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The National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education

"Encouraging the use of mediation and other collaborative strategies to resolve disagreements about special
education and early intervention programs."

Process Definition

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Early Dispute Assistance     
       Telephone Intermediary
This process involves intervening with parents and schools by telephone as soon as a request for assistance has been made. The inquiry by the parent is viewed as an opportunity for the office to help clarify the problem, identify informal ways of addressing the matter, and proceed with resolving the situation when appropriate. In some states, this is a function of the department’s intake procedures; in other states, it is a more formal process where callers who articulate a concern or problem are referred.