Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Psychology and Special Education

First Advisor

Dr. Claire Donehower Paul

Second Advisor

Dr. Eliseo Jimenez

Third Advisor

Dr. Lauren Boden

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Franco Dispenza

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Sarah Hansen


This study examined the effects of a web-based parent training program on participants’ level of knowledge, empowerment, and ability to contact adult disability service providers. Parent trainings have been identified as an evidence-based practice for increasing parent knowledge of transition planning, services, and resources (Rowe et al., 2021). After completing a pre-test, participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: (1) Packet Only or (2) Packet Plus Training. Both groups received an electronic resource packet developed by the first author in collaboration with content experts in inclusive postsecondary education programs, vocational rehabilitation, and benefits navigation. The Packet Plus Training group received the electronic resource packet and a single session, 120-minute virtual training facilitated by researchers, content experts, individuals with disabilities, and parent advocates. Results indicated that knowledge post-test scores were slightly higher for the Packet Only group, while levels of empowerment were higher for the Packet Plus Training group. Researchers collected follow-up data to examine the effect of the training on participants’ ability to establish contact with adult service providers. Results from the follow-up data were inconclusive. Thirty-day follow-up data indicated that more participants in the Packet Plus Training group (66.67%) contacted service providers than in the Packet Only group (40%), while the forty-five-day follow-up data indicated that more parents in the Packet Only group (50%) contacted service providers. Limitations and implications for practice and research are discussed.


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