials with targeted groups in the setting for which materials were developed 6. Revise product Changes made as a result of data collected during tryout 7. Complete operation analysis Staff appraisal of procedures

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82 Table 4 — Continued Model Development/Evaluation Sequence Deterline (1968) 1. State objectives Statement of training objectives in terms of observable behaviors 2. Design criterion tests Design of test items which match objectives 3. Specify training requirements Identification of training needed 4 . Conduct task analysis Task analysis to clarify objectives and plan instruction 5. Select instructional media Selection of media based on objectives, task analysis, and criterion test 6. Select methods Use of objectives, task analysis, and criterion test to determine how to present content 7. Conduct validation Test of trainees' attainment of objectives as basis for revision of instruction Briggs (1970) 1. State objective and performance standards 2. Prepare tests over the objective 3. Analyze objectives for structure and sequence 4. Identify assumed entering competencies 5. Prepare pretests and remedial instruction, adaptive program, or dual-track program 6. Select media and write prescriptions 7. Develop first draft materials 8. Conduct small-group tryouts and revise 9. Conduct classroom tryouts and revise 10. Evaluate performance

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83 reflect this broader emphasis. The resulting logic diagram contains six major steps for the development and evaluation of a process designed to increase parent participation. Each step of the new model contains a number of substeps and provides continuous feedback loops. Figure 1 depicts the new model . The remainder of Chapter II is a summary of the parent participation literature previously described as it relates to steps 1 and 2 of the model (statement of the problem and formulation of rationale) . Steps 3-6 are explained in Chapters III, IV, and V. The steps include procedures for the development and evaluation of the training program, the statement of results, the discussion of the process, and the recommended modifications that should be addressed prior to dissemination. Summary Critical issues affecting Step 1 of the model, statement of the problem, have been examined throughout the review of literature. To summarize, parents of students with disabilities have not been active participants in IEP conferences; there is little cause to hope that they will take a more active role in ITP conferences without intervention. Parents targeted for this study are those who have adolescents enrolled in secondary programs for students with learning disabilities or mental retardation.

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84 Figure 1 . Logic diagram for Development and Evaluation of a Parent Participation Process

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HI A. DEVELOP TRAINING PROGRAM Figure 1 — Continued

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IE B. EVALUATE TRAINING PROGRAM! 87 Figure 1 — Continued .

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IV. ANALYZE DATA V. DISCUSS RESULTS OF PROGRAM EVALUATION I T VI. DISSEMINATE Figure 1 — Continued .

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89 A rationale (Step 2) for the development and evaluation of a program for improving parent participation has been provided in the literature reviewed. Those who have studied the problem have disclosed an obvious distinction between the role many individuals think parents should play in the education of students with disabilities and the roles they actually take. Thus, the review supports a major premise of the present study: a difference exists between the idealized and the actual participation roles of parents. The purpose of the program developed and evaluated in this investigation was to train parents to participate in ITP conferences in a way that more closely approximates the ideal of active involvement. It was the primary hypothesis of this investigation that the development of training materials and the delivery of training would bring actual parent participation into closer alignment with expected ideals. It is acknowledged that the provision of training alone is not sufficient to solve the problem of minimal parent participation, since psychological, attitudinal, cultural, and logistic barriers often mitigate strongly against active parent involvement. Although a few training programs currently exist in the area of transition training, none of them are designed

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90 to enable parents to overcome these barriers. In addition, none of the existing programs have been systematically developed and empirically validated. According to the summary of the literature, parent participation can be enhanced if there is a comprehensive training program which includes the following: 1. general guidelines and suggestions to professionals about enhancing parent participation and parenteducator communication; 2. specific guidelines for professionals about preparing and conducting conferences; 3. suggestions to parents about preconference activities that would enhance their active involvement; and 4. training packages, modules, and models, that are designed to enhance parent participation in meetings . These packages should be systematically developed, with consideration for the socio-economic, cultural, emotional, and logistic or environmental variables that may affect parent participation (Lynch & Stein, 1987; Marion, 1979; Schulz, 1987; Turnbull & Turnbull, 1986). Finally, the entire training program should be evaluated, through an empirical method, using multiple data sources, to determine the impact of the program on parents '

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91 knowledge about, participation in, and satisfaction with the ITP conference. The procedures for the development and f evaluation of this type of training program, have been described in Chapter III.

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CHAPTER III METHODS AND PROCEDURES Chapter III contains a description of the methods and procedures of the training program development process and of the empirical study designed to evaluate the training program and materials. For purposes of presentation, the chapter has been divided into six sections. The sections contain, respectively, descriptions of (a) the development of the training program, (b) the research objectives, (c) the subjects, (d) the instrumentation, (e) the evaluation procedures, (f) the training methods, and (g) treatment of the data. Development of Training Program As indicated by Step III of the logic diagram at the end of Chapter II, description of the training materials constituted the first substep in the process of developing the training program. The training program materials developed for the present study included a parent training module and three evaluation instruments. The training module was designed to provide parents with knowledge that might enable them to participate more actively in the ITP 92

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93 conference. Evaluation instruments were designed to determine the impact of training on parents' knowledge * about, participation in, and satisfaction with the conference. Module Development The parent training module, Transition Awareness Training, provided basic knowledge about transition. The module contained the following sections: 1. goals and objectives of the training session; .2. outcomes for training participants; 3. guidelines for training preparation; 4. training procedures; 5. trainer/facilitator materials; 6. participant materials; 7. post training evaluation instruments. In accordance with the second substep of the development process, training module objectives were generated that responded to parent needs identified through the literature review. The training module objectives were as follows: 1. to define transition and its fundamental considerations; to describe the goals of transition planning; 2 .

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94 3. to describe the value of transition planning for students and families; 4. to acquaint parents with the major areas of transition planning; 5. to familiarize parents with their role in the transition planning process. In consideration of the potential barriers that might preclude participation by minority group parents, the development of training modules and of the entire training program was conducted so as to respond to the informational, social, and affective needs and styles of participating parents. For example, to minimize possible discomfort caused by parents recalling negative school experiences (e.g., test anxiety), instruments developed for administration to parents were brief and contained few answer options. In addition, the training program was presented in a manner consistent with local activities which typically involve entire families and the provision of snacks or a meal. Additional details about the training are provided in the section on procedures. Pilot Testing and Revision The third and fourth substeps of the training program development process specify pilot testing of the training materials developed. The Transition Awareness Training Module was (a) reviewed by professionals with expertise in

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95 the areas of transition, (b) pilot tested in two high schools and (c) revised prior to initiation of the experimental portion of the investigation. Based upon reviewer evaluation, feedback from pilot site participants, and researcher judgment, modifications were made in training content, format, and procedures. The most significant revisions involved simplification of the language used and reduction of the training module length. The final product, the training module as it existed after revision, and as it was used in this study for parent training, is included in Appendix A. Description of Research Objectives Evaluation of the training program was undertaken using an empirical design in order to demonstrate the relationship between the provision of preconference training and parents' participation in and satisfaction with ITP conferences. Research objectives were posed as the following questions: Is there a significant difference in the mean scores on an instrument that measures transition knowledge between parents who complete Transition Awareness Training and parents who receive no training? 1 .

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96 2. Is there a significant difference between experimental and control parent groups in mean frequencies of ITP conference citations? 3. Is there a significant difference between experimental and control parent groups in mean scores obtained on a post conference opinion questionnaire (PCOQ)? Description of Subjects Research data were collected from among parents of students in high school special education classes in school districts on the island of Oahu. The subject selection process took place as follows: 1. Districts were identified in which ITPs were being developed (N=3) . 2. Students 15 years and older were identified in high schools that (a) served middle/lower middle class neighborhoods, and (b) were conducting ITP conferences (N=500) . 3. Teachers were identified in these schools who (a) served students classified as mildly/moderately retarded, (b) had received some training in the

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97 development of transition plans provided by the University of Hawaii, and (c) were willing to participate in the study (N=5 teachers and 36 students) . Five teachers and 30 parents agreed to participate in the investigation. Arrangements were made to conduct training sessions and to randomize subject group assignment. However, participating teachers indicated that some subjects could not be randomly assigned. Due to teachers' conference scheduling priorities, the ITP conference of some parents had to be conducted prior to the dates for which training sessions were scheduled. The teachers' conference schedules were affected by such priorities as the student's age, annual IEP review date, and performance on the state high school competency test. Thus, parents whose ITP conference was scheduled to take place prior to training were designated as control group parents. Parents whose conference was scheduled for a date following a training session constituted the experimental group. There were 15 parents in the experimental group and 15 parents in the control group. Table 5 contains a description of the characteristics of the parents in the experimental and control groups, on

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98 Table 5 Demographic Characteristics of Total Sample Variable: Age Age Freq. Percent Cum. Freq. Mean S.D. 20-29 2 6.7 6.7 42.900 8.946 30-39 4 26.7 33.3 40-49 9 46.3 80.0 50-59 4 26.7 96 . 7 60-69 1 3 . 3 100.0 Variable: Sex Sex Freq. Percent Cum. Freq. Males 6 20.0 20.0 Females 24 80.0 100.0 Variable: Education Education Freq. Percent Cum. Freq. Mean S.D. 069 6 20.0 20.0 11.567 2.837 10-12 17 56.7 76.7 College 7 23 . 3 100.0

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99 Table 5 — Continued Variable: Parent Occupation Occupation Freq. Percent Cum. Freq. Homemaker/ Unemployed 11 36.7 36.7 Professional/ Technical/ Managerial 6 20.0 56.7 Service 10 33.3 90.0 Structural 1 3.3 93 . 3 Miscellaneous 2 6.7 100.0 Variable: Ethnicity Ethnicity Freq. Percent Cum. Freq Caucasian 7 23.3 23 . 3 Hawaiian/ part Hawaiian 6 20.0 43 . 3 Filipino 7 23.3 66.6 Japanese 2 6.7 73 . 3 Portuguese 2 6.7 80.0 Samoan 3 10.0 90.0 Mixed 3 10.0 100.0

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100 the variables of age, sex, education, occupation, and ethnicity. Subject assignment to the experimental group and to the control group was influenced by teachers' ITP conference schedules and was therefore not random. Instrumentation Three instruments were developed for the study by the investigator. Instruments were developed through a series of pilot tests, as specified at the conclusion of Chapter II in the logic diagram for development of parent training. One instrument was developed to measure parent knowledge of training module content. A second instrument was developed to measure parent opinions about the ITP conference. The third instrument was used to measure parent participation in the conference. Instrument Developed to Measure Knowledge of Training Content The instrument that measured knowledge of module content (TATI) was designed to meet the following criteria: The instrument demonstrated content validity in the opinion of specialists in the field of special education transition training. 1 .

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101 2 . The items on the instrument were direct measures of content presented during parent training sessions. 3. Participants could respond individually to instrument items. 4 . The instrument minimized the opportunity of participants to increase their scores by random guessing. 5. The instrument was brief and simply formatted. Transition awareness training instrument . The Transition Awareness Instrument (TATI) was a 10 item fixed response questionnaire administered to parents in the experimental group following training and to parents in the control group prior to their ITP conference. The instrument was designed to be administered in 5-7 minutes during which time the examiner read item choices and participants checked the choice they felt was correct. A copy of the instrument is included in Appendix B. Content validity of the TATI . In order to establish content validity, the TATI was subjected to review and evaluation by two experts in the area of transition. These two persons were professors in the Special Education Department, University of Hawaii, who have published

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102 numerous articles and have been extensively involved in providing transition training for parents and professionals in Hawaii, the Pacific Basin Islands, and on the mainland. Over the past five years these individuals have written and directed five transition related projects that have spearheaded Hawaii's progress in (a) providing formal preparation for transition specialists, (b) developing ITPs for students with handicaps, and (c) facilitating interagency collaboration among agencies and programs that provide services to adults with disabilities. There was agreement among the reviewers (a) that the instrument measured the content presented in the training module and (b) that this knowledge was essential for transition awareness. They recommended, however, that the language, length, and format of the instrument be modified so that the instrument appeared less formidable to parents. As a result of feedback, instrument items were shortened from 15 to 10. In addition, the language of instrument items was simplified. Finally, the format of the instrument was modified so that its appearance was less "testlike." Following a second review by experts, the instrument was finalized and used in field tests of the training program.

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103 Instrument Developed to Measure Parent Opinions About Conference The Parent Conference Opinion Questionnaire (PCOQ) was developed to measure parent opinions about and satisfaction with the ITP conference. The instrument was designed to meet the following criteria: 1. the instrument was easy to understand; 2 . the instrument items and response options were brief; 3 . the instrument measured parent opinions about and satisfaction with the outcome of the conference; 4. the instrument probed parent opinions about the interaction between themselves and professionals who were present at the conference. Parent conference opinion questionnaire . The PCOQ consisted of 12 five-point Likert scale items that measured parent opinions about and satisfaction with ITP conference outcomes and processes. In order to refine content and wording, the instrument was subjected to expert review, field tests, and modification as indicated in the logic diagram in Chapter II. The expert reviewer for the instrument was a professor in the Department of Special Education, University of Hawaii. The individual

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104 had experience in working with parents in Hawaii to assist them in planning for the school-to-work transition of » youth and young adults with disabilities. She was asked to determine whether instrument items addressed important dimensions of an effective ITP conference from the parent's perspective. It was her opinion that all items addressed these dimensions. The instrument was also reviewed by two parents of students with disabilities. These parents agreed that the instrument adequately addressed parental concerns regarding the parent-professional interaction in an ITP conference. A copy of the instrument has been included Appendix C. Instrument Developed to Measure Parent Conference Participation The following criteria were required for the instrument (TCPI) developed to measure the participation of parents in the ITP conference: 1. The instrument resembled, as closely as appropriate, already developed and field tested instruments designed to measure parent participation in ITP conferences ; 2. The instrument was simple to use;

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105 3 . The instrument permitted continuous recording of parent and professional citations ; 4. The instrument reflected areas defined by professional literature as appropriate transition planning; 5. Satisfactory interrater reliability could be established for the instrument. Model for the transition conference participation instrument . The instrument developed to measure parent ITP conference participation, represents a modification of an instrument developed and used by the Hawaii Preschool Transition Project to measure parent participation at ITP conferences held for young handicapped children making the transition from preschool programs into the public school system. Users of the original preschool instrument obtained mean interrater agreement of 89.25% for the instrument and established its content validity (Richard & Noonan, 1987) . Transition conference participation instrument . The Transition Conference Participation Instrument (as modified) measured the frequency of professional citations at the ITP conference. Additionally, the TCPI measured

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106 parent conference citations. Parent participation was measured in terms of three citation categories: offering information, asking questions, stating preferences/ opinions. The instrument also measured parents' discussion of specific topics in each citation category (student skills, behaviors, future goals, programs/ services, other) . As the TCPI was pilot tested, used to train coders, and used to establish interrater reliability, additional modifications were made. Table 6 indicates the distinctions between the preschool ITP observation instrument and the finalized TCPI as a result of these modifications . As shown in Table 6, changes in the TCPI included: 1. modification of TCPI format to delete categories and types of professional citations and retain categories and types of parent citations; 2. omission of the category "Offers suggestions," on the TCPI; 3. consolidation of the topics "programs" and "services" into a single topic area on the TCPI ; 4 . replacement of topics for the category "Offers information," on the TCPI ;

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107 Table 6 Distinction s Between Original HPTP Instrument and the TCPI Hawaii Preschool Transition Transition Conference Project (HPTP) Participation Instrument Professional Citation Accepts parent input goals programs services other Rejects parent input goals programs services other Ignores parent input goals programs services other Categories and Topics Categories and topics omitted for professionals. Only frequency tallied. Parent Citation Offers information goals programs services other Asks questions goals programs services other Offers suggestions goals programs services other States preferences goals programs services other Categories and Topics Offers information student skills student behaviors other Asks questions (about) student goals services/programs other Deleted States preferences/ opinions goals services/programs other

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108 5. addition of the topic "about student" to the category "asks questions;" 6. alteration of recording procedure from time sampling to continuous recording; 7. modification of coding procedures for the category preference/opinion to reflect types of opinion (e.g., agreement, disagreement, selfinitiated expression) . In order to refine the instrument for use in this study the experimenter conducted three pilot tests. As a result of the first pilot test, the format of the TCPI was modified. As a result of the second pilot test, adjustments were made in category and topic specifications. During this pilot test, recording procedures were also changed from time sampling to continuous recording, in order to capture parents' infrequent citations. Following the third pilot test, the citation category of preferences/opinions was more sharply defined for coding so that parents' ability to assert themselves might be more clearly and accurately described. Appendix D contains a copy of the TCPI as it was used in this study.

