Special Education Dispute Resolution
Situations may arise where parents or other family members believe a school has violated federal or state law. ODE encourages parents, family members and schools to work together to resolve differences. If those attempts are unsuccessful, the Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children, provides free facilitation and mediation to assist the parties in resolving their differences.
Several new resources
have been developed to assist families and districts in understanding the dispute resolution processes available to them through the Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children.
• Facilitation Information Sheet –
Facilitation takes place in a team meeting such as an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting, evaluation planning meeting or an evaluation team meeting. The facilitator is a neutral, third party who is not a member of the team and does not make any decision for the team. Having a facilitator assists the team in being productive and keeping the focus on the student. Facilitators are professional mediators who have been trained by the Office for Exceptional Children in special education processes.
Mediation is a voluntary process for resolving disputes between two parties. For mediation to occur, both sides must agree to mediate. The mediation process is facilitated by a trained impartial third party, the mediator, who helps the parties communicate with each other about their concerns in an effort to reach a mutually acceptable solution.
• Ohio’s Dispute Resolution Processes Information Chart –
Outlines all the available dispute resolution processes available from the Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children.