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Dispute Resolution Project Overview
Helping your child with disabilities receive an appropriate education is one of the most important jobs you have as a parent. You and your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team may or may not agree on everything. Disputes and disagreements do occur.
This Web site can help you learn how to manage those disputes in a positive, productive way. Use the information here to increase:
- knowledge of your special education rights and responsibilities
- understanding of educational planning and your child’s IEP
- communication, self-advocacy, and conflict resolution skills
- awareness of conflict resolution options and how to use them
- ability to advocate for your child
Having these skills will help you keep your eyes on the prize: an appropriate education for your child.
Pacesetter Article: Creative approach to mediation helps one family resolve a special education dispute
When disputes arise between a parent and a school district, mediation is not unusual. It is rare, however, for a young child to be directly involved in the process, as was the case with Susan, a mom from Minnesota whose 13-year-old son Bradley was at the table when an agreement was reached about his Individualized Education Program (IEP). “I really wanted Bradley to see how many people cared about him and how hard we were all working to resolve things,” said Susan.
After usual efforts to reach an agreement among members of the IEP team have been exhausted, mediation is one of the voluntary dispute resolution options available to families. In mediation, a neutral third party provided by the state helps parents and their child’s school district resolve disputes over identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE). At least one parent and a district staff person with authority to resolve the dispute (usually the special education director) must attend the conference. …
Checklist : Preparing for and Attending Mediation
A Creative Approach to Mediation in the Pacesetter Fall 2014 Edition
After usual efforts to reach an agreement among members of the IEP team have been exhausted, mediation is one of the voluntary dispute resolution options available to families. This article takes a look at one family's creative approach at resolving a special education dispute.
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Conciliation Article in the Pacesetter Summer 2013 Edition
Conciliation offers families a practical way to resolve special education differences.
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Dispute Resolution Article in the Pacesetter Winter 2011 Edition
New checklist aids parents in filing
state special education complaint .
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A 37 minute audio/video overview of special education created to help parents of children with disabilities understand what special education is, how a child might get into special education, how to resolve disagreements, and what role parents play.
Developed by PACER Center, it is funded in part by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education.