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109 Description of Training and Evaluation Procedures In this section of Chapter III procedures for conducting the ITP conferences training parents and for training a second conference coder are described. Also described are the post conference interview process, and the treatment of data collected in the study. Measuring Parent Knowledge and Conducting Conferences Fifteen parents who had received training (the experimental group) and 15 parents who had not received training (the control group) attended an ITP conference. Prior to initiation of the conference, the research study was explained to parents. Conditions of informed consent were explained and written consent was obtained for parent participation. A copy of the informed consent form can be found in Appendix E. The TATI was then administered by the conference teacher to parents in the control group. In administering the instrument, teachers followed verbal and written instructions that were provided by the investigator. These instructions detailed administration procedures identical to the administration procedures employed with the experimental group.

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110 All parents in the study received the notification of their ITP conference date through the method typically used by the teacher. Parents in both the experimental and control groups who had a history of poor meeting attendance also received a followup telephone call. During this call, teachers (a) reminded parents of their conference date, (b) emphasized the importance of their attendance, (c) elicited a commitment from parents to attend the conference. Teachers were urged to reschedule conference dates as often as necessary to accommodate parents and to follow up rescheduling with a telephone call to confirm parent attendance. Coder Training The participation of parents in both the experimental and the control groups was coded in order to measure the degree to which they contributed comments and questions during the ITP conference. Two coders collected data on parent participation. In order to achieve interrater agreement, a graduate student in the Department of Special Education at the University of Hawaii was trained as a second coder of parent participation in the ITP conference. This individual received approximately five hours of training and practice using the TCPI, the data collection instrument. Initial training included discussions of instrument format and use. Practice coding

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Ill sessions were then conducted during which audiotapes of actual ITP conferences were coded by the researcher and the graduate student. All coding discrepancies were discussed until resolution of each discrepancy was achieved. This process of practice followed by discussion of discrepancies was continued until minimum interrater reliability of .90 for freguency of citation was achieved for 3 consecutive practice tapes using the formula: Number of agreements x 100 Number of agreements + Number of disgreements ITP Conference Data Collection Teachers conducted and audiotaped the conferences for parents in both the experimental and the control groups in accordance with written guidelines (Appendix F) for conference standardization and recording previously supplied and explained to them by the researcher. These procedures requested that teachers (a) test recording equipment prior to the meeting; (b) use an electrical outlet, rather than batteries for the recording equipment; (c) welcome parents and thank them 'for attending; (d) ask if parents had any questions about conference proceedings; (e) make a statement inviting parents to participate actively in the conference; (f) introduce all individuals

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112 present at the conference; and (g) conduct the conference within a 60 to 90 minute time frame. The researcher attended 15 randomly selected conferences in order to ensure that teachers were following conference guidelines. The investigator was introduced, but remained unobtrusive and did not take part in the conference proceedings. Following opening statements, conference audiotaping began as per participants' permission. At the conclusion of the conference, parents received a copy of the post conference interview questionnaire (PCOQ) . They were told to expect a telephone call within a week to discuss their opinions about the conference. Post Conference Interviews Post conference interview calls were made to parents in both groups by the researcher. After providing requested demographic data on educational level attained, age, occupation, and ethnicity, parents were referred to their copy of the PCOQ. The researcher emphasized the need for honest opinions. Parents were also assured that all information would be reported as group data and that no individual opinions would be relayed to any of the professionals in their child's school. The researcher then explained response options, read each item aloud, and recorded parent responses in writing. Additional comments

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113 that parents wished to make were also recorded. Each interview took approximately 10 minutes. Parent Training for Experimental Group The 15 parents in the experimental group received Transition Awareness Training prior to attending their teenager's ITP conference. Teachers participating in the study invited the parents of their students to attend an open house program. The Transition Awareness Training session was included as part of the open house program agenda. Teachers contacted parents via mailed invitations and follow-up telephone calls to encourage attendance and to assist parents in working out logistical difficulties. Special arrangements were made to encourage participation and overcome potential psychological, cultural, or logistical barriers to participation, as follow: 1. Training sessions were held in the evening after typical working hours. 2. Training took place in the library or cafeteria of the child's school places that were familiar and perhaps more psychologically comfortable for some parents than classrooms.

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114 3. Child care was available for parents who needed it. 4. Training took place as part of an open house or informational meeting typically held to acguaint parents with new and ongoing school programs and activities for the year. 5. Social patterns and amenities normally followed by local ethnic groups in Hawaii were observed. For example, (a) parents were encouraged to bring their entire families, (b) a light supper was provided, (c) time was allowed prior to and following training activities for individuals to "talk story," (i.e., engage in small talk) . Upon their arrival, parents were greeted at the door by their child's teacher and by the researcher. Each parent was asked to sign in and was given a packet containing a program agenda, training materials and literature about school programs. Following a period for socialization and supper, school personnel introduced faculty and speakers for the evening. After presentation

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115 of new and ongoing programs for the year, the training module, Transition Awareness Training, was presented. A 9 complete copy of the module, with details on its presentation, is included in Appendix A. As the final training activity, the TATI was administered to parents. After being referred to a copy of the instrument in their packet, parents were asked to follow along as the researcher read aloud the instrument items and answer options. Parents were asked. to mark their answer choices on the instrument. Time for instrument administration was approximately 6-8 minutes. When completed instruments had been collected, parents were given a written copy of correct responses to place in their training packets. At the conclusion of module presentation, guidelines for informed consent were explained and parents were invited to participate in the the study by consenting to have their ITP conference audiotaped and by agreeing to participate in a post conference telephone interview with the researcher. Treatment of the Data Descriptive statistics (means and standard deviations) provided clarification of research findings. The Student's t-Test for independent samples was used to

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116 analyze data necessary to answer the three research questions posed in Chapter I. Use of this procedure allowed for the determination of significant differences between parents who received Transition Awareness Training and parents who received no training. The research questions have been restated as null hypotheses as follows: 1. There is no statistically significant difference in the mean score on a test of knowledge about transition between parents who received Transition Awareness Training and parents who received no training. 2. There is no statistically significant difference in the mean frequency of ITP conference citations between parents who received Transition Awareness Training and parents who received no training. 3. There is no statistically significant difference in the mean score on an instrument measuring opinions about the ITP conference between parents who received Transition Awareness Training and parents who received no training.

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117 An alpha of .05 was selected as the level of significance required for rejection of a null hypothesis. When the probability was greater than .05 that the data could occur by chance, a null hypothesis was retained. Data related to null hypothesis 1 were provided by parent scores obtained on the TATI, the instrument designed to measure parents' pre-conference knowledge of training module content. A t-test performed on these data provided for determination of significant differences between trained and untrained parents regarding their knowledge about the definition of transition, the rationale for transition planning, and the value of transition planning. A frequency distribution of TATI scores constituted a measure of the effectiveness of the training module. A TATI score of 80% correct was set as the criterion level for parents' mastery of training module content. Data related to null hypothesis 2 consisted of frequency counts of parents' ITP conference citations as measured by the TCPI. A t-test performed on these data enabled the researcher to determine differences in conference participation between parents who received preconference training and parents who received no training.

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118 Data related to null hypothesis 3 consisted of parents' cumulative score on the Parent Conference Opinion Questionnaire (PCOQ) . Analysis of these data, using a ttest, allowed for determination of differences between parents who received training and parents who served as a control on the items concerning their satisfaction with and opinions about the ITP conference proceedings. Summary In Chapter III the methods and procedures involved in the development and evaluation of a training program designed to enhance ITP conference participation of parents who have adolescents with disabilities have been described. Utilizing the sequence provided by the logic diagram in Chapter II, the investigator engaged in a program development process that resulted in development of a parent training module (Appendix A) , three evaluation instruments (Appendices B, C, and D) , and guidelines for encouraging greater parent participation in training programs (Appendix F) . The training program was evaluated through the implementation of an empirical study that included, as subjects, 30 ethnically diverse parents of high school students with learning disabilities and mild/moderate retardation. Parents in the experimental group attended a one hour training session designed to respond to sociocultural, logistic, and other barriers that often impede

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119 parent participation. Parents completed an instrument designed to measure their knowledge of training session content. Following training, parents in the experimental group participated in an ITP conference, during which time their level of participation in the meeting was audiotaped for subsequent coding. A post-conference telephone call was made to these parents to elicit their opinions about the conference. Prior to their ITP meeting, parents in the control group were tested, on the same instrument completed by parents in the experimental group, in order to determine their pre-conference knowledge about transition. Following testing, they participated in ITP conferences, during which their levels of participation were audiotaped and coded in the same manner as the experimental group. The post-conference opinions of parents in the control group were measured in the same manner as the opinions of parents in the experimental group. The t-test was selected as the appropriate statistical process for analyzing data necessary to answer research questions posed in the study. Chapter IV contains the results of analyses conducted on the major research questions. The results of followup analyses are also reported in Chapter IV.

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CHAPTER IV RESULTS ' In Chapter IV the results of the training program evaluation are presented. For purposes of presentation, the chapter has been organized to answer the three research questions posed in Chapter III. These questions have been restated in this chapter as null hypotheses. The SPSS Student's t-Test for independent samples procedure was utilized to analyze data regarding the research questions. An alpha of .05 was selected as the level of significance required for rejection of a null hypothesis. Chapter IV also includes the results of follow-up statistical analyses conducted to describe more fully the nature of parents' ITP conference citations. Demographic data were collected for all participants in each school district and school on the variables of sex, age, education, ethnicity, and occupation. Tables 7 and 8 summarize these variables for the experimental group and control group, respectively. In addition, a crossbreak of subject ethnicity by school for the total sample is provided in Table 9. 120

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121 Table 7 Descriptive Data for Experimental Group Variable: School District District Freq. Percent Cum. Freq. Honolulu 6 40.0 40.0 Windward 7 46.7 86.7 Central 2 13.3 100.0 School Variable: School Freq. Percent Cum. Freq. A 2 13 . 3 13 . 3 B 3 20.0 33 . 3 C 4 26.7 60.0 D 4 26.7 86.7 E 2 13 . 3 100.0

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122 Table 7 — Continued Age Freq. Variable: Age Percent Cum. Freq. Mean S.D. 20 29 1 6.7 6.7 43 . 067 9 . 027 30 39 4 26.7 33 . 3 40 49 8 53.4 86.7 50 59 1 6.7 93 . 3 60 69 1 6.7 100.0 Variable: Sex Sex Freq • Percent Cum. Freq. Males 4 26.7 26.7 Females 11 73 . 3 100.0 Variable: Education Education In Years Freq. Percent Cum. Freq. Mean S.D. 06 09 1 6.7 6.7 12.600 2.354 10 12 9 60.0 66.7 College 5 33 . 3 100.0

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123 Table 7 — Continued Variable: Occupation Occupation Freq. Percent Cum. Freq. Homemaker/ Unemployed 6 40.0 40.0 Professional/ Technical/ Managerial 4 26.7 66.7 Service 3 20.0 86.7 Structural 1 6.7 93.3 Miscellaneous 1 6.7 100.0 Variable: Ethnicity Ethnicity Freq. Percent Cum. Freq. Caucasian 6 40.0 40.0 Hawaiian/ Part Hawaiian 3 20.0 60.0 Filipino 3 20.0 80.0 Portuguese 1 6.7 86.7 Mixed 2 13 . 3 100.0

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124 Table 8 Descriptive Data for Control Group Variable: School District District Freq. Percent Cum. Freq. Honolulu 12 80.0 80.0 Windward 3 20.0 100.0 Variable: School School Freq. Percent Cum. Freq. A 12 80.0 80.0 B 1 6.7 86.7 C 2 13.3 100.0 Variable: Age Age Freq. Percent Cum. Freq. Mean S.D. 20 29 1 6.7 6.7 42.733 9 . 177 30 39 4 26.6 33.3 40 49 5 33 . 3 66.7 50 59 5 33 . 3 100.0 Variable: Sex Sex Freq. Percent Cum. Freq. Males Females 2 13 13 . 3 86.7 13 . 3 100 . 0

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125 Table 8 — Continued Education In Years Freq. Variable: Percent Education Cum. Freq. Mean S.D. 06 09 5 33.3 33.3 10.533 2 . 973 10 12 8 53.4 86.7 College 2 13.3 100 . 0 Variable: Occupation Occupation Freq. Percent Cum. Freq. Homemaker/ Unemployed 5 33.3 33 . 3 Professional/ Technical/ Managerial 2 13 . 3 46.7 Service 7 46.7 93 . 3 Miscellaneous 1 6.7 100.0

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126 Table 8 — Continued Variable: Ethnicity Ethnicity Freq. Percent Cum. Freq. Caucasian 1 6.7 6.7 Hawaiian/ Part Hawaiian 3 20.0 26.7 Filipino 4 26.7 53.4 Japanese 2 13 . 3 66.7 Portuguese 1 6.7 73 . 4 Samoan 3 20.0 93 . 3 Mixed 2 13 . 3 100.0 Table 9 Crossbreak of Subi ect Ethnicity bv School Ethnicity School ABODE Caucasian 0 3 Hawaiian/Part Hawaiian 3 1 Filipino 5 0 Japanese 2 0 Portuguese 1 o Samoan 3 0 Mixed 0 0 0 1 2 0 1 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0

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127 Research Question 1 Research question 1 addressed parents' knowledge of training module content using the Transition Awareness Training Instrument (TATI) . For both the experimental and the control group, scores on the test ranged from 5-10 (mean = 8.400, S.D. = 1.429). Table 10 contains a summary of the frequency of responses on the TATI for the total group. The specific research question asked whether parents who have completed transition training have greater knowledge about the definition, rationale, and value of transition planning than parents who had no training. To answer this question, the following null hypothesis was formed: There is no statistically significant difference in the score on the Transition Awareness Training Instrument received by parents who received transition awareness training and the score received by parents who served as the control group. The mean preconference TATI scores for the experimental group and the control group were compared using a t-test. Table 11 contains the results of the t-test analysis.

