2018 TASH Conference has ended
Each year, the TASH Conference brings together a diverse community of stakeholders who gain information, learn about resources, and connect with others across the country to strengthen the disability field. This year’s conference theme, “Be Creative - Innovative Solutions for an Inclusive Life,” reminds us to think outside the box during times of uncertainty. Creativity, innovation, and determination can pave the way for meaningful and inclusive lives for people with disabilities.

Thursday, November 29 • 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Examining Factors Related to Student Attendance and Participation during IEP Meetings

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Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are an important component of special education. During an annual IEP meeting, a team outlines academic and/or functional goals for the student with disabilities, as well as supports and services designed to help the student achieve these goals. Using a national, web-based survey, this study examined student attendance and participation during IEP meetings. Participants included 1,183 parents and/or legal guardians of school-aged students with disabilities. Results indicated that only one-third of students attended their IEP meeting, with students in older grades more likely to attend. Most students who did attend their meeting were not actively participating. Although historically student participation has been conceptualized as consisting of both administrative-type student IEP behaviors and students providing input and preferences about IEP content, a factor analysis revealed only a single, unified factor. Correlates of student attendance and participation included the strength of the parent's partnership with their child's teacher, as well as student characteristics such as grade level, time in the general education setting, anticipated high school diploma, and functional ability level. This presentation aligns with the TASH Conference's "Be Creative - Innovative Solutions for an Inclusive Life" theme. Specifically, this study aimed to examine the IEP meeting, a common phenomenon for students with disabilities and their families, in a new, "outside of the box" way. While other studies have examined student participation during IEP meetings, they have only considered participation as a yes/no variable. In contrast, this study examined how students were participating. By understanding what is happening during IEP meetings, we can find ways to meaningfully include students with severe disabilities during these critical planning meetings. All students, regardless of age or disability, should have the opportunity to provide input regarding plans that will specifically impact them. Promoting self-advocacy during the school years will prepare adults who are able to effectively advocate for their wants and needs.


Thursday November 29, 2018 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Salon E - Lower Level 1401 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97201