“You Didn’t Call My Name!” Barriers that Prevent Marginalized Black Families from Accessing and Utilizing Early Childhood Intervention Services



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The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to explore the perceived barriers preventing Black families from accessing (completing the intake process) and utilizing (following through with the support) early childhood intervention services. Data was collected from a purposeful sample of Black families who did and did not access Early Intervention Services (ECI) and medical or educational professionals who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and primarily serve the same population. Parental, medical, and educational professionals’ perception of the barriers were measured using the Barriers to Access and Utilize Early Childhood Intervention Services Inventory (BAUECISI). Survey results were analyzed using frequencies, percentages, independent t-tests, Chi-squared test of independence, one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), and logistic regression.

On the quest to understand and inquire into the experience of participants’ living story, narrative inquiry through playback was used to capture the embodiment of being doubly buffooned—Black and disabled from early childhood. A fusion in qualitative research and the arts was used. Narrative inquiry uniquely situates the relational aspect between the researcher and participants as collaborators in the process where both see themselves in the practice of each living, telling, retelling, and reliving stories. Notably, a narrative inquiry is fixtured in the simultaneous interactions of three commonplaces— temporality (attention to the past, present, and future of the place, things, and events), sociality (interrelatedness of the researcher and participants, and where the condition in which the story unfolds) and place (the physical and topography boundaries) (Clandinin & Huber, in press). Interviews provided data from parental (did and did not access ECI) and professional views to note the diverging and converging perspectives when accessing and utilizing ECI services. Taking caution not to reduce the story to a list of themes, instead metaphors and schematics emerged to reflect the complexity and multifacetedness of being a story.



Access, utilization, marginalized, black, early childhood special education, narrative, narrative inquiry, mixed methods, leadership, educational, advocate,