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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."

CADRE Products

CADRE has produced a number of publications on issues related to special education dispute resolution. Summaries of those products and direct links can be found below. Hard copies are available for many of the products by sending an email to: cadre@directionservice.org


A Tale of Two Conversations These two videos, which were developed by the Office for Dispute Resolution in Pennsylvania, feature Dixie Trinen and Suzanne McDougall.

A Tale of Two Conversations Study Guide This Study Guide uses "A Tale of Two Conversations," as a learning tool, offering keys for more effective communication as well as problem solving skills and approaches. It provides opportunities to reflect on how you communicate now and what you could do differently. The Study Guide is available for parents, educators and trainers.

Beyond Mediation: Strategies For Appropriate Early Dispute Resolution In Special Education This briefing paper describes some of the causes of special education conflict and then explores the range of conflict management approaches being pioneered by state education agencies and school districts. The focus of this paper and the underlying research is on innovative work that is being done related to disagreements regarding those children and youth (3 years and older) served under Part B of IDEA. A CADRE Publication. This document was published in October 2002. More information on IDEA 2004.

CADRE Brochure The CADRE brochure is available.

CADRE Technical Assistance to States: Dispute Resolution System Integration and Performance Enhancement (DR SIPE) This continually evolving tool is designed to assist states wishing to improve their dispute resolution system using a systematic, data guided process for managing and improving dispute resolution programs and practices. The DR SIPE workbook outlines the steps in that change process, emphasizing the initial steps of problem analysis and identifying areas with the highest potential for improvement.

CADRE Webinars An index page of webinars hosted by CADRE.

Considerations for Mediating with People Who Are Culturally Deaf Historically, mediation has not been an effective venue for dispute resolution for Deaf people because of linguistic inaccessibility and cultural non-recognition. Like other linguistic minority groups who experience and resolve conflict in a manner consistent with their social and communicative norms Deaf people have some unique perspectives. The following article illuminates some of these perspectives and explains how mediators can address these differences when working with Deaf people, in order to make mediation a more linguistically and culturally respectful and responsive endeavor. A CADRE Publication. This document was published in September 2002. More information on IDEA 2004.

Considering Mediation for Special Education Disputes: A School Administrator's Perspective This paper describes the advantages and disadvantages of mediation from an administrator's perspective in order to help other administrators make an informed decision about whether it is in the best interest of their school district, and ultimately the students they serve, for them to participate. A CADRE Publication. This document was published in September 2002. More information on IDEA 2004.

Considerando Mediación de Especial Educación La mediacion es una manera flexible de resolver los desacuerdos entre la escuela o sistemas de intervención temprana ("early intervention") y los padres de niños con discapacidades. Una persona neutral, llamada un mediador, ayuda a los padres, educadores, y proveedores de servicios a comunicarse más efectivamente y a desarrollar un documento escrito que contiene los detalles de su acuerdo. Este Documento fue publicado en 1999. Mas informacion sobre IDEA 2004. View this document in English.

Considering Special Education Mediation Mediation is a flexible way to resolve disagreements between school or early intervention (EI) systems and parents of children with disabilities. An impartial person, called a mediator, helps parents, educators and service providers to communicate more effectively and develop a written document that contains the details of their agreement. Participation in mediation is voluntary and confidential. This document was published in 1999. More information on IDEA 2004.

CADRE-DAC Webinar on DR Data Quality & Analysis This is an edited reconstruction of a March 1, 2010 Webinar presented by CADRE and the DAC on Dispute Resolution Data Quality and Analysis.

Data Drill (APR Data Analysis & Planning) Tool CADRE's Data Drill Tool is designed to help states analyze Annual Performance Report Table 7 data and use various calculated measures in improvement planning of state dispute resolution systems.

Dispute Resolution (DR) Procedures, Data Collection, and Caseloads This study reviews state databases and examines the ratio of dispute resolution cases per 10,000. A CADRE Publication

Effective IEP Meetings: Tested Tips This brief document offers suggestions for convening successful IEP meetings and includes preparation tips for parents and educators.

Educating Our Children Together: A Sourcebook for Effective Family-School-Community Partnerships This sourcebook was designed to identify and describe promising practices in family-community-school involvement occurring in pre-K-12 school environments across the country. The book includes guiding principles for family-school-community involvement, tips for getting started, a self-assessment tool to determine current practices, strategies, and program descriptions.

Encouraging Meaningful Parent/Educator Collaboration: A Recent Review of Literature This document synthesizes findings from a number of recent academic studies and policy publications. Among the highlights is the idea that involvement may be too narrow a term to encapsulate the range and depth of partnerships that support students' success.