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128 Table 10 Frequency Distributed for TATI Value Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. Total Sample 05 1 03 . 3 03 . 3 05-10 8 .400 1.429 06 2 06.7 10.0 07 5 16.7 26.7 08 7 23.3 50.0 09 6 20.0 70.0 10 9 30.0 100.0 Experimental Group 08 2 13 . 3 13 . 3 08-10 9 .466 0.743 09 4 26.7 40.0 10 9 60.0 100.0 Control Group 05 1 06.7 06.7 05.09 7 .333 1.113 06 2 13 . 3 20.0 07 5 33.3 53 . 3 08 5 33 . 3 86.7 09 2 13.3 100.0

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129 Table 11 t-Test Analysis of Transition Awareness Training Evaluation Dependent Variable: Transition Awareness Training Evaluation Group N Mean S.D. S . Error t-Value d.f. Alpha Exp 15 9.466 0.743 0.192 6.17 24.42 0.000 Cnt 15 7 .333 1.113 0.287 The null hypothesis for research question 1 was rejected indicating there was a statistically significant difference between the mean score received by parents in the experimental group and the mean score received by parents in the control group on the TATI. As indicated in Table 11, the mean score on the TATI for parents in the experimental group was 9.46; the mean score for parents in the control group was 7.33. This difference was significant at the 0.00 level, which allows for the conclusion that the difference in mean score for the two groups did not occur by chance. The data in Table 10 indicated that all parents who received transition awareness training met the criterion level of 80% correct set prior to training. Thirty-three

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130 percent of parents in the control group met the criterion level . Research Question 2 Research question 2 focused on ITP conference participation of parents in the experimental group and parents in the control group. For the total sample scores ranged from 6 168 (mean = 65.167, S.D. = 38.821). Table 12 contains a summary of the frequency of responses on the ITP conference citation variable for the experimental group and the control group. The specific research question was whether a significant difference existed in the frequency of conference citations between the parent group that received transition awareness training and the parent group that served as a control. To answer this question, the following null hypothesis was formed: There is no statistically significant difference in frequency of conference citations between parents who received transition awareness training and parents who served as the control group. Table 13 contains the results of the T-Test performed to determine difference between the means of the experimental group and the control group on the ITP conference participation variable.

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131 Table 12 Frequency Distribution for Parent ITP Conference Citations Value Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. 06 12 14 19 27 28 29 32 41 44 47 48 52 62 64 76 77 80 84 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 02 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 01 Total Sample 03 . 3 03 . 3 03 . 3 03.3 03.3 03 . 3 03.3 06.7 03 . 3 03 . 3 03 . 3 03.3 03.3 03 . 3 03 . 3 03.3 03 . 3 03 . 3 03 . 3 03.3 03.3 06.7 10.0 13 . 3 16.7 20.0 23.3 30.0 33 . 3 36.7 40.0 43.3 46.7 50.0 53 . 3 56.7 60.0 63 . 3 67.7 70.0 06-168 65.167 38.821 86

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89 93 103 105 107 115 122 168 6 27 28 29 32 44 62 76 77 80 89 93 132 12 — Continued Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. 01 03 . 3 73.3 02 06.7 80.0 01 03.3 83 . 3 01 03.3 86.7 01 03.3 90.0 01 03.3 93.3 01 03.3 96.7 01 03.3 100.0 Experimental Group 01 06.7 06.7 01 06.7 13.3 01 06.7 20.0 01 06.7 26.7 01 06.7 33 . 3 01 06.7 40.0 01 06.7 46.7 01 06.7 53 . 3 01 06.7 60.0 01 06.7 66.7 01 06.7 73 . 3 01 06.7 80.0 06-16 69.33 43.358

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107 122 168 12 14 19 32 41 47 48 52 64 84 86 93 103 105 115 133 12 — Continued Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D 01 06.7 86.7 01 06.7 93 . 3 01 06.7 100.0 Control Group 01 06.7 01 06.7 01 06.7 01 06.7 01 06.7 01 06.7 01 06.7 01 06.7 01 06.7 01 06.7 01 06.7 01 06.7 01 06.7 01 06.7 01 06 . 7 06.7 12-115 13 . 3 20.0 26.7 33 . 3 40.0 46.7 53 . 3 60.0 66.7 73 . 3 80.0 86.7 93.3 100.0 61.000 34.707

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134 Table 13 t-Test Analysis of Parent ITP Conference Citations Dependent Variable: Parent ITP Conference Citations Group N Mean S.D. S . Error t-Value d. f . Alpha Exp 15 69.333 43.358 11.195 0.58 26.72 0.566 Con 15 61.000 34.707 8.961 The null hypothesis for research question 2 was retained. There was no statistically significant difference between the two parent groups in the mean number of conference citations. However, in order to more fully describe the nature of parent participation and to probe for other significant group differences in conference citations, several follow-up analyses were conducted for research question 2 . Follow-Up Analyses Follow-up analyses focused on (a) citation categories, types of preference/opinion citations, and duration of parent citations. This section contains frequency distributions and the results of t-test analyses for each of these citation variables.

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135 Follow-up Analysis 1: Citation Categories The first follow-up concern, citation categories, dealt with the extent to which parents offered information, asked questions, stated preferences/opinions. For the total sample, scores for offered information ranged from 4-92 (mean = 38.933, S.D. = 23.210); scores for asked questions ranged from 0-51 (mean = 9.433, S.D. = 11.190); scores for stated preferences/opinions ranged from 1-65 (mean = 16.800, S.D. = 14.344). Tables 14, 15, and 16 contain summaries of the frequency of responses in these three citation categories for the experimental group and the control group. The specific follow-up questions regarding parent citation categories asked whether a significant difference existed between the parent group that received Transition Awareness Training and the parent group that served as a control in the frequency of conference citations 'that offered information, asked questions, and stated pref erences/ opinions . In order to answer this question three null hypotheses were formed: 1. There is no statistically significant difference in frequency of conference citations in which parents offered information between parents who received transition awareness training and parents who served as the control group.

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136 Table 14 Frequency Distribution for Citation Category; Offered Information Value Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. Experimental Group 5 1 06.7 06.7 5-92 38.667 23.793 8 1 06.7 13 . 3 13 1 06.7 20.0 17 1 06.7 26.7 18 1 06.7 33 . 3 28 1 06.7 40.0 40 2 13 . 3 53 . 3 46 1 06.7 60.0 52 1 06.7 66.7 54 1 06.7 73 . 3 55 1 06.7 80.0 56 2 13.3 93 . 3 92 1 03 . 3 100.0 Control Group 4 2 13 . 3 13.3 4-87 39.200 23.444 17 1 06.7 20.0 22 1 06.7 26.7 30 1 06.7 33 . 3 32 1 06 . 7 40 . 0 36 2 13 . 3 53 . 3

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137 Table 14 — Continued Value Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. Control Group 38 1 06.7 60.0 42 1 06.7 66.7 53 2 13.3 80.0 62 1 06.7 86.7 72 1 06.7 93.3 87 1 06.7 100.0 Table 15 Frequency Distribution for Citation Category: Asked Questions Value Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. Experimental Group 0 1 06.7 06.7 1 2 13.3 20.0 2 1 06.7 26.7 3 1 06.7 33 . 3 5 1 06.7 40.0 6 1 06.7 46.7 7 1 06.7 53 . 3 8 1 06.7 60.0 0-51 10.600 13.136

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9 10 12 19 25 51 0 1 2 4 5 6 7 9 10 14 15 37 138 15 — Continued Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.p. Experimental Group 1 06.7 66.7 0 06.7 73 . 3 1 06.7 80.0 1 06.7 86.7 1 06.7 93 . 3 1 06.7 100.0 Control Group 1 06.7 06.7 2 13 . 3 20.0 1 06.7 26.7 2 13 . 3 40.0 1 06.7 46.7 1 06.7 53 . 3 1 06.7 60.0 2 13.3 73 . 3 1 06.7 80.0 1 06.7 86.7 1 06.7 93 . 3 1 06.7 100.0 0-37 8.267 9.161

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139 Table 16 Frequency Distribution for Citation Category; Stated Preferences/Opinions Value Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. Experimental Group 0 1 06.7 06.7 0-65 20.067 16.577 5 2 13 . 3 20.0 8 1 06.7 26.7 9 1 06.7 33 . 3 14 2 13 . 3 46.7 16 1 06.7 53.3 22 1 06.7 60.0 23 2 13.3 73 . 3 27 1 06.7 80.0 28 1 06.7 86.7 42 1 06.7 93.3 65 1 06.7 100.0 Control Group 1 2 13 . 3 13 . 3 1-38 13 . 533 11.338 5 1 06.7 20.0 6 1 06.7 26.7 7 1 06.7 33 . 3 8 2 13.3 46.7 9 1 06.7 53 . 3

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140 Table 16 — Continued V&lue Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. Control Group 13 1 06.7 60.0 14 2 13 . 3 73 . 3 21 1 06.7 80.0 22 1 06.7 86.7 36 1 06.7 93 . 3 38 1 06.7 100.0 2. There is no statistically significant difference in frequency of conference citations in which parents asked questions between parents who received transition awareness training and parents who served as the control group. 3. There is no statistically significant difference in frequency of conference citations in which parents stated preferences/opinions between parents who received transition awareness training and parents who served as the control group .

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141 Tables 17, 18, and 19 contain the results of the t-tests performed to determine the difference between the means of the experimental group and the control group on the citation category variables. Table 17 t-Test Analysis on Parent Citation Categories: Offered Information ITP Conference Dependent Variable: Citations — Parent Offers Information Group N Mean S.D. S. Error t-Value d. f . Alpha Exp 15 38.666 23.793 6.143 -0.06 27 . 99 0.951 Cnt 15 39.200 23.444 6.053 Table 18 t-Test Analysis on Parent Citation Cateaories: Asked Questions ITP Dependent Variable: Conference Citations — Parent Asks Questions Group N Mean S.D. S. Error t-Value d . f . Alpha Exp 15 10.600 13.136 3.392 0.56 25.01 0 . 578 Cnt 15 8.266 9.161 2.365

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142 Table 19 t-Test Analysis on Parent Citation Categories: Stated Opinions Dependent Variable: ITP Conference Citations — Parent States Opinions/Preferences Group N Mean S.D. S . Error t-Value d . f . Alpha Exp 15 20.066 16.577 4.280 1.26 24.75 0.219 Cnt 15 13.533 11.338 2 . 927 The three null hypotheses relating to parent citation categories were retained. There was no statistically significant difference between the mean scores for the two parent groups on the extent to which they offered information, asked questions, or stated preferences/ opinions during the ITP conference. Follow-Up Analysis 2: Preference/Opinion Citation Types A second follow-up concern dealt with the extent to which parent statements of preference/opinion represented agreements with professionals' opinions, disagreements with professionals' opinions, or unsolicited, parentinitiated preferences/ opinions. For the total sample, scores for preferences/opinions that agreed with professionals ranged from 0-27 (mean = 8.633, S.D. = 7.369). Scores for preferences/opinions that disagreed

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143 with professionals ranged from 0-3 (mean = .767 , S.D. = .935). Scores for parent citations that represented unsolicited, parent-initiated expressions of preference/ opinion ranged from 0-37 (mean = 7.367, S.D. = 9.242). Tables 20, 21, and 22 contain frequency data for these variables for both the experimental group and the control group . Table 20 Frequency Distribution for Agreement Preference/Opinion Citations Value Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. Experimental Group 0 2 13 . 3 13.3 2 1 06.7 20.0 3 1 06.7 26.7 5 1 06.7 33 . 3 6 1 06.7 40.0 9 1 06.7 46.7 11 2 13.3 60.0 12 1 06.7 66.7 14 1 06.7 73 . 3 15 1 06.7 80.0 17 2 13 . 3 93 . 3 27 1 06.7 100.0 0-27 9.933 7.507

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144 Table 20 — Continued Value Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. Control Group 0 1 06.7 06.7 1 2 13.3 20.0 3 3 20.0 40.0 4 1 06.7 46.7 5 3 20.0 66.7 11 1 06.7 73.3 12 1 06.7 80.0 15 1 06.7 86.7 16 1 06.7 93 . 3 26 1 06.7 100.0 Table 21 Frequency Distribution for Disagreement Preference/ Opinion Citations Value Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. Experimental Group 0 10 66.7 66.7 0-2 .400 .632 1 4 26.7 93.3 2 1 06.7 100.0

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145 Table 21 — Continued Value Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. Control Group 0 5 33.3 33.3 0-3 1.333 1.060 1 5 33 . 3 66.7 2 3 20.0 86.7 3 2 13.3 100.0 Table 22 Freouencv Distribution for Parenlnitiated Preference/ Opinion Citations Value Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. Experimental Group 0 2 13.3 13.3 0-37 9.733 11.380 2 2 13 . 3 26.7 3 2 13 . 3 40.0 4 2 13 . 3 53 . 3 6 1 06.7 60.0 7 1 06.7 66.7 12 1 06.7 73 . 3 13 1 06.7 80.0 25 1 06.7 86.7

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146 Table 22 — Continued Value Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. Experimental Group 28 1 06.7 93.3 37 1 06.7 100.0 Control Group 0 3 20.0 20.0 0-23 5.000 5.952 1 2 13 . 3 33 . 3 2 2 13.3 46.7 4 2 13 . 3 60.0 5 1 06.7 66.7 7 1 06.7 73.3 8 1 06.7 80.0 9 2 13 . 3 93 . 3 23 1 06.7 100.0 The specific follow-up question regarding the types of parent preference/ opinion citations asked whether a significant difference existed between the parent group that received transition awareness training and the parent group that served as a control on the frequency of

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preference/opinion citation types (agreement, disagreement, pareninitiated) . In order to answer this question three null hypotheses were formed. 147 1. There is no statistically significant difference in frequency of preference/opinion citations that express agreement with professionals between parents who received transition awareness training and parents who served as the control group. 2. There is no statistically significant difference in frequency of preference/ opinion citations that express disagreement with professionals between parents who received transition awareness training and parents who served as the control group . 3. There is no statistically significant difference in frequency of pareninitiated preference/ opinion citations between parents who received transition awareness training and parents who served as the control group. Tables 23, 24, and 25 contain the results of the t-tests performed to determine the difference between the mean scores of the experimental group and the control group on the types of preference/ opinion citations.

