Date of Conferral







Peggy Locke


This phenomenological study investigated the nature and extent of the support parents received during IEP development. The study was informed by Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory. Participants, located in a Northeastern state, were 10 hearing parents of children who had been diagnosed with hearing loss at birth and were between ages 5 and 12. Data were in-depth interviews that were analyzed, coded, and organized into themes using an inductive approach to analysis informed by Hatch. Results indicated that parents believed they needed more guidance on what to expect during the first IEP meeting, that advocating for appropriate accommodations for their child was important, and that education professionals communicate in a more compassionate and less business-like manner when speaking with parents. Parents also indicated increased anxiety due to their perceptions that education professionals have inadequate knowledge about issues relating to hearing loss and hearing amplification technology. Based on these results, special education professionals and policy makers can focus on increased understanding of hearing loss and amplification use in order to help children with hearing loss achieve more positive educational outcomes effecting positive social change.