Parents of a child with any disability & their experiences with school choice: a descriptive phenomenological study.




Cairns, James

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This study used descriptive phenomenology to address the research question: What is the experience of parents who have a child with any disability in selecting a school for their child? Nine parents of a child with any disability from the Greater Vancouver area participated in this study. Through one-on-one in-depth interviews, the parents shared their experiences in selecting a school for their child. Using Colaizzi's descriptive phenomenological method for analysis, six broad themes were revealed that described the parents' experience of finding a school: a) the school itself, b) the child's needs, c) the parent's own experience, d) the family's involvement in the decision, e) non-school supports; and f) availability or lack of choice. Findings were discussed in relation to relevant literature, implications for both parents and school systems were addressed, and further research options were offered.



school choice, descriptive phenomenology, parent experiences with school choice, parent of a child with any disability, parents of a child with a disability, school selection, experiences with school choice