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148 Table 23 t-Test Analysis on Parent Opinion/Preference Types: Agreement Dependent Variable: Parent Opinion/Preference Citations that Agreed with Professionals Group N Mean S.D. S. Error t-Value d.f . Alpha Exp 15 9.333 7.507 1.938 0.97 27.97 0.343 Cnt 15 7.333 7.247 1.871 Table 24 t-Test Analysis on Parent Oo inion/ Preference Types : Disagreement Dependent Variable: Parent Opinion/Preference Citations that Disagreed with Professionals Group N Mean S.D. S. Error t-Value • d.f. Alpha Exp 15 0.400 0.632 0.163 -2.30 22.85 *0.031 Cnt 15 1.133 1.060 0.274

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149 Table 25 t-Test Analysis on Parent Opinion/Preference Types: Parenlnitiated Dependent Variable: Parent Opinion/Preference Citations that Were Parent Initiated Group N Mean S.D. S . Error t-Value d. f . Alpha Exp 15 9.733 11.380 2.938 1.43 21.13 0.168 Cnt 15 5.000 5.952 1.537 The null hypothesis related to agreement preference/ opinion citations was retained. There was no statistically significant difference in the freguency of parent agreements with professionals' opinions between parents who received transition awareness training and parents in the control group. The null hypothesis related to disagreement preference/opinion citations was rejected. There was a statistically significant difference in the frequency of parent disagreements with professionals between parents who received transition awareness training and control group parents. Parents who received training made significantly fewer disagreement citations than did parents who received no training.

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150 The null hypothesis related to parent-initiated preference/ opinion citations was retained. There was no statistically significant difference in the frequency of parent-initiated preference/opinion citations between parents who received transition awareness training and parents who served as the control group. Follow-Up Analysis 3: Cumulative Length of Parent Citations The third follow-up analysis focused on the cumulative length of parent citations during the ITP conference. After controlling for differences in parental education level, five ITP conferences were randomly selected from the experimental group and from the control group (N=10) . A time sampling was made of the first 30 minutes of each of these conferences in order to determine the percentage of time parents spoke during the first half hour of the conference. Table 26 provides a frequency distribution for cumulative citation length for both the experimental group and the control group. The table shows both percentage data and the cumulative number of minutes and second parents spoke during the first 30 minutes of the conference.

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151 Table 26 f Frequency Distribution for Cumulative Citation Length Value Freq. Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. Experimental Group .09(2 Â’42") 2 40.0 40.0 . 09.29 . 184 0.095 . 18 (5 1 24" ) 1 20.0 60 . 0 .27(8' 6") 1 20.0 80.0 .29 (8 ' 42 " ) 1 20.0 100.0 Control Group . 08(2' 24" ) 1 20.0 20.0 . 08.40 . 184 0.127 .11(3 '18") 1 20.0 40.0 . 14 (4 ' 12") 1 20 . 0 60.0 . 19 (5 '42") 1 20.0 80.0 .40(12 ' ) 1 20.0 100.0 The specific follow-up question asked whether a significant difference existed in the length of conference citations between the parent group that received transition awareness training and the parent group that served as a control. To answer this question, the following null hypothesis was formed: There is no

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152 statistically significant difference in the cumulative length of conference citations for one half hour between parents who received transition awareness training and parent who served as the control group. Table 27 contains the results of the t-test performed to address the variable of cumulative citation length. Table 27 t-Test Analysis on Cumulative Citation Length for One Half Hour Time N Mean S.D. S . Error t-Value d. f . Alpha Exp 5 . 184 . 095 . 043 0.00 7.41 1.000 Cnt 5 . 184 .127 . 057 The null hypothesis related to citation length was retained. There was no significant difference in cumulative length of citation time between parents who received training and parents who received no training. Parents in both the experimental group and parents in the control group spoke approximately 5 minutes and 30 seconds during the first half hour of the ITP conference. The results of original and follow-up data analyses related to research question 2 , parents ' conference citations, can be summarized as follows:

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153 1. Parents who received Transition Awareness Training did not differ from parents who received no training in overall frequency of their conference participation. 2. Parents who received Transition Awareness Training did not differ from untrained parents in terms of the frequency with which they offered information, asked questions, or stated preferences and opinions. 3. Parents who received Transition Awareness Training did not differ from untrained parents in terms of the frequency with which they agreed with the preferences/ opinions expressed by professionals, nor in terms of the frequency with which they expressed unsolicited preferences/ opinions . 4. Parents who received training did differ from untrained parents in terms of the extent to which they expressed disagreement with professional opinions; parents who received training expressed significantly fewer opinions that disagreed with professionals . Parents who received training did not differ from parents who received no training in terms of the 5.

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154 amount of time they participated during the first 30 minutes of the ITP conference. Research Question 3 Research question 3 focused on parents' post ITP conference opinions. For both the experimental and control group, scores ranged from 32 60 (mean = 52.700, S.D. = 6.385). Table 28 summarizes the frequency of responses of parents in both the experimental group and the control group on the post conference Parent Opinion Conference Questionnaire (POCQ) . Table 28 Frequency Distribution for Post Conference Parent Opinion Value Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. Experimental Group 32 1 06.7 06.6 32-60 53.733 6.573 50 1 06.7 13.3 52 2 13 . 3 26.7 53 1 06.7 33 . 3 55 2 13 . 3 46.7 56 4 26.7 73 . 3 57 2 13 . 3 86.7 59 1 06.7 93 . 3 60 1 06.7 100.0

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155 Table 28 — Continued Value Frequency Percent Cum Percent Range Mean S.D. Control Group 40 1 06.7 06.7 40-58 51.667 6.241 43 2 13 . 3 20.0 47 1 06.7 26.7 48 2 13.3 40.0 52 1 . 06.7 46.7 56 3 20.0 66.7 57 4 26.7 93 . 3 58 1 06.7 100.0 The specific research question related to parent opinions about the ITP conference asked whether there were significant differences between parent groups relative to scores obtained on the post conference POCQ. To address the question, the following null hypothesis was formed: There is no statistically significant difference between the mean score obtained by parents in the experimental group and parents in the control group on the POCQ. The results of the t-test used to analyze the data are presented in Table 29.

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156 Table 29 t-Test Analysis of Parent Post-Conference Opinions Dependent Variable: Parent Post-Conference Opinion Group N Mean S.D. S . Error t-Value d.f. Alpha Exp 15 53.733 6.573 1.697 0.88 27.93 0.385 Cnt 15 51.666 6.241 1.611 Summary Chapter IV contains a presentation of the results of a training program designed to enhance parents' participation in ITP conferences. Descriptive statistics and t-test results were presented in order to compare the responses of trained and untrained parents on (a) knowledge of transition awareness, (b) level of participation in ITP conferences, and (c) satisfaction with and opinions about the ITP conference. Statistically significant differences were found in the scores of trained and untrained parents on the TATI, an instrument that measured knowledge about transition.

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157 No statistically significant differences were found in the scores of trained and untrained parents on the TCPI , an instrument that measured level of conference participation. In addition, no statistically significant differences were found between parent groups on the POCQ, the instrument that measured parent satisfaction with and opinions about the ITP conference. Follow-up analyses were conducted to identify differences between the parent groups in the freguency of three citation categories, three preference/opinion types, and in the cumulative length of citations. Table 30 contains a summary of study results. Table 30 Summary of Research Results Variable Group X SX t-Value Knowledge E 9.46 .743 6.17* C 7.33 1.11 ITP Conference Citations E 69 .33 43 . 36 .58 C 61.00 34.71 Offered Information E 38 . 66 23.79 -0.06 C 39.20 23.44

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158 Table 30 — Continued Variable Group X Sx t-Value Asked E 10.60 13 . 13 . 56 Questions C 8.26 9.16 Stated E 20.06 16.57 1.26 Preferences/ Opinions C 13 . 53 11.33 Agreed With E 9.33 7.51 .97 Professionals C 7.33 7.25 Disagreed With Professionals E .40 . 63 -2.30* C 1.13 1.06 Initiated Preference/ E 9.73 11.38 1.43 Opinion C 5.00 5.95 Length of Citations E . 18 . 09 . 00 C . 18 . 13 Post Conference E 53.73 6.57 .88 Opinions/ Satisfaction C 51.66 6.24

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CHAPTER V DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS The first section of Chapter V contains a general review of the study. Included are reviews of the study purpose and objectives, relevant literature, research questions, study methods, and research findings. The second section contains an interpretative analysis and discussion of research findings. Section two also relates these findings to the need for revision of the training materials/procedure. The third section of Chapter V contains a discussion of the practical implications of study findings. Sections 4 and 5 include, respectively, a summary of study limitations and suggestions for further research. Review of Study Purpose and Objectives Active parent involvement in the education of students with disabilities has become an ideal encouraged by professionals, supported by legislation, and met with varying degrees of responsiveness by parents themselves. As students with disabilities approach the age when public schools will no longer have responsibility for their 159

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160 education and related service needs, it becomes imperative that parents be prepared to join special educators in determining how the adult service needs of their offspring will be met. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a training program designed to prepare parents for active participation in ITP conferences. It is in these conferences that individualized plans will be made for meeting the needs of adolescents with disabilities who will soon make the transition from school to the adult world of work, family life, and community participation. The study was designed to evaluate program effectiveness by measuring the level of parents' ITP conference participation following training. In addition, the investigator sought to determine parents' satisfaction with and opinions about the ITP conference. Review of the Literature Role theory provides a useful construct for conceptualizing the role of parents in the education of students with disabilities. Based on the literature regarding parent participation in special education programming, one can conclude that discrepancies exist among parents' idealized, mandated, and actual roles. The ideal participatory role of parents, and to large extent, the mandated role, has been depicted as one in which

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161 parents actively collaborate with professionals in making decisions about the educational content, setting, and related services required by students with disabilities. IEP conferences and of late, ITP conferences, provide the settings in which parent-professional cooperative decision making presumably takes place. However, researchers who have analyzed IEP conference proceedings have concluded almost unanimously, that parents typically do not contribute actively to the decisions made in these conferences. Parents whose cultural, linguistic, and economic backgrounds fall outside of white, middle class parameters are especially prone to assume a passive role in interactions with educators. Despite evidence of their passivity in processes that affect the special education provided to their children, parents have typically expressed high satisfaction with programming efforts and with their own limited involvement in these efforts. One might suspect that professionals have begun to endorse minimal parent involvement as a respectable and legitimate option for parents, in part in response to parent satisfaction with minimal involvement in educational decision making. No doubt, these professionals are also sensitive to the right of parents to choose a role of passive participation without being labelled uncaring and without being pressured to assume

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162 responsibilities beyond those with which they feel prepared to cope. Nevertheless, for the following reasons, passive participation on the part of parents whose adolescents have disabilities, should not be casually accepted: 1. The picture of adult life for individuals with disabilities is one that all too often depicts failure to adjust, de facto segregation, and difficulty in acquiring and maintaining the necessities for a productive and meaningful existence (Kiernan & Bruininks, 1986) . 2. The system of service delivery to adults with special needs is imperfect at best and unresponsive at worst (Bruininks, Hill, Lakin, & White, 1985; Fifield & Smith, 1985; Halpern, Close, & Nelson, 1986; Hasazi, Gordon, & Roe, 1985; Johnson, Bruininks, & Thurlow, 1987; Wehman, Kregel, & Barcus, 1985). 3. The development and the delivery of services designed to facilitate successful community adjustment are dependent upon the knowledge and persistence of consumers or their advocates (Benz & Halpern, 1987; Karan & Knight, 1986).

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163 4. Parents are the most available, the most concerned, and with their children, have the most to gain or lose in the transition process (Benz & Halpern, 1987; Schalock, Harper, & Genung, 1981) . Attempts to provide education or training that provides parents with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary both to aspire to and to assume a more active role in special education programming have met with mixed results. Parents who want support in the form of parent education (and many say they do) are unable to take advantage of training opportunities that might enable them to participate more actively in the educational process. Variables such as (a) transportation, (b) child care, (c) negative attitudes toward education personnel, (d) the perception of negative attitudes on the part of professionals toward parents, and (e) the day-to-day financial, emotional, and temporal demands of the family unit pose barriers. The careful development and evaluation of parent education programs designed to respond to the barriers mentioned would in no way minimize parents' right to choose passive participation. At best, such programs would, however, actively support and enhance parent participation in educational decision making; at least,

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such programs would enable parents to make a fullyinformed choice about participation. Review of Research Questions The parent education program described in this study was developed with the intention of responding to parents ' informational training needs in a way that was also responsive to their specific cultural, temporal, and logistic needs. Research questions of interest in the study were as follows : 1. Is there a statistically significant difference in the mean scores on an instrument that measures transition knowledge between parents who complete Transition Awareness Training and parents who receive no training? 2. Is there a statistically significant difference in the mean frequency of ITP confference citations between parents who complete Transition Awareness Training and parents who receive no training? 3. Is there a statistically significant difference in the mean scores obtained on a post conference opinion questionnaire between parents who complete Transition Awareness Training and parents who receive no training?

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165 Review of Methods: Program Development and Implementation A parent training program was developed by the researcher to provide parents of secondary students in special education with information that would enable them to participate actively in individualized transition planning conferences. Program development emphasized the creation of appropriate training materials and the generation of a training procedure that was sensitive to parent needs. Two types of materials were developed for use in the study: a training module and evaluation instruments. The training module focused on general transition awareness information. The module was subjected to review by experts in the field, field tested in two schools, and subsequently revised. Three instruments were developed or revised by the researcher for use in the study. First, the Transition Awareness Training Instrument (TATI) was developed to measure parent attainment of training module content. A second instrument, the Transition Conference Participation Instrument (TCPI) , was designed to document parent participation in ITP meetings. The third instrument was a Likert type post conference questionnaire ( PCOQ) developed to determine parent opinions about and satisfaction with the ITP conference.

