The Delphi Process: Involving Parents of Children With Disabilities in Participatory Consensus Building

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Intervention in School and Clinic

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Educators recognize that parental participation is a critical factor in the success of children within a school setting. This is particularly true for parents who have children with disabilities or who are from a culturally or linguistically diverse background. However, reaching out to these families can be a difficult task even for the most empathetic and concerned educator. And while communicating directly with individual parents about their children’s academic and social welfare provides some degree of effective engagement and communication between them and the school, the parents often remain isolated from the concerns and thoughts of other parents who are in similar situations. The Delphi process described in this article creates a collaborative workspace that moves parents from being a “watcher” of school policy or school-based decisions to a “developer” of school policy or school-based decisions. The article outlines and illustrates the steps in the process and further elaborates through an ongoing commentary depicting the creation and implementation of a Delphi with the goal of better engagement with parents.


Collaboration; Family(ies); Involvement; Issues; Partnerships with professionals; Problem-solving; Processes


Special Education Administration | Special Education and Teaching



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