Facilitated IEP Meetings: An Emerging Practice This guide provides an introduction to IEP facilitation for parents and other family members to help orient them to this emerging practice. This document was published in November 2004.

Families and Schools: Resolving Disputes through Mediation Many questions have been raised on exactly what mediation is and how it is done. This publication has been developed by the Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) in partnership with the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY)to respond to some of the questions that so many parents, teachers, administrators, and others have about mediation. Through the presentation of real life stories, the reader will gain a better understanding of the mediation process and its inherent flexibility. As different as these stories are, each ends with a successfully negotiated agreement making it possible for the children involved to get the services they need and the parents and schools to work together with renewed collaboration and partnership. A CADRE Publication. This document was published in July 2002.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Mediation This publication has been developed by the Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE)in partnership with the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) to respond to the host of questions that many parents, teachers, administrators, and others have about mediation. A CADRE Publication. This document was published in July 2002.

Implementing the Mediation Requirements of IDEA '97 A resource packet designed to guide implementation of the mediation regulations under IDEA ‘97. Included are a self-assessment and checklist for state departments of education, a memo from OSEP Director Kenneth Warlick, and a question and answer document on the mediation requirements under Part B of the IDEA. This document was published in January 2001. More information on IDEA 2004.

Initial Review of Research Literature on ADR in Special Education This article describes a literature search process employed to identify research in ADR and special education, organizes some initial search results, briefly summarizes them, and raises important questions for the purpose of generating a future research agenda.

Keys to Access There are a number of reasons for making mediation more accessible and responsive to families from culturally, economically and linguistically diverse backgrounds. This document is intended to provide educators with guidance that may help them understand why some families may not participate in mediation, and strategies for increasing the participation of families from diverse backgrounds. Most importantly, Keys to Access offers practical recommendations that school personnel, early intervention service providers, mediation providers, and families can use to develop the knowledge, positive attitudes, skills and strengths necessary for genuine collaboration. The results of these collaborative partnerships may be reflected in improved programs for children with disabilities. This document was published in November 1999. More information on IDEA 2004.

Las Familias y las Escuelas: Resolviendo las Disputas através de la Mediación Han surgido muchas preguntas sobre qué es exactamente la mediación y cómo se lleva a cabo. Esta publicación ha sido desarrollada por el Consorcio para la Resolución Apropiada de Disputas en la Educación Especial (CADRE) para responder a las preguntas que tantos padres, profesores, administradores y muchas otras personas tienen acerca de la mediación. A través de la presentación de casos de la vida real, el lector comprenderá mejor el proceso de la mediación y su flexibilidad inherente. Este Documento fue publicado en Diciembre 2003. Mas informacion sobre IDEA 2004. View this document in English.

Listening This new video introduces the critical skill of listening and helps viewers recognize its importance and value. Viewers will better understand the skills involved in effective listening and its role in communication and problem solving.

Pasos hacia el Éxito: Comunicación con la escuela de su hijo Si Ud tiene un hijo que recibe servicios de educación especial, es más que probable que esté involucrado en la escuela de su hijo y colaborando con sus profesores – esto incluye la planificación, la revisión y evaluación del programa educativo de su hijo.

National Dispute Resolution Use and Effectiveness Study CADRE partner, NASDSE has been systematically gathering dispute resolution information from SEAs to analyze formative (process) and summative (outcome) information on the use and effectiveness of conflict resolution procedures. The National Dispute Resolution Use and Effectiveness Study reviews previously published research, examines recently collected data, and makes important recommendations. A CADRE Publication. This document was published in September 2004. More information on IDEA 2004.

Overview of CADRE View a four minute and twenty-four second video overview of CADRE.

Parents' Experiences with the IEP Process: Considerations for Improving Practice This publication reviews literature exploring findings from 10 studies published after 2004 that focus on the experiences and perceptions of parents or other caregivers related to the IEP process.

Parents and Educators Working Toward Mutual Solutions This video, Parents and Educators Working Toward Mutual Solutions, was developed in 2002 by the Technical Assistance Alliance for Parent Centers (the Alliance) and CADRE.

Perspectives of Participants in Special Education Mediation: A Qualitative Inquiry CADRE undertook a qualitative inquiry of special education mediations in two states. In this exploratory research, CADRE's goal was to gain access to, examine, and compare the perspectives of parents, school personnel and mediators on several dimensions of the mediation experience. A CADRE publication.

