Exploring the Special Education Advocacy Process According to Families and Advocates

Meghan M. Burke, Kristina Rios, Chung eun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although many parents report needing advocates to receive special education services for their children with disabilities, the advocacy process is largely unexplored especially in relation to school and child outcomes. The purpose of this study was to explore the special education advocacy process by conducting interviews with nine parent–advocate dyads. Findings indicate that advocates and parents agreed on the advocacy process. Participants reported that schools often responded positively to the advocate; however, some schools were confrontational and surprised. Regardless of the school’s response, advocates and parents perceived that advocacy positively influenced child and family outcomes. Implications for research, practice, and policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-141
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Special Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • advocacy
  • parent
  • partnership
  • school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Rehabilitation


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