The Importance of Stakeholder Communication in Special Education

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  • 0:04 Special Education Stakeholders
  • 0:45 Communication Benefits
  • 2:46 Parents as Stakeholders
  • 3:36 Teachers as Stakeholders
  • 4:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Derek Hughes
Stakeholder communication is an incredibly important aspect of special education planning. This lesson will detail why this communication is so important, as well as highlight the roles of parents and teachers in the special education process.

Special Education Stakeholders

Imagine you're about to fill a room with everyone who has an interest in seeing a special education plan or program succeed. Who are you going to put in that room? Well, you'll probably start with the school's administration, teachers and parents, as well as the school's board of education and maybe even some students. You might also include district officials and members of the community at large.

All of these people are stakeholders because they each have an interest in seeing the special education program or plan succeed. Some may have a lot of influence and power over the process, so it's important to use communication to build relationships and reap the benefits of stakeholder communication.

Communication Benefits

In special education, the communication process is important because it can help stakeholders get to know each other, engage with one other and listen to each other. Let's explore the three main benefits that stakeholder communication can offer the special education process.

  • Help stakeholders maintain a dialogue: First and foremost, stakeholder communication is key for maintaining a dialogue and understanding between groups of interested parties. Through this dialogue, stakeholders can share ideas and concerns regarding certain plans or programs. Regular dialogue can help stakeholders feel their voices are heard and important in the planning process. For example, if a classroom teacher and special education teacher are going to implement a reading plan for a student, the parents of that child need to be kept in the loop and provided with ongoing opportunities to ask questions.
  • Help stakeholders identify multiple perspectives: Each stakeholder brings a unique perspective, set of beliefs and ideas to a team. For example, an administrator may feel that a specific program isn't working on a larger scale. However, classroom teachers experiencing short-term results in classrooms may not be aware of its larger shortcomings. Regular communication between the administrator and faculty members can help bring these issues to light.
  • Help stakeholders learn new things: Open communication among stakeholders is a good way to make sure everyone is up to speed about the latest tools at their disposal. Each person is responsible for sharing things they learn with every other stakeholder. For example, if a special education teacher just went to a professional development conference and learned a new, research-based technique for behavior management, it is absolutely crucial that he or she share this with the other stakeholders. The team might not wind up using the information, but it never hurts to have more tools at your disposal to best serve the students.

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