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166 Development of training procedures was based on (a) knowledge of barriers to parent participation identifiedin the professional literature, (b) collaboration with secondary special educators, and parent trainers in Hawaii, and (c) researcher's own familiarity and experience with culturally diverse parents and families in Hawaii and on the U.S. mainland. Special consideration was given in the development process to (a) logistic variables such as time, location, duration of the training; (b) family maintenance variables such as childcare, dinner preparation; and (c) socio/cultural variables such as education, language, family dynamics, and patterns of social interaction. Review of Methods; Program Evaluation An empirical study was implemented in order to provide evaluative data regarding the training program. Thirty parents of learning disabled and mentally retarded adolescents from lower middle/middle income neighborhoods and various ethnic backgrounds participated in the study. Subjects were selected from among approximately 500 families whose adolescents attend 5 secondary schools in which special education teachers had begun to schedule ITP conferences. Fifteen parents completed a training module on transition awareness prior to attending a ITP

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167 conference for their disabled teenager; 15 parents received no training prior to the conference. t General Procedures Except for the preconference training provided to parents in the experimental group, all subjects received the same treatment. First, all parents attended an ITP conference at their teenager's high school. Parents were notified of the conference by the student's special education/transition teacher via usual communication channels. Because the research program was designed to respond to the cultural and socioeconomic characteristics of subjects, parents also received followup phone calls or notes to encourage attendance and to emphasize the importance of their input into the conference. Second, conferences were conducted in accordance with previous training participating teachers had received from the researcher through the Hawaii Transition Specialist Project. Conferences also transpired according to procedural guidelines provided to teachers by the researcher. These guidelines included directions for welcoming parents, administering the TATI to parents who had received no preconference training (control group), and audiotaping the conference. Parent citations were coded and tallyed by two observers and then analyzed in order to

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identify significant differences in level of conference participation between trained and untrained parents. 168 Third, within a week of the conference, all parents were contacted by the researcher and asked to provide opinions about the conference by responding to the 12 items on the PCOQ. These responses were also tallied and analyzed to determine significant group differences in parent opinions about the conference. Preconference Training for Parents in Experimental Group Implementation of Transition Awareness Training for parents in the experimental group occurred in high school settings as part of open house activities that frequently characterize the beginning of a new school year. The training atmosphere and training procedures combined features that are particularly characteristic of social gatherings in Hawaii: (a) the proceedings were oriented toward family participation, (b) a meal was provided, and (c) time was allowed for attendees to converse informally. Training was conducted and evaluation instruments were administered by the researcher. Summary of Hypotheses The underlying hypothesis of the study was that preconference transition awareness training would enhance parents' level of participation in ITP conferences. Three specific hypotheses were formed to address the research

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169 questions based on this supposition. In the null form, these hypotheses were stated that there is no statistically significant difference in (a) knowledge about transition, (b) citations parents make during the ITP conference, and (c) opinions about the ITP conference between parents who received Transition Awareness Training and parents who served as the control group. Summary of Research Findings The analysis of the data relative to parent knowledge of transition indicated that parents who received Transition Awareness Training had greater knowledge about the definition, goals, value, and areas of transition planning than parents who received no training. Parents who received training obtained higher scores on the instrument designed to measure knowledge about transition (TATI) than parents who received no training. Results of a t-test indicated that this difference was statistically significant (p=.00). In addition, all 15 parents in the experimental group met the 80% criterion level set for performance on the TATI. Only one-third of the parents in the control group obtained the criterion level score. Analysis of parent ITP conference participation data indicated no statistically significant difference in frequency of conference citations between parents who received preconference training and parents who received

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170 no training (p=.56). Follow-up analyses were then conducted regarding the nature of parents' conference citations. Follow-up analyses focused on determining whether significant group differences existed in the frequency with which parents (a) offered information, (b) asked questions, (c) stated preferences/opinions, (d) agreed or disagreed with professional opinions, and (e) offered unsolicited or self-initiated preferences/ opinions . Analysis of these variables revealed that no statistically significant differences existed between experimental and control group parents in terms of the frequency with which they offered information, asked questions, or stated preferences and opinions. Furthermore, there was no statistically significant difference between parent groups in terms of the frequency with which they agreed with professional opinions and expressed unsolicited preferences or opinions. There was a statistically significant difference, however, between the experimental group and the control group in terms of the extent to which parents in each group expressed disagreement with professional opinions. Parents in the control group expressed more disagreement than did parents in the experimental group (p = .03).

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171 In order to identify possible differences between parent groups in terms of the amount of time each engaged in speaking, follow-up analysis was conducted on an educationally comparable subsample of both the experimental group and the control group. The speaking time of this subsample during the first half hour of the conference was determined. No significant difference was found between the groups in the mean length of time spent in making citations. In fact, mean length of speaking time during the first half hour of the conference was identical for both groups: 5 minutes and 31 seconds. The range of speaking time, however, must be considered in interpreting this finding; speaking times ranged from 2 minutes and 24 seconds to 12 minutes. Analysis of data regarding parent opinions about and satisfaction with the ITP conference indicated that parents who received Transition Awareness Training did not differ significantly from parents in the control group in their opinions about or satisfaction with the conference (p= . 38 ) . Both groups expressed high levels of satisfaction with the conference. The experimental group averaged 53.7 of 60 points possible on the conference opinion instrument. The control group averaged 51.6 points. A summary of all research variables and results is contained in Table 30.

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172 Interpretation and Discussion of Results In this section of Chapter V, an interpretation of the result of the three major research questions has been provided. Possible explanations for specific findings are also discussed. The section summary contains a synthesis that relates findings and interpretations to the need for revision of training materials/procedures. Interpretation/Discussion of Results for Research Question 1 The first major research finding, indicating that parents who received transition training had significantly greater knowledge about transition than untrained parents, not only provided a positive response to research question 1, but also provided a favorable assessment of the systematic training development, field testing, and modification process used in the study. The performance of parents in the experimental group on the TATI indicated that training module format, content, and presentation were effective in providing these parents with an understanding of fundamental considerations related to the school-to-community transition of disabled students. Interpretation/Discussion of Results for Research Question 2 The second major research finding of no significant difference between trained and untrained parents in the overall frequency of conference citations, stimulated an

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173 interest in determining whether training had influenced the nature of parents' participation. Research has shown that parents' participation in IEP meetings is typically passive ie. , tends to be limited to giving and receiving information (Gilliam & Coleman, 1981; Goldstein, et al., 1980; Lusthaus, Lusthaus, & Gibbs, 1981). Follow-up analyses were conducted in order to determine the impact of training on more assertive citations categories, such as asking questions and stating preferences/opinions. Additionally, there was an interest in determining the extent to which preferences/opinions expressed by parents represented agreement with the opinions of professionals present or more assertive preference/opinion communications (disagreement with professionals' opinions or parent-initiated preferences/ opinions) . Finally, the researcher wished to determine whether parent groups differed with regard to the cumulative length of their conference citations. Analyses conducted on these followup variables again indicated no significant differences between trained and untrained parents on the variables of (a) overall conference citations, (b) citation categories, (c) agreement and parent-initiated preference/opinion types and (d) cumulative duration of citations. Significant difference was found on the variable of parent

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174 disagreement with professional opinion. It must be noted with regard to this disagreement variable, however, that the underlying assumption of homogeneity of variance was violated (F = -2.30, p = 0.063). Although the t-test is robust to violation of underlying assumptions, the validity of the interpretation regarding this variable is suspect. Additionally, the finding may have little practical significance when the range of scores is considered. Experimental group scores ranged from 0 to 3 , with 10 parents scoring 0. Control group scores ranged from 0-3, with 5 parents scoring 0. Essentially, what can be concluded from this data is that none of the subjects in the study expressed much disagreement with the opinions of professionals present at the conference. Several factors might explain the non-significant findings related to parents' conference citations. However, two factors seem to have particular explanatory relevance. These factors are (a) the sequencing of training activities and (b) the influence of culture. The explanatory power of the first factor can best be * understood by reviewing a recommended hierarchy of parent training activities; that of the second factor, by summarizing research findings regarding culturally diverse communication styles. In the following section both of the factors are discussed.

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175 Recommended Parent Training Hierarchy . Simpson (1982) has presented a sequence of training strategies for both educators and parents. These strategies are designed to assure that educators and parents attain the skills necessary for competence in their respective roles as educational team members. Simpson maintains that wellplanned educator and parent training programs should follow a hierarchical sequence that provides for (a) the development of requisite attitudes, (b) content, (c) opportunities to observe suitable role models, (d) simulation, (e) feedback, and (f) followup. According to Simpson (1982), the first step in preparing parents for active participation in the educator-parent partnership is the development of requisite attitudes. During this stage of preparation, parents should receive systematically arranged information about the necessity and the advantages of their participation. During the second stage, content sessions "should provide the cognitive basis" (p. 86) for parent participation. Content sessions should include information on the nature of various conferences, the role parents are expected to take, the purpose of each conference, procedures for involving parents, and methods for evaluating each type of conference. Third in the training hierarchy is the provision of opportunities for

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176 parents to observe, via videotape or staged sessions, suitable models who exemplify previously discussed activites. Observation should be followed by discussion sessions in which parents have a chance to raise questions and receive assistance in evaluating the meeting. Parent participation in structured simulations is recommended as the fourth training step. Training sessions that employ simulations should also incorporate the provision of feedback and discussion regarding the simulation exercises. According to Simpson, upon completion of the attitude development-contentobservation-simulation training sequence, parents should be encouraged to attend actual conferences with a trainer or another parent. Finally, Simpson recommends additional followup feedback, information, and support so that parents' newly acquired skills can become established. Simpson has presented no empirical data confirming the effectiveness of his hierarchical sequence in providing parent education. However, evidence that supports the probable validity of Simpson's hierarchy can be found in the literature on staff development. Showers, Joyce, and Bennet (1987) conducted a meta-analysis of nearly 200 research studies, plus a review of the literature on staff development. These authors concluded, as a result of the analysis, that the most effective

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177 combination of training elements for teachers includes (a) presentation of theory, (b) modeling, (c) practice, (d) feedback, and (e) coaching. The current study focused on the first two levels of Simpson's recommended hierarchy for parent training. Materials and procedures developed in the study emphasized the importance of parent participation in ITP conferences and provided the cognitive basis that professionals have maintained is important for effective transition planning (Wehman, et al., 1986). The performance of parents in the experimental group on the TATI, indicates that the training developed was effective in fostering appropriate attitudes toward parent involvement in transition programming and in providing the cognitive basis for parent participation in the transition planning process. The lack of significant differences between experimental and control, group parents, in actual conference participation, however, seems to suggest that additional strategies, such as those recommended by Simpson (1982), may be necessary in order to produce significant results. Influence of Culture . Cultural values that influence patterns of communication with others comprise the second factor that might explain the finding of no signficant difference in the conference participation of trained and untrained parents. In terms of ethnic/cultural

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178 affiliation, the study sample was highly diverse. Seventy-seven percent of parents in the study were Hawaiian, Filipino, Japanese, Portuguese, Samoan, or ethnically mixed. Almost one-third of the Caucasian parents in the sample had Asian spouses. It is possible that provisions of the study designed to enhance the participation of ethnically diverse parents were not sufficient to produce significant changes in parents' patterns of interaction with educators. The existence of numerous barriers to accurate intercultural communication is widely acknowledged. Barna(1970) has cited the following five general barriers: (a) language, (b) nonverbal communication, (c) stereotypes, (d) a tendency to evalute what others say or do as intrinsically good or bad, and (e) the high level of anxiety present in intercultural encounters where individuals are unsure of others' expectations for them. Researchers have provided more educationally-specif ic information about cultural values that make it difficult to establish effective communication between culturally diverse parents/students and schools that are dominated by middle class, Anglo values and expectations (Castaneda, 1976; Deiner, 1983; Marion, 1979; Pepper, 1976). Although they represent generalities that may not apply in individual cases, the cultural values cited by Pepper

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179 (1976), Castaneda (1976), and others, appear to have the potential for elucidating current study findings concerning parent ITP conference participation. Table 31 presents the values roost frequently cited for the ethnically diverse cultures represented in the study as in conflict with dominant culture values. All parents spoke English well enough so that no interpreters were required at the conferences. Nevertheless, as indicated in Table 31, the communication attributes valued by Asian/Oriental and Polynesian groups are at odds with the assertive, questioning, "say what you think" style favored by the dominant culture, touted by education professionals, and implied in legislative mandates regarding parent participation in special education. The impact of "local style" on planning for the future is an additional variable that cannot be overlooked in discussing current study findings. For example, as indicated by the authors cited, one generality associated with Polynesian/Hawaiian group members, is a relationship with time that is more flexible than the relationship commonly attributed to members of the dominant culture. "Hawaiian time," the tendency for local individuals to arrive late for events, is a widely acknowledged (if not universally condoned) phenomenon in the Pacific Islands.

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180 Table 31 Hawaii Group Values in Conflict with Dominant Culture Values Value Cultural Group Source 1. Expression of ideas/ feelings through actions rather than words Native American Pepper (1976) 2. Maintenance of harmony and good relationships; Nondirect confrontation Asian/Oriental ; Polynesian Pepper Kaser (1976) (1979) 3. Present, rather than future time orientation; Flexible observance of time Native American; Polynesian Pepper Bryde (1976) (1972) 4. Obedience; Deference to authority Asian/Oriental ; Kitano Deiner (1981) (1983) 5. Self control, humility Polynesian; Oriental Kaser (1979) 6. Role based on hierarchy Asian/Oriental ; Kitano Hawaiian/Polynesian (1981) 7. Emphasize formal welcomes involving direct personal contact, provision of food Samoan Metge & Kinloch (1978) In addition, a number of other cultural and geographic considerations no doubt influence parents' perception of the need for future planning:

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181 1. the extended family orientation of Hawaiians, Asians and many other cultural groups, 2 . the value Polynesian and Asian groups place on sharing and communal property, and 3 . the temperate climate and the food supply provided by the sea. Thus despite evidence that parents achieved cognitive understanding of training content that emphasized the need to plan ahead for the future of students with disabilities, parents' emotional perceptions may have remained unchanged. In responding to concern about parent attendance at a pilot test training session, one special education teacher commented on the need she often feels to create in the families of her students, a sense of emergency in order to secure parental presence at school conferences . Interpretation/Discussion of Results for Research Question 3 The finding of no signficant differences between parent groups on the measure of parent satisfaction with and opinions about the ITP conference (research question 3) , is consistent with previous findings showing that regardless of observed level of participation, parents tend to express high levels of satisfaction with conferences. The very act of inviting parents to a

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182 conference to discuss their child seems to positively influence their rating of the conference (Goldstein et al., 1980). In addition, the positive opinions expressed by parents in the study may have been influenced by the cultural values mentioned in the preceeding section. Thus, even though parents were assured that the nature of their satisfaction ratings would be kept strictly confidential, it is likely that cultural values and patterns of interaction with authority figures would prevent them from expressing negative evaluations. Summary of Implications/Discussion In summary, the most probable explanations for current research findings appear to be the following: (a) cultural variables that affect communication with authority figures and planning for the future, and (b) the necessity of providing a broader range of training experiences (simulations, feedback, followup) in order to produce observable differences in parents' conference behavior. The findings of the study have numerous implications both for modification of the training program and for future attempts to facilitate increased parent participation in school ITP conferences. The primary implication regarding the preparation of parents for participation in the ITP process is that further efforts must be made to incorporate cuturally appropriate content

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183 and strategies into interaction with parents. The task is not an easy one. A major difficulty inherent in providing appropriate training to culturally diverse parents of disabled students is the lack of existing empirical data that describes effective training strategies. Topping (1987) undertook an extensive review of programs designed to train parents to teach their children. One particularly relevant outcome of Topping's two year assemblage of materials, was the finding that very little evaluative evidence exists specifically concerning parent training for ethnic minorities. Existing information comes only from the United States and focuses on training efforts with Afro-Caribbean, North American Indian, and Hispanic parents. Topping pointed out that "most programs have combined an in-school component with a parent-training component, but have failed to discriminate the relative effects of these components in the evaluation" (p.129). Although Topping acknowledges that, to some extent, ethnic minority children are included in general programs for the disadvantaged, he maintains that "the nature of secondlanguage problems often involved calls for a specialist type of intervention" (p.129). Despite the difficulties inherent in developing and implementing parent training that is responsive to the

