Cultural armors and buffers: African American families' perspectives of the special education process and community experiences

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Leadership


Joseph Shedd


Cultural armors, Special education, Families, African-American, Community experiences, Education

Subject Categories

African American Studies | Arts and Humanities | Education | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this study was to examine families' perspectives on children's special education experiences. The focus shift to families' access to community experiences. As a result, this study investigates families who are committed to finding additional supports for their children and grandchildren's education.

A qualitative methodology was employed. Data was collected utilizing in-depth interviewing. The study examined 9 females and 1 male in an urban community in central New York.

Families served as advocates for their children in this study as they sought out services in the community, such as, faith-based organization and community organizations in their efforts to support children in a variety of communities. As families shared perspectives on public school experiences their focus shifted to supportive family experiences and community experiences where children were met with feelings of acceptance and belonging.


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