Family Engagement: Collaborating with Families of Students with Disabilities
Perspectives & Resources
By completing the entire Perspectives & Resources section and reviewing the accompanying activities, the learner will:
- Understand the importance of family engagement
- Be aware of the actions educators can take to engage families
- Recognize some of the challenges that families who have children with disabilities may face
- Identify practical ways to build positive relationships with parents of children with disabilities and to create opportunities for them to be involved
This IRIS Module aligns with the following licensure and program standards and topic areas. Click the arrows below to learn more.
CAEP standards for the accreditation of educators are designed to improve the quality and effectiveness not only of new instructional practitioners but also the evidence-base used to assess those qualities in the classroom.
- Standard 1: Content and Pedagogical Knowledge
CEC standards encompass a wide range of ethics, standards, and practices created to help guide those who have taken on the crucial role of educating students with disabilities.
- Standard 6: Professional Learning and Practice
- Standard 7: Collaboration
The DEC Recommended Practices are designed to help improve the learning outcomes of young children (birth through age five) who have or who are at-risk for developmental delays or disabilities. Please note that, because the IRIS Center has not yet developed resources aligned with DEC Topic 8: Transition, that topic is not currently listed on this page.
- F1. Practitioners build trusting and respectful partnerships with the family through interactions that are sensitive and responsive to cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic diversity.
- F2. Practitioners provide the family with up-to-date, comprehensive and unbiased information in a way that the family can understand and use to make informed choices and decisions.
- F3. Practitioners are responsive to the family’s concerns, priorities, and changing life circumstances.
- F4. Practitioners and the family work together to create outcomes or goals, develop individualized plans, and implement practices that address the family’s priorities and concerns and the child’s strengths and needs.
- F5. Practitioners support family functioning, promote family confidence and competence, and strengthen family-child relationships by acting in ways that recognize and build on family strengths and capacities.
- F6. Practitioners engage the family in opportunities that support and strengthen pa renting knowledge and skills and parenting competence and confidence in ways that are flexible, individualized, and tailored to the family’s preferences.
- F7. Practitioners work with the family to identify, access, and use formal and informal resources and supports to achieve family-identified outcomes or goals.
- F8. Practitioners provide the family of a young child who has or is at risk for developmental delay/disability, and who is a dual language learner, with information about the benefits of learning in multiple languages for the child’s growth and development.
- F9. Practitioners help families know and understand their rights.
- F10. Practitioners inform families about leadership and advocacy skill-building opportunities and encourage those who are interested to participate.
Teaming and Collaboration
- TC1. Practitioners representing multiple disciplines and families work together as a team to plan and implement sup ports and services to meet the unique needs of each child and family.
- TC2. Practitioners and families work together as a team to systematically and regularly exchange expertise, knowledge, and information to build team capacity and jointly solve problems, plan, and implement interventions.
- TC3. Practitioners use communication and group facilitation strategies to enhance team functioning and interpersonal relationships with and among team members.
- TC4. Team members assist each other to discover and access community-based services and other informal and formal resources to meet family-identified child or family needs.
- TC4. Practitioners and families may collaborate with each other to identify one practitioner from the team who serves as the primary liaison between the family and other team members based on child and family priorities and needs.
InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards are designed to help teachers of all grade levels and content areas to prepare their students either for college or for employment following graduation.
- Standard 9: Professional Learning and Ethical Practice
- Standard 10: Leadership and Collaboration
NCATE standards are intended to serve as professional guidelines for educators. They also overview the “organizational structures, policies, and procedures” necessary to support them.
- Standard 1: Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions
When you are ready, proceed to Page 1.