Contact Us · About CADRE · Privacy

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."

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are questions that CADRE has been asked that may be of interest to individuals visiting our website. To see our answer to these questions click on the number or scroll down. If you wish to pose a question to CADRE please go to our contact form.


Ouestions to CADRE:

Q. I am interested in any information you can provide me regarding training programs on mediation and conflict resolution. How do I become a special education mediator?

A. IDEA ’97 requires states to maintain a list of qualified mediators who are trained in effective mediation techniques and knowledgeable in laws and regulations relating to the provision of special education and related services. Each state administers their special education mediation system in somewhat of a unique way. Some states use a central panel of mediators, other states use administrative law judges or hearing officers, and some states contract with private providers - both for-profit and not-for profit. You may want to contact the person responsible for special education mediation in your state. You can find this information in CADRE’s state database at:

If you have not received any mediation training or experience, the easiest way to acquire it may be through the network of community mediation programs located throughout the United States. These mediation programs typically receive support and referral from the local courts or social service agencies and mediate a wide range of disputes including civil, criminal and family court matters. Many community mediation programs conduct a high volume of cases so frequently, there are opportunities for newly trained mediators to get case experience. You can find a list of community mediation programs and contact information through the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) web site:

One caution if you’re thinking about mediation as a new career: While the demand for special education mediation is probably increasing, it still may be difficult to have a "career" as a special education mediator. Most professional mediators provide services in a variety of domains including family/divorce and commercial mediation.

To find training opportunities, search CADRE’s Calendar feature at: You may also want to check the calendar section at the web site of CADRE partner There are often mediation training opportunities listed in both of these databases.

Previously Asked Questions:

1. Who is CADRE, and what do you do?

2. I have been told that mediation may be a waste of my time and will delay my ability to get a due process hearing. Is this true?

3. My child has Down Syndrome and is not doing well in school. He is 11 years old and I believe is supposed to get extra help in a Learning Disabilities (LD) resource room. I think he needs several hours of speech therapy each week but the school is only offering 20 minutes. What can I do?

4. I am a special education teacher who will be attending a mediation for a child in my classroom. What should I expect?

5. As superintendent of my school district, I have implemented an Early Solution Panel that us

Click here to go to top of page

Website maintained and hosted
by Resourceful Internet Solutions,
home of