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184 needs of culturally diverse parents and sensitive to their cultural values, it seems apparent that such efforts must continue. As the influx of immigrants into the United States creating substantial alterations in the demographic makeup of numerous school systems, educators are recognizing the pressing need to develop effective strategies for involving these parents in the educational arena. Indications exist that special efforts to involve diverse parents can have positive effects. For example, although numerous professionals have observed that logistic and cultural barriers often preclude the participation of parents in education sessions and in conferences with school personnel (Correa, 1987; Lynch & Stein, 1987; Marion, 1976), one positive outcome of the present investigation was parent attendance at the training sessions and at the ITP conferences following the implementation of strategies designed to respond to their unique needs. Training sessions in which the training materials and procedures were pilot tested led to material and procedural modifications that focused heavily on (a) greater consideration of barriers to participation commonly associated with low parent involvement among culturally diverse parents, and (b) increased attention to social/cultural patterns typically observed in Hawaii

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185 (family oriented gatherings, provision of a meal, time allowance for "talk story"). Although no empirical confirmation was obtained indicating a direct cause-effect relationship between the logistic and culturally sensitive modifications and parent attendance, the incorporation of the modifications into final training procedures appears to have been associated with an improvement in parent attendance at actual intervention training sessions. Furthermore, despite the need to reschedule some conferences and to wait up to 1 hour for some parents to show up, all study parents attended their conference. There was no attrition in the sense that parents who initially agreed to participate in the study dropped out or refused to attend the ITP conference. The recommendation made by Lynch and Stein (1987) and Marion (1980) is worthy of reiteration. These writers suggested that the characteristics (cultural and otherwise) of diverse parents should provide the basis for program development. Rather than viewing the values of culturally diverse parents as barriers to effective participation, professionals must identify and begin to appreciate the potential advantages of these values and cultural patterns. For example, the values that might appear to limit parents' perception of the need for future planning, might also be seen as strengths that have the

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186 potential to ameliorate the stress and uncertainty about the future often felt by parents as their children with disabilities transit from one developmental stage to another (Arnold, 1985; Neugarten, 1976; Olson, McCubbin, Barnes, Larsen, Muxen, & Wilson, 1983; Turnbull & Turnbull, 1987). When perceived in this way, these cultural orientations become strengths that, when effectively mobilized, have the power to (a) facilitate community integration, (b) ensure the provision of basic physical needs, (c) contribute to the social development of disabled students, and (d) maximize efforts to assist students in achieving personal, vocational, social, and recreational well-being. Practical Application of Study Results and Implications At this point, several suggestions concerning future applications for study results and implications are in order. First, training material/procedures developed in the study should be expanded to include, in addition to knowledge/content preparation, (a) acknowledgement of school-family differences in communication; (b) rationales for parents' development of situation-specific communication skills, such as asking questions, and stating preferences/opinions; (c) opportunities for parents to participate in simulations that enable them to practice desired skills; and (d) feedback and followup.

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187 The context of these activities should be one that explores parents' values and assists them to express and translate these values into preferences (goals/objectives) for their adolescent's future. The intent of training should not be to change values or even communication preferences, per se, but to expand individuals' repertoires of participation and communication abilities. Revision of training material and procedures should also emphasize professional preparation. Teachers who participated in the current study, had received training in preparing ITPs and in conducting ITP conferences. In adddition, these personnel have lived and taught in Hawaii for many years and are thus generally familiar with cultural differences exhibited by the diverse ethnic groups that comprise Hawaii's population. Nevertheless, as pointed out by Metge and Kinloch (1978) , residence in a multicultural setting does not necessarily produce citizens who are really knowledgeable about cultures other than their own. As suggested by the performance of study subjects themselves, cognitive understanding is not enough. Both cognitive' and affective levels of understanding must be considered in facilitating the partnership of educators and parents. Table 31 contains a listing of effective features of the training developed in the current study, as well as recommendations for future modifications.

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188 Table 31 Research-Generated Modifications of Training Programs Positive Feature Recommended Modification 1. Provision of supper, childcare, family orientation, convenient training time; Attention to culturally relevant social patterns. Expand training setting options include other community settings frequented by parents. Enlist greater parent support identifying and implementing culturally appropriate training. 2. Effective communication of basic concerns regarding transition Provide greater opportunity for educators and parents to become sensitized to each others values. Make materials about transition available at local churches, community centers, and other places frequented by parents. Focus training to include greater participation by extended family. 3. Parent perception that teachers are concerned about their child Counter-balance perception of teachers as "the authority" by arranging opportunities for parents or community leaders to assume lead in training activities (e.g., as co-trainers or hosts) .

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189 Problems and Limitations There were problems and limitations that were encountered in the process of implementing this study that should be considered when interpreting the data presented. First, because ITP conferences are a new phenomena in the state of Hawaii, sample size was small. In addition, inability to randomize study subjects resulted in nonequivalent groups. For example, the mean educational level of experimental group parents was approximately 2 years greater than the mean educational level of the control group. These factors may have affected study results. Finally, the voluntary nature of participation and the geographic restriction of subjects to the state of Hawaii must be considered in any attempts to generalize findings . Implications for Future Research The current study should be replicated to include modifications suggested in Table 31. Replications might emphasize systematic changes in training sites, the inclusion of extended family members, and trainers. For example, parents themselves might be trained to deliver Transition Awareness Training, with professionals participating as co-trainers. The identification of parent trainers with similar cultural backgrounds might ensure a greater degree of cultural sensitivity. Such an

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190 approach might also assist in responding to minority parent needs identified by Marion (1980): (a) the need to belong, (b) the need to be understood, and (c) the need to experience positive self-esteem. Additional studies should also be conducted in order to ascertain the effect of providing to parents a hierarchy of training strategies such as that suggested by Simpson (1982) . The basic conceptualization of this attitude-content-observat ion-simulationfeedbackfollowup training hierarchy might be used to assist professionals and parents in individualizing levels of parent P ar ticipation and in providing corresponding levels of training. For example, in order to develop both the cognitive awareness and the behavioral skills necessary to active participation, some parents might receive training or materials that focus on the entire suggested sequence of training activities. Parents who desire less active participation, might receive only a portion of the sequence, e.g., attitude-content, or attitude-contentfollowup. The effect of various training options on students' ITPs and on their subsequent adult adjustment could then be compared. Finally, any researchers engaged in further efforts to provide parent training must consider more creatively how to use audience characteristics to determine

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191 instructional design. A basic premise of instructional design is that the training materials, methods of f delivery, and strategies for evaluation must match trainee characteristics. The design of instruction is perhaps the single most critical factor in the success of training efforts (Joyce, Showers, & Bennet, 1987) . Many of the specific design variables that should be incorporated into training for education staff have been identified (Joyce et al., 1987). However, much less . is known about (a) what alternative modes of instruction are most effective in delivering cognitive content to parents, (b) what alternate methods of evaluation might be used to assess parent acquisition of knowledge and skills, (c) what methods are most effective in obtaining objective measures of parent satisfaction. For example, the researcher's personal communication with teaching personnel in Hawaii and Florida suggests that videotapes may be particularly effective as parent training vehicles, particularly if they feature the child in some way. Future investigations should explore the efficacy of using alternative methods to deliver transition training content and to determine parent satisfaction with ITP conferences. Summary Parental participation in the planning and programming that will affect the adult lives of students

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192 with disabilities is important. The attitudes and active involvement of parents have affected adult outcomes such as (a) attainment of competitive employment, (b) orientation toward work, (c) job aspirations, and (d) intervention outcomes in areas ranging from recreational to work-oriented settings (Edge, Strenecky, & McLaughlin, 1979; Katz & Yekatiel, 1974; Kernan & Koegel, 1980; Nietzberg, 1974) . However, active involvement is hampered by deficits in parents' knowledge base, by parents' lack of strategies for negotiating with professionals, and by attitudinal, cultural, and logistic barriers and concerns (Schutz, 1986). Despite the difficulties in creating effective parent-professional partnerships, efforts must continue to refine the process of cooperative transition planning. The development or revision of parent involvement strategies that provide viable options for participation and the expansion of educational opportunities for both parents and professionals will benefit both groups and individuals with special needs.

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203 Popham, W. , & Baker, E. (1971). Rules for the development of instructional products. In R. Baker & R. Schutz (Eds.), Instructional product development (pp. 129167) . New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. Power, T. J. (1985). Perceptions of competence: How parents and teachers view each other. Psychology in the Schools . 22 . 68-78. President's Committee on Mental Retardation. (1977). Mental retardation: Past and present . Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Richard, N. , & Noonan, M. J. (1987). The Hawaiian preschool transition program . Unpublished manuscript, The University of Hawaii. Rinn, R. C. , Vernon, J. C. , & Wise, M. J. (1975). Training parents of behaviorally-disordered children in groups: A three years' program evaluation. Behavior Therapy . 6, 378-387. Rose, S. (1974). Training parents in groups as behavior modifiers of their mentally retarded children. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry . 5, 135-140. Rosenberg, M. S., Reppucci, N. D. , & Linney, J. A. (1983). Issues in the implementation of human service programs: Examples from a parent training project for high-risk families. Analysis and Intervention in Developmental Disabilities . 3 , 215-225. Roth, L. M. , & Weller, C. (1985). Education/counseling models for parents of LD children. Academic Therapy . 20 . 487-495. Rusch, F. R. , & Phelps, L. A. (1987). Secondary special education and transition from school to work: A national priority. Exceptional Children . 53 . 487-492. Sadler, 0. W., Seyden, T. , Howe, B. , & Kaminsky, T. (1976). An evaluation of "Groups for Parents": A standardized format encompassing both behavior modification and humanistic methods. Journal of Community Psychology . 4, 157-163.

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204 Sandler, A., Coren, A., & Thurman, S. K. (1983). A training program for parents of handicapped preschool children: Effects upon mother, father, and child. Exceptional Children . 49, 355-360. Scanlon, C. A., Arick, J. , & Phelps, N. (1981). Participation in the development of the IEP: Parents' perspective. Exceptional Children . 47, 373-374. Schalock, R. L. , Harper, R. S., & Genung, T. (1981). Community integration of mentally retarded adults: Community placement and program success. American Journal of Mental Deficiency . 85 . 478-488. Schalock, R., Wolzen, B. , Ross, I., Elliott, B. , Werbel, G. , & Peterson, K. (1986). Post-secondary community placement of handicapped students: A five-year follow-up. Learning Disability Quarterly . 9, 295-303. Schulz, J. B. (1982). A parent views parent participation. Exceptional Education Quarterly . 3 , 17-24. Schulz, J. B. (1987). Parents and professionals in special education . Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. Schutz, R. P. (1986). Establishing a parent-professional partnership to facilitate competitive employment. In F. R. Rusch (Ed.), Competitive employment issues and strat egies . Baltimore MD: Paul H. Brookes. Shea, T. M., & Bauer, A. M. (1986). Parents and teachers of exceptional students . Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Shearer, M. S., & Shearer, D. E. (1977). Parent involvement. In J. B. Jordan, A. H. Hayden, M. B. Karnes, & M. M. Wood (Eds.), Early childhood education for exceptional children (pp. 208-235) . Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children. Simpson, R. L. (1982). Future training issues. Exceptional Education Quarterly . 3 , 81-87. Sonnenschein, P. (1984). Parents and professionals: An uneasy relationship. In M. L. Henniger & E. M. Nesselroad (Eds.), Working with parents of handicapped children : A book of readings for school personnel (pp . 129-139) . Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

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205 Strickland, B. (1983). Legal issues that affect parents. In M. Seligman (Ed.), The family with a handicapped child: Understanding and treatment (pp. 27-39) . New York: Grune & Stratton. Tavormina, J. (1975). Relative effectiveness of behavioral and reflective group counseling with parents of mentally retarded children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology . 43 . 22-31. Tavormina, J. , Hampson, R. , & Luscomb, R. (1976). Participant evaluations of the effectiveness of their parent counseling groups. Mental Retardation . 14, 8-9. Topping, K. J. (1986). Parents as educators . Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books. Turnbull, A. P. (1983) . Parent-professional interactions. In M. E. Snell (Ed.), Systematic instruction of the moderately and severely handicapped (pp. 18-43) . Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill. Turnbull, A. P. , & Blatcher-Dixon, J. (1980). Preschool mainstreaming: Impact on Parents. New Directions for Exceptional Children . 1, 25-45. Turnbull, A. P. , & Turnbull, H. R. (1982). Parent involvement in the education of handicapped children: A critique. Mental Retardation . 20, 115-122. Turnbull, A. P. , & Turnbull, H. R. (1986). Families. professionals and exceptionality: A special partnership . Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill. Turnbull, A. P. , Winton, P. J., Blatcher, J. B., & Salkind, N. (1983). Mainstreaming in the kindergarten classroom: Perspectives of parents of handicapped and nonhandicapped children. Journal of the Division of Early Childhood . 6, 14-20. Turnbull, H. R. , Turnbull, A. P. , & Wheat, M. (1982). Assumptions about parental participation: A legislative history. Exceptional Education Quarterly . 3, 1-8.

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206 Turnbull, K. K. , & Hughes, D. L. (1987). A pragmatic analysis of speech and language IEP conferences. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools . 18, 275-286. U.S. Office of Education (1977). Assistance to states for education of handicapped children: Procedures for evaluating specific learning disabilities. Federal Register . 42.(250) . Vernberg, E. M. , & Medway, F. J. (1981). Teacher and parent causal perceptions of school problems. American Educational Research Journal . 18., 29-37. Watson, L. , & Bassinger, J. (1974). Parent training technology: A potential service delivery system. Mental Retardation . 12, 3-10. Webster's new collegiate dictionary (9th ed.). (1983). Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster . Wehman, P. , Kregel , J. , & Barcus, J. (1985). From school to work: A vocational transition model for handicapped students. Exceptional Children . 52., 25-37. Wehman, P. H. , Kregel, J., Barcus, J. M. , & Schalock, R. L. (1986). Vocational transition for students with developmental disabilties. In W. E. Kiernan & J. A. Stark (Eds.), Pathways to employment for adults with developmental disabilities (pp. 113-127) . Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. Wehman, P. , Moon, M. S., Everson, J. M. , Wood, W. , & Barcus, J. M. (1988). Transition from school to work: New challenges for youth with severe disabilities . Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. Will, M. (1984). OSERS program for the transition of youth with disabilities: Bridges from school to working life. Washington, DC: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), U.S. Department of Education.

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207 Winton, P. (1986). Effective strategies for involving families in intervention efforts. Focus on Exceptional Children . 19, 1-11. Witt, J. C., Miller, C. D. , McIntyre, R. M. & Smith, D. (1984) . Effects of variables on parental perceptions of staffings. Exceptional Children . 51, 27-32. Wolf, J. S., & Troup, J. (1980). Strategy for parent involvement: Improving the IEP process. The Exceptional Parent . 11 . 17-22. Yoshida, R. K. (1982). Research agenda: Finding ways to create more options for parent involvement. Exceptional Education Quarterly . 2(2), 74-80. Yoshida, R. K. , Fenton, K. S., Kaufman, M. J. , & Maxwell, J. P. (1978). Parental involvement in the special education pupil planning process: The school's perspective. Exceptional Children . 44 . 531-534. Ysseldyke, J. E. & Algozzine, B. (1984). Introduction to special education . Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Ysseldyke, J. E. , Algozzine. B. , & Mitchell, J. (1982). Special education team decision making: An analysis of current practice. Personnel and Guidance Journal . 60, 308-313 .

