Supplemental Materials

Beyond Words: Effective Use of Translators, Interpreters, and Cultural Mediators

This video provides an overview on how schools and professionals can effectively work   with families of different cultural backgrounds through interpreters, translators and cultural mediators.  A cultural mediator is a professional who helps translate between the culture of a school and a child’s family to facilitate linguistic and cultural understanding and help build a stronger family-professional partnership. Pérez-Méndez, C., Moore, S.M. (Producers), and Landlocked Films LLC (co-Producer). (2005).  Beyond words: Effective use of translators, interpreters, and cultural mediators [VHS]. Available at http://www.puentesculturales.comom and

Collaboration with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families, Ideal Versus Reality

This comprehensive literature review focusing on collaboration with families from diverse backgrounds is written by Dr. Beth Harry whose audio is included in Step 3 in the section on research. In this article, Dr. Harry includes an ideal vision of collaboration and the extent to which that vision has been actualized with diverse families. She draws implications for research methodologies, professional development, and practice in schools and communities. Harry, B., (2008). Collaboration with culturally and linguistically diverse families, ideal versus reality. Exceptional Children, 74(3), 372-388.

Division for Early Childhood. (2014). DEC recommended practices in early intervention/early childhood special education 2014. Retrieved from

DEC Concept Paper: Responsiveness to Family, Culture, Values and Education

This 9-page document provides DEC’s core beliefs related to the necessity of supporting the culture, values, and languages of families within and across all early childhood programs. This document provides definitions of key terms including culture, cultural linguistic diversity, and inclusiveness.

Trivette, C.M., & Dunst, C.J. (2005). DEC recommended practices: Family-based practices. In S. Sandall, M.L. Hemmeter, B. Smith, & M. McLean (Eds). DEC recommended practices: A comprehensive guide for practical application in early intervention/early childhood special education. Missoula, MT: Division for Early Childhood.

Dimensions of Family and Professional Partnerships: Constructive Guidelines for Collaboration

This article reports on the qualitative research study that formed the foundation for the identification of partnership-oriented practices. Given its qualitative nature, the article has many quotes from families that make it engaging reading. Blue-Banning, M., Summers, J.A., Frankland, H.C., Nelson, L.L., & Beegle, G. (2004). Dimensions of family and professional partnerships: Constructive guidelines for collaboration. Council for Exceptional Children, 70(2), 167-184.

Exceptional Lives: Special Education in Today’s Schools (Chapter 4)

This introductory textbook provides foundational knowledge for practitioners working with children with disabilities. Chapter 4 focuses on family considerations. It provides an overview of family-professional partnerships and family quality of life. Turnbull, A.P., Turnbull, H.R., & Wehmeyer, M.L. (2010).  Exceptional lives: Special education in today’s schools (6th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Merrill/Prentice Hall. (Chapter 4 – Today’s Families and Their Partnerships with Professionals.)

Family Engagement Resource List

This 13-page handout includes a comprehensive list of resources including articles, booklets, websites, books, multimedia, and posters. The first article listed, Family Engagement, Diverse Families, and Early Childhood Education Programs: An Integrated Review of the Literature, provides a general overview of the research on family engagement in early childhood education. The focus throughout is on ways that families and early childhood practitioners can partner to enhance positive outcomes.

Family Involvement in Early Childhood Education

This brief provides a review of the literature on studies that examine what effective family involvement looks like and what works in early childhood education.  It includes examples of comprehensive programs and initiatives for children and families that help engage families of young children.…/earlychild  hood.pdf

Families, Professionals, and Exceptionality: Positive Outcomes Through Partnerships and Trust

This textbook is designed to prepare educators to form trusting partnerships with parents of children with special needs. It includes foundational chapters on family systems theory, legal rights, and the nature of partnerships. Specific focus is given to establishing partnerships during the evaluation process, IFSP/IEP development, and program implementation. Turnbull, A., Turnbull, R., Erwin, E.J., Soodak, L.C., & Shogren, K.A. (2011). Families, professionals, and exceptionality: Positive outcomes through partnerships and trust (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Merrill/Prentice Hall.

The IRIS Center: Fidelity of Implementation: Selecting and Implementing Evidence-Based Practices and Programs

This online module provides information on how school personnel can effectively identify, select, and implement evidence-based practices and programs in their schools.

Knowledge-to-Action Guides: Preparing Families to be Partners in Making Educational Decisions

This article provides an overview of preparing knowledge guides for families that pull together the best available research, relevant policy, and experience-based knowledge. A possible assignment for advanced students would be to work in teams to develop a knowledge-to-action guide. Turnbull, A., Zuna, N., Hong, J.Y., Hu, X., Kyzar, K., Obremski, S., Summers, J.A., Turnbull, R., & Stowe, M. (2010). TEACHING Exceptional Children, 42(3), 42-53.

Measuring the Quality of Family – Professional Partnerships in Special Education Services

This article, a follow-up to the previously cited one by Blue-Banning and colleagues (2004), is a quantitative study that provided the conceptual foundation for Figure 1 in terms of the dual child and family focus. The tools included in Step 5 were derived from the results of this study. Summers, J.A., Hoffman, L., Marquis, J., Turnbull, A., Poston, D., & Nelson, L.L. (2005). Measuring the quality of family – Professional partnerships in special education services. Council for Exceptional Children, 72(1), 63-81.

Melanie: Bird with a Broken Wing, A Mother’s Story

This book is written by Beth Harry whose audio is included in Step 3 related to research with families from diverse backgrounds. In this book, Dr. Harry writes with poignancy, insight, and tremendous love about her daughter Melanie. Melanie brought great joy to Dr. Harry and her family in her six years of life and tremendous heartbreak in terms of her untimely death. Dr. Harry provides a compelling firsthand account of family life with a child with a significant disability. Harry, B. (2008). Melanie: Bird with a broken wing, A mother’s story. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing Company.

NAEYC Accreditation Online Community

This online community offers extensive tools and resources to assist early childhood program staff and others committed to building a high quality experience for young children from birth through kindergarten. For example, one of the tools available is the NAEYC Expanded Family Survey. It is a 6-page survey focusing on NAEYC standards and criteria that is completed by families. It enables families to provide feedback to the program on the family emphasis in areas such as relationships, curriculum, assessment, and community relationships. (enter Login ID-NAEYC; enter password-NAEYC). Then you will be able to select your own user name and password.

Puckett Institute

This website features the work of Dr. Dunst whose research is featured in the Research Summary. The website describes Dr. Dunst’s areas of research and has links to many research-based products that he and his colleagues have developed.

Skilled Dialogue: To Transform Challenging Interactions

The authors of this book provide practical guidance for understanding the behavior of children and families within the context of culture and developing partnerships that are culturally responsive. Major emphasis is given to enhancing respect, reciprocity, and responsiveness. Barrera, I., & Kramer, L. (2009). Using skilled dialogue to transform challenging interactions: Honoring identity, voice, & connection. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.