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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."

Article Archive


"Keys To Access" Award and Past Recipients In order to further CADRE’s objective of encouraging the broadest possible access to the full range of conflict resolution options, and, to honor individuals and organizations that build schools and communities that are respectful of cultural, linguistic and class differences, we are pleased to present the "Keys to Access" Award.

2000 "Keys to Access" Award Presented The 2000 "Keys To Access" Award was presented on December 1, 2000 at CADRE's National Symposium on Dispute Resolution in Special Education in Washington, D.C. The award was presented to Dick Lash and Myrta Cuadra in recognition of their outstanding contribution to special education. The award was presented by CADRE Mediation Specialist Anita Engiles and CADRE Director Marshall Peter.

2001 "Keys To Access" Award Presented to Mobility International, USA CADRE is pleased to announce the selection of Mobility International USA (MIUSA) as the recipient of the 2001 “Keys to Access” Award.

2002 "Keys To Access" Award Presented to John Paul Lederach CADRE is pleased to announce the selection of John Paul Lederach as the recipient of the 2002 "Keys to Access" Award.

2004 "Keys To Access" Award Presented to Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development CADRE is pleased to announce the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development as recipient of the 2004 "Keys to Access" Award.

2005 "Keys To Access" Award Professor Floyd D. Weatherspoon CADRE is pleased to announce Floyd D. Weatherspoon, Professor of Law at Capital University Law School as the recipient of the 2005 Keys to Access Award. Prof. Weatherspoon’s inspirational leadership has drawn national attention to the critical need to increase the presence of minority professionals at all levels and in all areas of alternative dispute resolution. The Award will be presented at CADRE’s National Symposium on IEP Facilitation.

2006 "Keys To Access" Award Presented to the Honorable Robert M. Bell CADRE is pleased to announce that the Honorable Robert M. Bell, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals and a civil rights hero, received the "Keys to Access" Award at On the Road to Agreement ~ IDEA '04 & More: The Fourth National Symposium on Dispute Resolution in Special Education.

2008 "Keys To Access" Award Presented to Sharman Davis Barrett and the Technical Assistance ALLIANCE for Parent Centers CADRE is pleased to announce that Sharman Davis Barrett and the Technical Assistance ALLIANCE for Parent Centers received the "Keys to Access" Award at the 11th Annual ALLIANCE National Conference: Parent Centers United for Excellence.

A Just Alternative or Just an Alternative? Mediation and the Americans with Disabilities Act Certainly litigation in federal court is a critical component to implementing this vital civil rights statute, and mediation is not appropriate for every kind of disability employment rights case. However, mediation is not second-class justice either, and in many instances, with procedural safeguards to ensure fairness, mediation can provide better justice than a lawsuit.

A New Era: Revitalizing Special Education for Children and their Families - Report From President's Commission on Excellence on Special Education Released On October 3, 2001, President George Bush established a Commission on Excellence in Special Education to collect information and study issues related to Federal, State, and local special education programs with the goal of recommending policies for improving the education performance of students with disabilities.

A Roadmap to Legal Dispute Resolution for Students with Disabilities This article maps out the similarities and differences among the various routes to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 dispute resolution.

A Style Index for Mediators The Mediator Classification Index (MCI) is designed to assist in understanding the approach or style a mediator tends to use during the mediation process. The MCI is a valuable tool which you may ask prospective mediators to complete as part of the mediator selection process. This is also a valuable tool for mediator self-examination.

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.


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