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APPENDIX A TRANSITION AWARENESS MODULE

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Procedures for Individualizing Training Certain features of the training module should be adapted by trainers to meet their own local needs. First, for example, the trainer may choose to increase or decrease the amount of time spent in providing examples which highlight important points made. Second, the trainer may increase or decrease the amount of time spent engaging parents in discussion of topics covered depending upon the length of time available in which to present module content and depending upon the size of the group to whom it is presented. Third, the dramatization script should be modified to reflect names and speech patterns characteristic of the local population. A word of caution is in order with regard to the use of the dialect or speech patterns of local ethnic minority groups. If the trainer wishes to modify the script to reflect the speech patterns of a local ethnic minority group, individuals from the targeted group should be consulted about the accuracy and appropriateness of the changes and should be asked to present the dramatization during the training session. Readers who are not from the ethnic background reflected in the dramatization script should not attempt to imitate the dialect or speech patterns of the group portrayed; some parents who are from the ethnic group targeted might find this offensive. 209

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210 FACILITATORÂ’S GUIDE WORKSHOP PROCEDURE Following, are instructions to the module facilitator on how to coTiduct the parent training module. Each module contains the following descriptions: 1. NAME OF THE MODULE 2. MODULE SUMMARY Explanation of the module 3. MODULE OBJECTIVES Statements of the dynamics that should occur and the issues that should be raised through each module. 4. PARTICIPANT COMPETENCIES Statements of the knowledge or skills parent participants should gain as a result of participation in the module. # 5. WORKSHOP PREPARATION List of facilitator activities to be performed prior to the workshop. 6. AGENDA Outline of module activities and suggested timeframe for each activity. 7. MODULE FORMAT Step-by-step instructions for the preparation of the module. 8. INDEX TO FACILITATOR MATERIALS Listing and copy of materials and resources needed by facilitator to conduct the module. 9. INDEX TO PARTICIPANT MATERIALS Listing and copy of materials in participant packets.

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MODULE SUMMARY 211 This module is designed to provide parents of students with special needs with an overview of transition and the transition process. MODULE OBJECTIVES 1. To define transition and explain the fundamental considerations in transitioning 2. To describe the goals of transition planning 3. To present a model of the transition process 4. To discuss with parents the value of transition planning 5. To acquaint parents with the major areas of transition planning 6. To enable parents to share their personal concerns and experiences regarding planning for the future 7. To familiarize parents with appropriate roles for their participation in ITP conferences PARTICIPANT COMPETENCIES Following training, parents will demonstrate knowledge of: 1. Definition of transition 2. Goals of transition planning 3. Why transition planning is important 4. Major life areas in which planning should take place 5. Appropriate parent roles at the planning conference

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MODULE FORMAT 212 TIME REQUIRED: One hour, (not including arrival and greeting, signing in, and introductory remarks by facilitator). PREPARATION OF SPECIAL FACILITIES, MATERIALS, AND AIDS: 1. Sign-in Sheet } 2. Name Badges } Place on table near entrance 3. Writing Instruments } 4. Room Arrangement: Arrange semi-circular seating with table at front for facilitatorÂ’s materials. BEGINNING THE WORKSHOP SESSION 1. Greet each participant warmly at the door and ask each person to sign in on the sign-in sheet and fill out a name tag. 2. Allow participants to help themselves to refreshments and mingle with each other to become acquainted. 3. After all participants have arrived, instruct them to be seated. 4. Introduce yourself and welcome participants to the workshop. 5. Follow training procedures on following page.

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213 Troi nl na Procedures I INTRODUCTION & PURPOSE OF TRAINING A. Call the session to order. 1. Welcome parents and acknowledge them for their attendance. B. Inform participants that the topic of the session will be introduced with a skit. 1Tell them: "Mr. Faumui is the father of Peter, a 17 year old student with mental retardation. Mrs. Kapana is the mother of Luana, a 15 year old students with special needs." C. Have assistants proceed with the dramatization. PRESENTATION OF TRAINING OBJECTIVES A. Explain to parents that the training will focus on the issues raised in the dramatization: 1. What is transition? 2. Why should we plan for transition? 3. How should parents be involved in transition planning? Materials/ Resources Dramatization Script B. Explain that by the end of the session parents will know: 1. What transition is; 2. why transition planning is important; 3. major life areas in which planning should occur; 4. how transition planning can help families; 5. how parents shoud be involved in the transition planning conference.

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214 Training Procedures DEFINITION OF TRANSITION A. Explain chat transition Is movement from one stage of life to another. The transition of students with disabilities refers to their movement from high school to life as an adult. 1. Ask parents to recall major transitions in their own lives . 2. Provide examples: the transition from student to worker the transition from being single to being married the transition from being childless to being a parent. B. Ask parents to recall that as they made major transitions in their own lives , they probably got some help with different things along the way: 1Perhaps someone helped them find a job. 2. Perhaps they got some kind of job training to assist them in becoming prepared for a job. 3. Someone may have shown them how to fill out their first income tax return. Perhaps someone helped them study to pass the test for a driver f s license. MODEL OF TRANSITION A. Point out to parents that their sons/daughters have needed special help in school and that many may continue to need special help after they leave school. B. Emphasize that: 1. Some young adults with disabilities may not need any special services. 2. Some may need special services that last only a short time. 3. Some may need special services chat continue throughout their entire lives. C« Inform parents chat a number of community agencies exist to assist adults who need special help. 1Provide examples of some of these agencies: The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation can help by providing training and job placement for adults with mild /moderate disabilities. — The Department of Health can provide training programs and health services for adults with severe disabilities. Materials/ Resources Display Transparency #1 "What Transition Is " Display Transparency #2: "A Model of Transition"

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215 Training Procedures MAJOR TRANSITION PLANNTNC ABF A 5 Materials/ Resources A. Refer parents to Transparency #3: "Major Display Transparency #3: Transition Planning Areas.” " Major Transition Planning Areas " 1Tell parents that the areas on the transparency represent the major domains in an individual's life. Briefly review each area on the transparency and tell parents that students with disabilities may need special help in one or more of these areas in order to live productive and fulfilled lives. 3. Engage parents in a brief discussion of specific concerns in each of the domains. WHY TRANSITION PLANNING IS IMPORTANT A. Point out to parents that their involvement in planning for students r future success in each life domain in important for several reasons related to the way services are delivered to students and the way they are delivered to adults: 1. If a student with a disability needs special services, the school is required, by law to provide those services. The school coordinates all of the services the student may need in order to benefit most from his/her education. 3. Once a special needs student leaves school as an adult, however: the law doesn't say that services must be provided it is not the responsibility of any single agency to coordinate all the services the individual may need. ” Different agencies and programs have different requirements for admission and participation 4. Emphasize that these factors can often result in lack of needed services or inconsistent service delivery. B. Emphasize that once school personnel are no longer working on behalf of students to make sure that they receive the services they need, it is important that parents know where and how to arrange for services; Parents must know: 1. What services their young adult son/daughter may need; 2. What agencies can provide these services; 3. How to contact agencies and arrange for help; 4. How to help their son/daughter meet program entry requirements. Display Transparency #4: " Why Transition Planning is Important M

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216 Training Procedures HOW TRANSITION PLANKING HELPS STUDENTS & FAMILIES Materials/ Resources A. Tell parents that the purpose of planning for transition before a student leaves school are to: 1. ensure that future service needs are arranged; 2. ensure that families have a plan chat will support the young adult in living successfully in the community. B. Inform parents that teachers at their teenager’s school want to help them plan for the future. One or more of these teachers will therefore want to meet with them to discuss future plans. I. The meeting is called an Individualized Transition Planning Conference (ITP conference) . This conference is a good place to talk about the things that concern them when they think about their teenager living as an adult. CTell parents that the planning that takes place at the ITP conference can help them in four specific ways : 1. by helping them determine what services their teenager needs after high school; 2. by helping them find out where needed programs/ services are and how to gain entry into them; 3. by giving them a chance to meet people from the programs /service agencies in which they are interested; 4. by giving agencies and programs a chance to meet them and to prepare to meet their teenager’s service needs. SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (Optional depending upon time available and upon group size.) parents that they will now form several small groups to discuss some of their concerns about their teenager’s future. B. Introduce the small group facilitators and inform parents that these facilitators have agreed and have been trained to assist In the discussion. C. Inform parents that the group facilitator will record their questions and concerns and share them [ with the larger group when it reconvenes. D. Following small group discussions (at least 15 minutres) reconvene the entire group amd ask each small group facilitor to briefly summarize the concerns expressed in that group.) i Display Transparency //5: ”How Transition Planning Heins Fa-mt* 1 jpg’ 1

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217 Training P rocedures THE ROLE OF PARENTS IN THE ITP CONFERENCE Materials/ Resources A. Reemphasize to parents that the ITP conference provides a good opportunity to address the concerns they have about their teenager's future. Tell parents that their participation in the conference is crucial; They must be partners with educators in planning for the successful transition of their teenagers. Display Transparency it 6: "How Parents Can Help Plan for Transition" !• Provide information about their teenager (Information from the perspective of what it takes to live as an adult will be most helpful). Provide examples: C. Initiate a brief discussion regarding what parents can do during the ITP conference to assist in planning for the future: Information about what the teenager prefers to do during free time can help in making decisions about appropriate adult recreation/leisure pursuits. Information about chores the teenager likes to perform at home can help in exploring job or job training options. 2. Share family values, desires, and preferences. Provide examples : Telling school personnel that the family wants the teenager to be able to get around the community on his/her own can alert teachers about the kind of instruction they may need to provide, e.g., bus training, tutoring to pass the driver's test. 3. Ask questions in order to obtain additional information or to clarify things. ^ • Let educators know how the family can work with them to prepare the teenager for life after high school. D. Ask parents to suggest additional ways they can contribute to successful planning in the ITP conference . E. Assist parents in brainstorming the advantages of participating actively in the ITP conference.

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218 Irsiolur s&T e . s SUMMARY Materials/ Resources A. S umm arize key points of the training session. B. Reemphasize the parent-educator partnership necessary to plan effectively for the adulthood of teenagers with special needs. EVALUATION A. Tell parents that you would now like them to answer some questions concerning topics covered during the training. 1. Ensure them that the results will be used to improve future training sessions. 2. If parents are concerned chat the evaluation is a "test," be honest them them and admit that it is a test. Assure them, however, that it is not a test one passes or fails; It is a way of guaranteeing that they leave the session with the correct information. Use the anology that not having them complete this portion of the session would be like a doctor giving them a pill and never asking how it worked. Let them know chat a copy of the questions and correct answers will be given them as they leave so that they can keep and review them if they wish. B. Refer parents to the Transition Awareness Training Instrument in their workshop packet. C. Ask parents to read along as you read the items and answer choices. Transition Awareness Training Instrument D. Tell parents to place an "X" next to their answer choice. EXPRESSION OF APPRECIATION A. When parents have completed che evaluation, thank them for their attendance. B. Encourage them to attend their ITP conference and participate actively in the conference.

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219 INDEX TO FACILITATOR MATERIALS 1. DRAMATIZATION SCRIPT 2. SMALL GROUP FACILITATOR GUIDELINES 3. TRANSPARENCIES #1 : What Transition Is #2: A Model of Transition #3: Major Transition Planning Areas #4: Why Transition Planning is Important #5: How Tranistion Planning Helps Students and Families #6: Parents Can Help Plan for Transition 4. TRANSITION AWARENESS TRAINING INSTRUMENT

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220 DRAMATIZATION SCRIPT Objective: To introduce the concept of transition Actors: Two or more individuals who portray parents of a high school youth with special needs: Mr. Faumui, father of Peter, a 1 7 year old Mrs. Kapana, mother of Luana, a 15 year old Mr. Faumui: Eh, Mrs. Kapana, long time, yeah? How you been? Mrs. Kapana: Pretty good. Pretty good. And you? Mr. Faumui: Can't complain. My wife like us go to dis meetin' find out about Peter when he pau school; Almost 18 already, you know. What'reyou doin' here? Luana gonna finish school already? [She's] younger than Peter, yeah? Mrs. Kapana: Yeah, [sheÂ’s] only fifteen. But, gotta plan early, yeah? We not sure what gonna happen when Luana pau school. She doin' good now. Her teacher say she maybe can get a job in a office But, I don' know. How she gonna get to work? Who gonna train her? She needs lots of help, you know. Anyway, I got one meetin' at da school next week, to talk about da kine "transition" stuff. So I figure, hey, I come here first, find out about it. Mr. Faumui: Yeah, good idea. Me and my wife got da same Kine meetin' too. She want me to come here, learn about "transition", for when we talk-to those people. I no like meetings, but, it's for Peter so, I gotta do it, yeah? Mrs. Kapana: Yeah, you da father. Gotta tell 'em what you and da family want for Peter. Well, they gonna start. Nice to see you, Mr. Faumui. Tell your wife hello. Maybe I get to talk to her later.

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221 SMALL GROUP FACILITATOR GUIDELINES 1 . Each small group facilitator should be prepared to take notes summarizing the major points of the group's discussion. 2. Ask each parent in the group to introduce him/herself and tell about his/her disabled son/daughter (e.g., age, disability, time left in school) in 2 or 3 sentences. 3. Ask group members to refer to the handout "Major Goal Options". Focus the discussion of the group by posing the following questions and providing each group member with an opportunity to respond to each question: a. What would you or your family like to see for your daughter/son after high school? b. Which of the areas listed on the handout are you most worried or concerned about and why? c. What information can you share at your son's/daughterÂ’s transition planning meeting that you think will be helpful to the planning process. (Provide some examples.) 4. Tell parents what can happen as a result of their participation in a transition planning meeting. a. Parents will have a chance to let teachers and service providers know what you want for your son/daughter's future. b. You will have a chance to meet some of the people who may be working with your son/daughter after high school. c. You will find out more about programs and services that are available in the community. d. You wiil be able to begin taking steps so that your son/daughter will be prepared for adult programs he/she may need. 5. When all group participants have had an opportunity to share, assist them in summarizing responses to the questions above. 6. Be prepared to share this summary when the large group reconvenes.

