Advocacy Experiences Among Rural Parents of Children With Disabilities

Molly K. Buren, Kristina Rios, Meghan M. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parent advocacy is an essential component to help children with disabilities receive appropriate school services. However, there are limited studies about parent advocacy for children with disabilities living in rural areas. To address this issue, semistructured interviews were conducted with 12 parents of children with disabilities. The purpose of the study was to identify and define unique barriers to and facilitators of advocacy among families of children with disabilities living in rural areas. Constant comparative analysis was used to analyze the interview data. The findings suggest that families living in rural areas lack the necessary resources to advocate successfully for their children with disabilities. Notably, participants expressed that advocating and maintaining relationships with school personnel took an emotional toll. Participants also reported that relationships with school personnel outside of school affected their experiences with advocacy. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-24
Number of pages13
JournalRural Special Education Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • advocacy
  • families
  • parents
  • rural special education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Development


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