Heather HeapFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Barbara Jordan-White

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Special; Education, Secondary; Education, Teacher Training; Education, Administration; Sociology, General


secondary educators, self advocacy, self determination, special education


Disability and Equity in Education | Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Sociology | Special Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development


This qualitative study identified four educators' perceptions and their implementation of teaching advocacy to students with disabilities within a public secondary educational setting. Federal mandates, such as Public Law 94-142, requested educators including administrators, counselors, special educators, and general educators to help facilitate self advocacy skills in the public educational setting. Using observations, comprehensive interviews, and available documentation, this collective case study identified four educators' experiences (an administrator, a counselor, a special educator, and a general educator) in developing student self advocacy as it pertains to the educators' perceived role in working with students with disabilities. This study identified their perceptions of effective student self advocacy while describing their own actions and behaviors that promoted the skill. Prior research defined the framework, terminology, strategies, and usefulness from educator perceptions about the implementation of self advocacy. Still, there was insufficient research on how educators in different roles define, perceive, and facilitate self advocacy practices within a public secondary setting. This research addressed four specific participants' time preparation, implementation, and reflection as it pertained to teaching self advocacy. Data analysis included open and axial coding, natural generalizations, and data reduction to identify emerging themes, patterns, and relationships relevant to the perceptions of self advocacy from these participants.