Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Phyllis Jones, Ph.D., Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ann Cranston-Gingras, Ph.D., Ph.D.

Committee Member

Karen Colucci, Ph.D., Ph.D.

Committee Member

Donna McGhie-Richmond, Ph.D., Ph.D.


Appropriate Assessment for Special Needs, FSAA, IEP


The perspectives of parents of children with multiple disabilities regarding their understanding and involvement in their child’s participation in the Florida State Alternate Assessment (FSAA) Performance Task and Datafolio are explored in this study. In the United States, federal policies require all students to participate in state-wide formal assessments, including students with multiple disabilities. Current research literature examines the perspectives of teachers and other education professionals regarding the many facets of formalized assessment. However, the perspective of parents of children with multiple disabilities and their child’s participation in formal alternate assessment is scant. Throughout this study, the reflections of six parents of children with multiple disabilities in formal assessment participation and the Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting are examined. In this qualitative inquiry, data were collected through semi-structured interviews and an online focus group, then analyzed through the method of constant comparison coding with reflections captured in an ongoing research journal. According to their responses, the parents in this study had minimal knowledge of the FSAA and limited understanding of the criteria for assessment participation. Most parents had negative perceptions of the FSAA as they felt it did not measure knowledge on their children’s ability and level of learning.