Engage Families in Inclusive Technology Systems
The research is clear. Implementing strong, authentic family engagement practices has a positive impact on educators, families, and learners themselves. These demonstrated impacts and benefits of implementing family engagement practices inspired the U.S. Department of Education to make family engagement a requirement. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires that families are given input and influence in decision-making. And for more than two decades, the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) has required that families of students with disabilities are full and equal partners in the individualized education program (IEP) planning team. These laws require educators to engage parents and families in meaningful ways.
Classroom educators aren’t the only educators interfacing with families these days. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory suggests that layers of educators and education services impact the way the learner is able to experience and interact in their learning environment. These layers also impact the way families are required to advocate and make decisions to best support their children and youth.
Each area of the CITES framework can elicit barriers for learners and families, particularly learners with disabilities and their families. It is with this concept in mind that the CITES Family Engagement practices are elevated as a critical element of the CITES framework.
CITES family engagement practices across the framework areas include:
- Engage families in leadership
- Engage families in infrastructure
- Engage families in teaching
- Engage families in learning
- Engage families in assessment
The CITES framework family practices went through a robust knowledge development process. The process started with a literature review, then a landscape analysis that surveyed over 300 family members of students with disabilities. And finally, our team conducted focus groups with families and interviews with district teams that focused on quality family engagement.
Download our Literature Review on Family Engagement.