The COVID-19 pandemic forced many Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams to hold virtual IEP meetings for students with disabilities instead of conducting them in person. Prior to the pandemic, research explored school professionals’ and parents’ perceptions of the IEP meeting experience in the context of in-person meetings. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore how IEP meeting experiences changed for parents and school professionals as a result of the transition to virtual meeting collaboration due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ten school professionals and nine parents from two public school districts in the United States participated in semi-structured interviews about their perceptions of the IEP meeting experience before and after this transition. Six themes emerged from the analysis: (a) prioritizing preparedness, (b) conquering technology, (c) negotiating new communication norms, (d) building rapport, (e) adapting to a new kind of collaboration, and (f) harnessing flexibility. Findings identified challenges faced while preparing for and conducting virtual IEP meetings as well as opportunities to leverage virtual collaboration to improve the IEP meeting experience for school professionals and families of students with disabilities.
Guerrero, Briceida; Hayes, Lindsey; O'Shea, Robin; Wiedemann, Katherine D.; and Bowen, Laurie
"Lessons Learned from IEP Meeting Experiences of Parents and School Professionals During the COVID-19 Pandemic,"
Journal of Educational Research and Innovation: Vol. 11, Article 1.
Available at: https://digscholarship.unco.edu/jeri/vol11/iss1/1