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WHAT TRANSITION IS TRANSITION MEANS MOVEMENT FROM HIGH SCHOOL TO ADULT LIFE Transparency #1

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HIGH SCHOOL COMMUNITY TRANSPARENCY #2

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224 MAJOR TRANSITION PLANNING AREAS 1 . VOCATION/EDUCATION 2. HOME & FAMILY 3 . RECREATION & LEISURE 4 . COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION (e.g., Transportation; Guardianship/advocacy) 5 . FINANCIAL SUPPORT 6. PHYSICAL & EMOTIONAL HEALTH TRANSPARENCY #3

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225 WHY TRANSITION PLANNING IS IMPORTANT PLANNING FOR TRANSITION IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE: 1. THE LAW DOES NOT SAY THAY YOUR DISABLED TEENAGER MUST GET SERVICES WHEN HE OR SHE LEAVES SCHOOL. 2. YOUR TEENAGER MAY NOT GET ALL THE SERVICES HE OR SHE NEEDS UNLESS YOU PLAN AHEAD. 3. NO ONE AGENCY HAS RESPONSIBILITY FOR MAKING SURE YOUR DISABLED TEENAGER GETS ALL THE SERVICES HE OR SHE NEEDS. 4. DIFFERENT AGENCIES AND PROGRAMS HAVE DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATING OR GETTING SERVICES. TRANSPARENCY **,

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226 HOW TRANSITION PLANNING HELPS FAMILIES TRANSITION PLANNING: 1. CAN HELP YOU DECIDE WHAT SERVICES YOUR SON'OR DAUGHTER NEEDS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL. 2. CAN HELP YOU FIND OUT WHERE SERVICES OR PROGRAMS ARE AND HOW TO GET THEM. 3. CAN GIVE YOU A CHANCE TO MEET PEOPLE WHO CAN PROVIDE SERVICES TO YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER AFTER HIGH SCHOOL. 4. CAN GIVE AGENCIES AND PROGRAMS A CHANCE TO GET READY FOR YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER. TRANSPARENCY #5

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227 HOW PARENTS CAN HELP PLAN FOR TRANSITION WHEN YOU MEET WITH YOUR TEENAGERÂ’S TEACHERS TO PLAN FOR THE FUTURE, YOU CAN: 1. TALK TO THEM ABOUT YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER. 2. TELL THEM WHAT YOUR FAMILY WANTS FOR THE FUTURE. 3. MAKE SUGGESTIONS ABOUT HOW TEACHERS CAN HELP YOUR TEENAGER GET READY FOR ADULT LIFE. 4. ASK QUESTIONS: ABOUT COMMUNITY SERVICES AND PROGRAMS THAT CAN HELP YOUR TEENAGER WHEN HE/SHE LEAVES SCHOOL. ABOUT THE THINGS HE OR SHE NEEDS TO LEARN TO LIVE INDEPENDENTLY. ABOUT ANYTHING YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND. 5. BE WILLING TO WORK WITH TEACHERS & TELL THEM HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR TEENAGER GET READY FOR ADULT LIFE. TRANSPARENCY #6

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INDEX TO PARTICIPANT MATERIALS 1. AGENDA 2. HANDOUTS: #1: Transition Planning Areas #2: How Parents Can Help Plan For Transition 3. TRAINING EVALUATION

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AGENDA 229 Transition Awareness 1. Registration and distribution of participant packets. ..1 0-1 5 min. 2. Welcome, Introduction, Objectives 5 min. 3. Lecture Presentation 15 min. a. Definition of transition b. Why transition planning is necessary c. Model of transition d. Fundamental considerations in transitioning e. Goals and values of transition planning 4. Small group discussions 30 min. 5. The role of parents in the transition planning conference 5 min. 6. Summary & Conclusion 5 min. 7. Evaluation 5 min. 8. Expression of Appreciation

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230 MAJOR GOAL OPTIONS: TRANSITION PLANNING AREAS 1. VOCATION/EDUCATION 2. HOME & FAMILY 3. RECREATION & LEISURE 4 . COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION (e.g.. Transportation; Guardianship/advocacy) 5 . FINANCIAL SUPPORT 6. PHYSICAL & EMOTIONAL HEALTH HANDOUT #1

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TRAINING EVALUATION CODE # GROUP # Directions: Please follow along as I read the items. Each item has two answer choices. Put an "X” next to the answer you think is the right one. 1. Transition means: students leaving high school and living as adults in the community. students staying in high school until they are 20 years old. 2. The law: says that disabled people must get all the services they need. does not say disabled people must get services after they leave high school. 3. Transition planning: cannot help my family find out what services our disabled son or daughter needs after high school. can help my family decide if our disabled son or daughter needs special services after high school. 4. My disabled teenager: may not get the services he or she needs if I do not plan for his or her future after high school. will get the services he or she needs after high school even if I do not plan for the future. 5. Transition planning: is important for all disabled students to make sure that they get whatever help they need when they leave school. is not important for disabled students who pass the state test.

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6. Community services and programs: have different requirements for letting disabled adults enroll. usually have the same requirements for letting disabled adults enroll. 7. One way I can help plan for transition is by letting teachers know what I want for my teenager's future. My teenager's teachers can plan for successful transition without my help. 8. The transition planning meeting: is not the place to talk about what kind of job or job training might be best for our disabled teenager. can help my family decide what kind of job or job training our disabled teenager should look for. 9. During the transition planning meeting: I should let teachers decide what my son or daughter needs to be successful after high school. families and teachers should decide together what the disabled teenager needs to be successful after high school. 10. During the transition planning meeting: I should ask as many questions as I need to, to make sure I understand what is going on. I should not ask a lot of questions because teachers are busy and they do not have time to answer them.

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233 T raining Procedures Materials/ Resources

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APPENDIX B TRANSITION AWARENESS TRAINING INSTRUMENT

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TRAINING EVALUATION CODE # GROUP # Directions: Please follow along as I read the items. Each item has two answer choices. Put an "X" next to the answer you think is the right one. 1. Transition means: students leaving high school and living as adults in the community. students staying in high school until they are 20 years old. 2. The law: says that disabled people must get all the services they need. does not say disabled people must get services after they leave high school. 3. Transition planning: cannot help my family find out what services our disabled son or daughter needs after high school. can help my family decide if our disabled son or daughter needs special services after high school. 4. My disabled teenager: may not get the services he or she needs if I do not plan for his or her future after high school. will get the services he or she needs after high school even if I do not plan for the future. 5. Transition planning: is important for all disabled students to make sure that they get whatever help they need when they leave school. is not important for disabled students who pass the state test. 235

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6. Community services and programs: have different requirements for letting disabled adults enroll. usually have the same requirements for letting disabled adults enroll. 7. One way I can help plan for transition is by letting teachers know what I want for my teenager's future. My teenager's teachers can plan for successful transition without my help. 8. The transition planning meeting: is not the place to talk about what kind of job or job training might be best for our disabled teenager. can help my family decide what kind of job or job training our disabled teenager should look for. 9. During the transition planning meeting: I should let teachers decide what my son or daughter needs to be successful after high school. families and teachers should decide together what the disabled teenager needs to be successful after high school. 10. During the transition planning meeting: I should ask as many questions as I need to, to make sure I understand what is going on. I should not ask a lot of questions because teachers are busy and they do not have time to answer them.

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APPENDIX C PARENT OPINION CONFERENCE QUESTIONNAIRE

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PARENT OPINION CONFERENCE QUESTIONNAIRE SCHOOL GROUP PARENT CODE Directions: Please give your opinions about the ITP conference by rating the following items from high (5) to low ( 1 ) • 5 = Definitely 4 = Somewhat 3 = A little 2 = Not much 1 = Not at all 1. Were you satisfied with the ITP conference? 2. Did you understand what people at the conference had to say? 3 . Do you feel that you gave people at the conference information about your teenager? 4. Do you feel that you let people know what you want for your teenager's future? 5. Do you feel that you asked questions at the conference? 6. Did you ask all the questions you wanted to ask? 7 . Are you satisfied with the answers you got to your questions? 8 . Did the conference help you understand the future needs of your teenager? 9. Did the conference help you find out about programs that can help your teenager when s/he is finished with school? 10. Do you feel that the people at the conference really listened to you and understood your views? 11. Did you feel comfortable talking to the people at the conference? 12. Overall, was the conference valuable for you? 238

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APPENDIX D TRANSITION CONFERENCE PARTICIPATION INSTRUMENT

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Transition Conference Participation Instrument PARENT CODE # SCHOOL RFC FESSiO NAL5 Ph E3ENT U2 #3 #4 OFFERED INFORMATION ASKED QUESTION t STATED PREFERENCE/OPINION PROF. i 5 1 c 3 ** c 7 8 PRNT. Skills Behavior Other Student Goal Ser.'Prog Other Goal Sar/Proa Other PROF. 1 2 3 S 8 PRNT. Skills Behavior Other Student Goal Ser/Prog Other Goal Ser/Prog Other PROF. 1 2 *> 4 5 S PRNT. Skills Behavior Other Student Goal Ser/Prog Other Goal Ser/Prog Other PROF. 1 2 3 4 5 7 8 PRNT. Skills Behavior Other Student Goal Ser.'Prog Other Goal Ser/Prog Other PROF. 1 2 3 4 s 7 8 PRNT. Skills Behavior Other Student Goal Ser/Prog Other Goal Ser/Prog Other PROF. t 2 3 4 5 7 3 PRNT. Skills Behavior Other Student Goal Ser/Prog Other Goal Ser/Prog Other PROF. 1 2 3 4 s 7 8 PRNT. Skills Behavior Other Stuoent Goal Ser/Prog Other Goal Ser/Prog Other PROF. 1 2 3 4 S 7 B PRNT. Skills Behavior Other Student Goal Ser/rrog Other Goal Ser/Prog Other PROF. 1 2 3 4 S 3 PRNT. Skills Sehavior Other Student Goal Ser/Prog Other 'jOSi Ser/Prog Other PROF. 1 2 3 4 5 7 3 PRNT. Skills Behavior Other Student Goal Ser/Prog Other Goal Ser/Prog Other *Code tor parent agreement with protessional opinion Code tor parent disagreement with protessional opinion Code V (or parent-iniii3ted preterenceropinion 240

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APPENDIX E INFORMED CONSENT FORM

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INFORMED CONSENT Dear Parent, Thank you for being here today. My name is Rosalie Boone. I teach at the University of Hawaii. As a doctoral student at the University of Florida, I am conducting a study that focuses on the conferences that teachers and parents have to discuss the future of special education students after they leave high school. I would like for you to participate in the study. By agreeing to participate, you are giving me permission to: 1. audiotape your transition planning conference; 2. telephone you after the conference to get your opinions about the conference. You should be aware that: 1. Your participation in this study is voluntary and you may withdraw at any time; 2. You will not be paid for participating; 3. Your confidentiality will be protected at all times (Neither you nor your teenager will be named or identified in any written or verbal presentation of the study results) . If you participate in the study, you will be helping teachers and many other parents to plan more effectively for the future of students with special needs. Mahalo for your kokua. Respectfully , Rosalie Boone I agree to participate in the study described. The procedures of the study have been explained to me and I have received a copy of the procedures. I understand that (a) my participation is voluntary, (b) I may withdraw at any time, (c) I will not be paid, (d) my confidentiality will be protected. Name Phone 242

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APPENDIX F GUIDELINES FOR CONDUCTING THE ITP CONFERENCE

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GUIDELINES FOR CONDUCTING THE ITP CONFERENCE DEAR PARTICIPATING TEACHER: Mahalo for you assistance in this research. The following guidelines should help to ensure that conferences are as much alike as possible. Please follow the instructions conscientiously. BEFORE THE CONFERENCE 1. Check to see that you have all materials needed: informed consent forms, copy of the Transition Awareness Training Instrument, copy of the Parent Conference Opinion Questionnaire . 2. Be sure you are comfortable operating the tape recorder. Check tape identification, tape insertion, and power source (It's safer to use electrical power, rather than the batteries) . WELCOMING PARENTS 1. Please be especially warm in your greeting of parents. INFORMED CONSENT 1. Parents have already agreed to participate in the study, however, please review with them the information on the informed consent form. 2. Obtain parent signature on the form. ADMINISTERING THE TATI TO CONTROL GROUP PARENTS 1. Inform the parent that before beginning the conference, as part of the study, you would like him/her to respond to some Questions about transition. 2. Assure parent that the questions are not a test one passes or fails. 3 . Assure the parent that responses will be used to improve future conferences and parent training sessions. 4. Refer the parent to the TATI and ask him/her to read along as you read the items and answer choices. 5. Ask the parent to place an "X" next to his/her answer choice. 6. Thank the parent for his/her cooperation. 244

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245 BEGINNING THE CONFERENCE 1. When conference participants are present and seated, introduce them to the parent by name and position. 2. Thank the parent for attending the conference. 3. Sincerely encourage the parent to participate fully in the conference. Let the parent know that you want and value his/her input. AUDIOTAPING THE CONFERENCE 1. Once introductions have been completed, start the tape recorder. Except for an occasional glance, you can then pretty much forget it for awhile (each side of the tape is good for 45 minutes). BUT, DON'T FORGET TO TURN IT OVER WHEN THE TIME'S UP! CONFERENCE TIMEFRAME 1. Try to conduct the conference within a 60-90 minute timeframe. CONCLUDING THE CONFERENCE 1. At the conclusion of the conference, give the parents a copy of the Opinion Questionnaire and remind them that I will call within the week to obtain their opinions. 2. Thank the parent for attending. 3 . Acknowledge your mutual concern for the student and family and your interest in working together to ensure that the student makes a successful transition into adulthood. Thanks again for your kokua.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Rosalie Boone was born in Connecticut where she was raised by adoptive parents who lovingly nurtured in her a love of reading and an appreciation of knowledge. By the sixth grade, Rosalie knew that she wanted to become a teacher. Following high school graduation, she attended Wheaton College as a French major. Upon transferring to the University of Connecticut, Rosalie had an opportunity to enroll in a special educatipn course that stimulated an avid and continuing interest in working on behalf of disabled populations. Having graduated with a B.S. in special education, Rosalie taught in public schools in Connecticut and pursued a master's degree in special education. She then embarked on a quest for new professional challenges and warmer climes. This quest led her first to Georgia where she worked as a resource room teacher; then back to Connecticut, as an educational coordinator for 81 developmental day care programs; to a small Arkansas college, as a learning coordinator for LD college students; to the University of Arkansas system, as an instructor and coordinator of a regular education 246

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247 inservice project; to the University of Florida, as a doctoral student and Assistant Coordinator of the Minority f Retention Program; and finally to the University of Hawaii, as an acting Assistant Professor of Special Education and coordinator of a federal grant to prepare transition personnel . The quest for a temperate, visually stimulating, and ethnically diverse locale has ended; the quest for new professional challenges continues. The focus of Rosalie's current interest is the development of innovative training and support programs (a) for ethnically diverse families with a disabled teenager of transition age, and (b) for employers of mentally and physically challenged workers.

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I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the deqree of Doctor of Education. Catherine Morsink, Chairperson Professor of Special Education I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Education. Simon 0. Johnson Professor Instruction and Curriculum I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Education. William R. Reid Professor of Special Education I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Education. Vivian I. Correa Associate Professor of Special Education

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I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Education. This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the College of Education and to the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education. August 1989 ^ V"' V „/ X _ S ! ' — /• ' u ( Dean, College of Education Dean, Graduate School