Preguntas Frecuentes Acerca de la Mediación Esta publicación ha sido desarrollada por CADRE (Consorcio para la Resolución Apropiada de Disputas en la Educación Especial) con el fin de responder a la gran cantidad de preguntas que muchos padres, maestros, y administradores, entre otras personas tienen acerca de la mediación. Desde preguntas básicas tales como, “¿Qué es la mediación?” y “¿Cómo funciona ésto?” a “¿Por qué querría yo usar la mediación?” y “¿Quién toma las decisiones?” estas preguntas proporcionan al lector información simple y directa. Algunas de las respuestas a estas preguntas incluyen una referencia a la sección actual de las regulaciones federales que tratan con la mediación. Este Documento fue publicado en Febrero de 2003. Mas informacion sobre IDEA 2004. View this document in English.

Resolution Meetings - State Supports and Practices This brief analysis provides detail on the experience of eight states with Resolution Meetings. A joint effort of Project Forum at NASDSE and CADRE.

Reuniones de IEP Facilitadas: Una Nueva Opción Esta guía prove una introducción a la facilitación de IEP para los padres y otros miembros de la familia para orientarlos a esta práctica emergente. Este Documento fue publicado en Febrero de 2005. Mas informacion sobre IDEA 2004. View this document in English.

Special Education Mediation: A Guide for Parents (Hmong) Kev xab thooj cov lus tsis sib haum hauv kev kawm ntawv tshwj xeeb yog ib phau ntawv rau cov niam txiv uas yog Qhov chaw koom txhawb tswv yim rau cov koom haum txhawb nqa niam txiv thiab qhov chaw txhim kho kom muaj kev sib kho yooj yim hauv kev kawm ntawv tshwj xeeb tau tsim los. Phau ntawv no tau tsim los raws li tau cog lus nrog qhov chaw txhawb kev kawm ntawv tshwj xeeb ntawm ceem fwv fab kev kawm ntawv, CFDA H326D98002. This document was completed in February 2002. More information on IDEA 2004.

Steps to Success: Communicating with Your Child's School Offers specific communication skills that may be helpful to parents as they develop and maintain partnerships with their child's school. A CADRE publication. This document was published in May 2004.

State ADR/Mediation Resource Directory This resource contains a listing of offices and organizations that offer expertise in mediation and other forms of alternate dispute resolution outside the arena of special education.

The Impact of Parent/Family Involvement on Student Outcomes: An Annotated Bibliography of Research from the Past Decade In this bibliography of research published during the past decade, we have grouped studies into three related areas: studies that evaluate the effectiveness of school-based programs and interventions intended to promote parent/family involvement on student outcomes; studies that evaluate family behaviors and characteristics and their effect on student outcomes; and studies that analyze parent/family involvement research. A CADRE Publication. This document was published in December 2002. More information on IDEA 2004.

The Involvement of Students in Their Special Education Mediations This paper explores benefits, challenges and strategies related to the involvement of students in the special education mediation process. A CADRE Publication . This document was published in September 2003. More information on IDEA 2004.

The Role of Attorneys in Special Education Mediation This paper examines the role of attorneys and to a lesser extent, advocates in special education mediation. It examines the positions held by both proponents and opponents of permitting attorneys and advocates to participate in special education mediation. It then considers the interests and concerns shared by advocates of the two opposing views. The paper concludes with practical recommendations that attempt to satisfy these common interests. This document was published in June 2001. More information on IDEA 2004.

Ten Tips for SEAs and LEAs to Improve Their Mediation Agreement Rate This 'tip sheet' was developed to provide coordinators of mediation programs with ideas and strategies on how to improve their mediation agreement rate.

Tips, Tools & Resources for LEAs and Early Intervention Providers to Improve Agreement Rates in Resolution Sessions This resource was developed to provide local education agency personnel and early intervention providers with ideas and strategies on how to improve their resolution meeting agreement rate.

TOP TIPS for State Dispute Resolution System Managers Following an extensive review, CADRE identified four States with exemplary dispute resolution systems. In September 2009, CADRE brought together Dee Ann Wilson of Iowa, Jo Anne Pool Blades of Oklahoma, Kerry Smith of Pennsylvania, and Jack Marker of Wisconsin. A discussion during the September meeting resulted in a list of "Top Tips" for other State dispute resolution system managers.

Understanding Positions and Interests Differentiating between "positions" and "interests" is an essential component of collaborative problem solving. This short video from CADRE introduces the differences between positions and interests and provides specific examples.

Using Participant Feedback to Evaluate and Improve Quality in Mediation This resource guide presents an overview of mediation evaluation with a specific focus on how to make use of participant questionnaires in evaluating mediation programs. A CADRE Publication. This document was published in December 2002 and updated in August 2007. More information on IDEA 2004.

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