OSEP Spanish Glossary |
The Spanish Glossary Review Panel |
Focus Groups |
The right of parents to participate in educational decision-making regarding their child with a disability is an important underpinning of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). However, for many parents, lack of understanding of the education and legal terminology included in IDEA, may limit their ability to effectively accomplish this important role. This is an especially significant challenge for parents of children with disabilities who are not native English Speakers. The OSEP Spanish Glossary
was developed by the Region 1 Parent Technical Assistance Center@SPAN to ensure that educational terms related to the implementation of IDEA used in documents to promote parents’ authentic participation are translated in a uniform and comprehensible way, across states, geographical regions and communities of Spanish speakers.
The Collaborative Development Process
Included in this glossary, are more than 200 education- and disability-related terms that have been translated from English to Spanish by eighteen individuals involved in providing training and information for Spanish speaking families from dozens of countries. This team, The Spanish Glossary Review Panel, worked together, developing the list of terms for translation, offering translation suggestions for each term and coming to consensus on agreed-upon translations, in order to develop this high quality product that will be useful for promoting the involvement of Spanish-speaking parents.
Including the Voices of Families
As the ultimate beneficiaries of information and materials translated using the Spanish Glossary, the perspective of parents was important in its development. When the Review Panel had completed its recommendations, focus groups
of parents -- from a diversity of Spanish cultures, with children of various ages and with a broad range of disabilities -- were convened by eleven (11) Parent Centers in California, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. At each session, participants offered substantive and thoughtful feedback. The Review Panel was reconvened, considered each of the dozens of recommendations and made a number of revisions to reflect the focus group results.
A Resource to Improve the Quality of Information and Materials for Families
IDEA Parent Training and Information Centers and Community Parent Resource Centers, as well as schools, districts, states, educators and other professionals serving Spanish-speaking families of children with disabilities are encouraged to use the OSEP Spanish Glossary
to: eliminate any variances in translations of these terms within there information and training materials; familiarize families with these terms so that they can be effective decision-makers in their child’s life; and ensure that provide Spanish-speaking families will have information and materials that use consistent terms, if they move from state to state or community to community. With broad usage, this resource will assist families in better understanding the language of special education and early intervention that is critical for their effectively partnering with professionals and advocating for improved outcomes for their children.