When Congress amended the IDEA, they added mediation as a procedural safeguard to resolve disputes between parents and schools.
What is mediation? How does it work? Can it help? Should you request mediation? How are mediators trained? Are mediators really impartial? What do you need to know about mediation?
Parent-school disputes are similar to family disputes - a child is involved, the stakes are high, and emotions run strong. You need to learn about the mediation process, what mediation can and cannot accomplish, and how mediators should be trained. If you understand how the mediation process works, you'll have a better chance of using mediation successfully.
Learning to Negotiate is Part of the Advocacy Process. Vermont advocate Brice Palmer describes role of negotiating in advocacy; important rules and excellent tactics and techniques.
The School Offered Mediation - What Should We Do? Parents and school disagree about appropriate program for child with severe hearing impairment. School offers mediation. What should the parents do? How can they prepare?
Special Ed Disputes: Litigate, Negotiate, Mediate? Pam Wright discusses normal and predictable conflict at IEP meetings and other obstacles to effective advocacy.
When You Are in Mediation, You are Negotiating. Mediation is a problem solving process that is confidential. Success depends on both parties being able to communicate openly.
If You Have a Dispute, Litigation is the Last Resort. Never tell a school, or anyone else, that you plan to sue them. There are other ways to resolve parent-school disputes. Depending on the issue, you may continue to negotiate, file a complaint with the state, or request mediation. Litigation is the last resort..
FAQs: What is Mediation? How Does It Work? "Frequently Asked Questions" and "Standards of Practice" from The Academy of Family Mediators.
Mediation Pitfalls: Sonja Kerr & Pete Wright. Minnesota Attorney Sonja Kerr and Pete Wright discuss pitfalls in mediation.
Seven Steps to Effective Mediation. Comprehensive article stresses preparation; describes mediators' personalities; pitfalls and opportunities. The authors, Diana Santa Maria and Marc Gregg, are practicing attorneys in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Article answers important questions about mediation:
What does the IDEA say about procedural safeguards and mediation? Read about procedural safeguards, including mediation, in the IDEA statute.
What do the federal Special Education Regulations say about procedural safeguards and mediation? IDEA 2004 Regulations, Subpart E: Procedural Safeguards.
Preparing for Special Education Mediation and Resolution Sessions: A Guide for Families and Advocates. A joint publication of The Advocacy Institute and The Children's Law Clinic Duke University School of Law.
Dispute Resolution Resource Showcase developed by CADRE, Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education - a collection and systematic organization of resources relating to the IDEA's dispute resolution procedural safeguards provisions for both Part B and C. These may be useful to states and districts as they pursue improvements in their special education dispute resolution systems and processes.
"Stay cool under pressure, stand up without provoking opposition, deal with underhanded tactics, and find mutually agreeable options."
We recommend these books for parents who are negotiating with the school.
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury. Teaches you how to negotiate, resolve conflict and develop "win-win" solutions. Based on research from the Harvard Negotiation Project, "Getting to Yes" teaches you how to negotiate "win-win" solutions to disputes. "Getting to Yes" provides concise, step-by-step, strategies that will help you develop fair agreements in all kinds of conflict.
Getting It Done: How to Lead When You're Not in Charge by Roger Fisher and Alan Sharp (1998). Getting It Done explains why collaborating with others is so difficult. People have minds of their own - and most decisions are based on emotions, not logic.
In Getting It Done, you learn how one person can help the group formulate a clear vision of results, suggest a course of action, and learn from past experiences. You'll also learn how to ask questions, offer ideas, and make suggestions that will be heard - how to influence the actions of others by your own behavior.
Past No: Negotiating Your Way from Confrontation to Cooperation by William
Coping with Difficult People by Robert Bramson.
people are unavoidable - but they can be managed. Psychologist Bramson identifies
seven personality types that can make life miserable - from uncooperative types
and irritating complainers to intimidating bullies -- and strategies to deal with
each type. "Good book!" More info about Coping
with Difficult People.
Back to main Topics page
Last updated: 10/24/16