Title: Documenting the experiences of special education advocates
Purpose: Although many families report wanting a special education advocate, little research has examined how advocates support families of children with disabilities. In this study, we explored the phenomenon of special education advocacy.
Method: We conducted individual interviews with 33 special education advocates across two states. All advocates graduated from the Volunteer Advocacy Project, a special education advocacy training.
- Participants reported that the advocacy process was linear and included five steps:
- Developing rapport with the family
- Establishing clear expectations with the family about the role of the advocate
- Learning about the child and the family
- Educating and empowering the family
- Participating in IEP meetings
For more information, see:
Burke, M.M., & Goldman, S.E. (2017). Documenting the experiences of special
education advocates. Journal of Special Education, 51, 3-13. DOI: