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Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Special Education

First Advisor

Zumberg, Marshall


This purpose of this study was to investigate parents' and special education administrators' perceptions of the ways IDEA 1997 has altered parent participation in their children's evaluation and individualized education program team process in Michigan. Seventy-eight parents from three school districts and thirty-seven special education administers from two counties were asked to complete original, retrospective complementary surveys exploring the extent to which IDEA 1997 has changed parental participation in the following areas: participation in the IEPT process, effective communication, knowledge of special education mandates, and the value of parental input. Mixed findings reflected changes over time regarding parent participation in their children's special education process. Differences were found between parents and special education administrators on changes in parent involvement. Parents with children in different special education placements did not differ in their perceptions of their involvement in their children's IEPT process. Mixed findings were found when parents were compared by location of school district, urban or suburban. Recommendations for practice and further research are included in this paper.

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