Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies


Communication Studies

First Reader/Committee Chair

Jo Anna Grant


The purpose of this project was to examine and explore negotiating strategies for parents with children with disabilities. The research showed there were insufficient materials for teaching negotiating strategies to parents to assist them in obtaining critical or basic services for their special needs children. Many families lack financial resources, have English-language barriers, and have educational challenges when facing school administrators that possess these vital resources. These circumstances mean that parents may feel intimidated and disempowered when meeting with school officials. By providing a simple and easy-to-use guide of Negotiating Strategies, parents can be empowered and encouraged to use their skills for negotiation, conflict management, power, networking and mediation during an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting. The guide will increase awareness and understanding for parents when participating with school administrators, allowing them to capitalize on their rights for seeking appropriate and needed services for their children with disabilities.