Examining the Feasibility of a Special Education Advocacy Training Program

Meghan M. Burke, Maria P. Mello, Samantha E. Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), parents of children with disabilities are expected to be equal partners in the special education process. However, many parents struggle to advocate for their children with disabilities. To this end, parents may learn their special education rights or hire an advocate to ensure their children receive services. Indeed, special education advocacy training programs have become increasingly common. One such advocacy training program is the Volunteer Advocacy Project (VAP). The VAP is a 36-h special education advocacy training program designed to educate and empower individuals, primarily parents of children with disabilities, to become special education advocates. This study examined the feasibility of the VAP. With respect to cost, attendance, attrition, participant satisfaction, and sustainability, the VAP was feasible among program graduates. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-556
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Advocacy
  • Disability
  • Special education
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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