Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dr. Chukwuemeka Eleweke


Some parents of children with disabilities do not often participate in individualized educational program (IEP) meetings, which results in inadequate planning and reduced student achievement. The aim of this qualitative case study was to explore the perceptions of parent involvement in IEP meetings from Hispanic parents of English-language learners (ELLs) with disabilities and special educators. The research question pertained to the following elements central to parents’ involvement decisions: (a) parents’ beliefs, (b) self-efficacy, and (c) invitation for involvement. These elements were central in Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler’s parental involvement process model, which was the conceptual framework for the study. Using purposeful sampling, 12 Hispanic parents of ELL students with disabilities and 6 special education teachers in 4 schools across elementary, middle, and high schools in a suburban public school district were selected for open-ended interviews. Data analysis involved coding and thematic analysis of the interviewees’ responses. The findings indicated that Hispanic parents’ cultural background, lack of knowledge of the special education system, and school invitations for involvement limited their involvement in IEP meetings. Additional themes included English-language barriers, inflexible work schedules, disrespect, stigma attached to disability, and immigration status. This study contributes to positive social change as it may help school professionals create and implement plans that encourage Hispanic parents to participate in their children’s IEP meetings, which could result in improved Hispanic student achievement.