|Citation:||Al-Hassan, S., & Gardner III, R. (2002). Involving immigrant parents of students with disabilities in the educational process. Teaching Exceptional Children, May/June(2002), 52-58. EJ645171.|
This article, geared towards practitioners, describes the barriers that immigrant parents of students with disabilities face to being involved in their childÕs education, despite parent involvement being a legal right mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Authors suggest specific ÒtacticsÓ educators can use to help address each of these barriers, which include: a) language, b) lack of information, c) teacherÕs unfamiliarity with immigrant parentsÕ culture, d) negative educational experiences, e) unfamiliarity with the U.S. educational practices, and f) differing views regarding involvement in schools. The article also includes an overview of current U.S. immigration trends, as well as a list of sources of information on this topic, including web sites. The authors conclude that bridging the gap between home and school is the responsibility of both educators and parents, but that professionals should take the first step toward encouraging immigrant parents to become more actively involved. While it is not based on research, this article might provide useful suggestions to educators who are trying to engage immigrant parents of students with disabilities. Readers should consider that other research suggests that even if when it is not visible to the school, immigrant parents tend to be actively involved in their childrenÕs education at home. Practitioners should seek to find out how parents may already be involved at home, and build on this when trying to involve parents in the school setting.
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