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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."

Training Resources

A CADRE Webinar~Part C Dispute Resolution: Customizable Hearing Officer Training Resources

This webinar features a set of 4 customizable hearing officer training modules developed by CADRE, in partnership with 6 Part C Lead Agencies and several national experts.

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.

CADRE & IDEA Partnership

The CADRE/IDEA Partnership ADR Workgroup is a collaboration that engages diverse stakeholders from national organizations in an effort to promote the use of appropriate dispute resolution. The stakeholder workgroup has developed presentations that have been delivered at national conferences.

Collaborative Problem Solving and Dispute Resolution in Special Education: A Training Manual

This manual is designed as an educational tool for understanding and resolving conflict. It offers state-of-the-art thinking in dispute resolution applied to special education situations. Written in an easy-to-understand, illustrated and jargon-free format, it is designed both for stand-alone reading and to be used as part of workshop groups.

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.

Effective IEP Meetings: Tested Tips

This brief document offers suggestions for convening successful IEP meetings and includes preparation tips for parents and educators.

Expanded Collection of Creating Agreement Resources

The IDEA Partnership's Creating Agreement Workgroup has developed a gallery of new resources.

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.

Guidelines For Conflict Management in Special Education-A Manual From Portland (Oregon) Public Schools

These conflict management guidelines are designed to help district staff and parents effectively address conflict in special education. The creation of this document was part of a Portland Public Schools Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) local capacity grant funded by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE).


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.

Negotiation Traps

Although the human brain will always be something we marvel at, it is unfortunately not foolproof when it has to deal with complex situations. The embedded routines or mental short-cuts we use to arrive at most of the decisions we take, are by no means foolproof. Unless we are aware of these routines and understand them, we unknowingly fall prey to them.

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.

Team Based Conflict Resolution in Special Education

The IDEA '97 regulations specify that the mediation states must offer when a due process hearing has been requested are to be conducted by a single mediator. Team conciliation is offered not as a process that satisfies these requirements but rather as one of many options that may be useful, in addition to those that are legally required, when parents and educators disagree. Conciliation may be of particular value when those disagreements include issues of culture, gender or class bias.

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.

Working Together: Building Improved Communication

is a collection of CADRE resources designed to support effective collaboration between parents, schools, and early childhood programs.

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