Call for Chapters: Meaningful and Active Engagement of Families of Students With Disabilities


Millicent Musyoka, Lamar University, United States
Guofeng Shen, University of Northern Colorado, United States

Call for Chapters

Proposals Submission Deadline: February 10, 2023
Full Chapters Due: May 11, 2023
Submission Date: May 11, 2023


Family engagement varies in education literature and includes additional terms such as collaboration, involvement, and partnership. Also, the term family in schools has changed to include extended family members such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, and others who interact with the child, such as step-parents, caregivers, and neighbors. So, family engagement is a practice, an interactive process, and a goal-oriented relationship involving professionals and families, allowing families to share their perspectives about their children, their learning, and their customs to improve their children's education (Gerzel-Short et al., 2019; National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement NCPFCE], 2016). Turnbull et al. (2022) argued that when families, educators, and professionals share ideas, thoughts, and perspectives, they build on each to increase educational benefits for students and themselves. Hence, family engagement should be a manageable one-way communication from the professional to the families, involving providing families with a report on their children's strengths and weaknesses and an annual educational plan with goals to address the children's weaknesses. Families with a child with a disability experience new and unexpected challenges. In special education, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, P.L. 109-446, 2004) centers on family participation as a core tenet. Additionally, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, P.L. 114-95, 2015) goes even further in its requirements for family engagement (expanded from family involvement), requiring engagement activities for all families as a condition of accepting funding. Despite the federal requirements mandating family engagement in certain educational processes, and the wealth of research highlighting the importance of parent engagement (Henderson & Mapp, 2002), systemic barriers make the process inaccessible to a large portion of families served by education systems (Cummings & Hardin, 2017; Gerzel-Short et al., 2019). The United States population is growing substantially in its cultural, linguistic, and economic diversity. About 85% of the students receiving special education services during the 2020-21 academic year under the IDEA were culturally and linguistically diverse students with disabilities (National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 2022a). Also, approximately 11.3 million (16%) children under 18 were living in poverty (NCES, 2022b). The diversity in the student population implies diversity in families. The intersection of diversity and disabilities create unique, complex issues creating a dilemma for the majority of professional (76%) who are White and non-Hispanic females (NCES, 2022c). Furthermore, despite research on diverse families and families with children with disabilities, most resource books focus on engaging diverse families or engaging families with children's books as separate books. There are no resource books that merge disability, diversity, and family engagement that translate research into practice. Also, no resource books focus on how to integrate technology to engage families who experience challenges with distance, time, and language, among other factors. Educators, trainers, researchers, and related service providers in special education programs and training programs need reference books that include ALL families with children with disabilities to ensure equity and social justice in special education.


This book's objective is to support teachers, teacher educators, professionals working with families such as early interventionists, speech therapists, audiologists, schools’ counselors, researchers and other stakeholders with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for effective engagements of all families with children in special education. With the change of population of students enrolling in special education, which is becoming more diverse each academic year so is the diversity of the family compositions in the school system. In the twenty-first century, as population mobility grows so is the changing visage in the student population and creating a need to address the needs of growing and diverse family population for meaningful family engagement. The need to attend to ALL families raises several questions including: What is family engagement? What is a meaningful effective family engagement? What is the impact of family engagement on parents, students, and teachers? What are the barriers to family engagement? How can families, educators and other professional initiate and sustain productive family engagements? What knowledge and skills do teachers and service providers need to implement effective family engagement? How do educators and other service providers response to challenging family engagement situations? How are the roles in family engagement negotiated and shared across multiple partners? How is the disproportionality in family engagement addressed to ensure equity and social justice? How is trust, a critical component of family engagement built and sustained? This book seeks answers to these questions and many other questions. This book attempts to fill the gap in educational resources for teaching and implementing inclusive family engagements in special education all learning institutions, early intervention, and family centers across the globe.

Target Audience

This book is targeted to the following audience: (1) classroom teachers of special education students in mainstream and special schools (2) faculty in special education programs at post-secondary institutions, colleges and universities, (3) special education related service providers, (4) college students or pre-service teachers, (5) administrators in schools and school districts with programs serving students receiving special education , (6) early intervention, early childhood and family centers, and (7) researchers at colleges and universities. This book will particularly be of special interest to teacher educators who teach introduction to special education course, Family and professional collaboration courses in special education, early childhood-education course, Family and child studies, and disability studies.

Recommended Topics

These are topics explored in this book that address various issues surrounding family engagements in special education, but they are by no means exhaustive. Suggested topics include: • The concept of family engagement • Theories focusing family engagement • Laws and legal infrastructure supporting family engagement. • Engaging culturally and linguistically diverse families • Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) families in special education • Engaging non-English speaking families in special education • Engaging immigrant parents in special education • Strategies to engage families face to face and online • Barriers and conflicts resolutions in family engagement • Case studies representing different voices in family engagement • Communication strategies for effective family engagement • Disproportionality in family engagement in special education • Benefits of embracing diversity in family engagements • Families and teacher roles in family engagements in special education • Integrating technology to improve, support and advance effective family engagements. Any other related topics of interest can be shared with the author for inclusion.

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before February 10, 2023, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by May 11, 2023, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions at prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, Meaningful and Active Engagement of Families of Students With Disabilities. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.

All proposals should be submitted through the eEditorial Discovery® online submission manager.


This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), an international academic publisher of the "Information Science Reference" (formerly Idea Group Reference), "Medical Information Science Reference," "Business Science Reference," and "Engineering Science Reference" imprints. IGI Global specializes in publishing reference books, scholarly journals, and electronic databases featuring academic research on a variety of innovative topic areas including, but not limited to, education, social science, medicine and healthcare, business and management, information science and technology, engineering, public administration, library and information science, media and communication studies, and environmental science. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit This publication is anticipated to be released in 2024.

Important Dates

January 11, 2023: Proposal Submission Deadline
May 11, 2023: Full Chapter Submission
July 9, 2023: Review Results Returned
August 20, 2023: Final Acceptance Notification
September 3, 2023: Final Chapter Submission


Millicent Musyoka Lamar University Guofeng Shen University of Northern Colorado


Education; Social Sciences and Humanities
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