Author ORCID Identifier


Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Jade Holloway

Second Advisor

Dr. Carolyn Podolski


This capstone project aimed to address educational gaps and enhance parental involvement in a small, rural school district by designing and evaluating an evidence-based parent support resource, the IEP Meeting Guide. The existing problem centered around observed gaps in parental knowledge and confidence, particularly in advocating for academic support during Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings. The research question focused on assessing the outcomes of designing and evaluating such a resource within the context of a rural school district. A mixed-methods approach was employed, involving the creation of the IEP Meeting Guide and subsequent assessment through surveys among parents, educators, and staff involved in special education. Quantitative measures evaluated overall satisfaction, ease of use, likelihood of use, perceived effectiveness, and clarity of information. The results indicated high levels of satisfaction among both parents and staff, with parents showing slightly higher satisfaction levels. Staff, particularly those with extensive educational experience, endorsed the use of the resource to support families in IEP meetings. Despite demographic variations and study limitations, including a small sample size and potential biases in self-report data, the findings underscored the perceived effectiveness and value of the developed resource in supporting collaborative efforts between parents and educators in the IEP process. Addressing the unique needs of rural communities and fostering inclusivity in resource design are crucial for enhancing parental involvement and improving outcomes for students with special needs. Further research and ongoing feedback are essential for refining and tailoring parent support resources and tools to meet the diverse needs of all the stakeholders involved in special education.

File Upload Confirmation