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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."

RAISE Article Details

Title: Mediation as an alternative method of dispute resolution for the individuals with disabilities education act: A just proposal?
Publication Date: 1997
Authors: Shemberg, A.
Source: Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution
Volume #: 12       Pages: 739
Abstract: Reports results of Pennsylvania Due Process studies, which examined whether justice is promoted by the IDEA’s due process model. Study found that if parents have the ability to influence the admin. hearings, objective justice was promoted. If the parents were unable to use the process to their advantage because they could not afford counsel or obtain legal advocacy, the proceedings did not support objective justice. Majority of parents reported being dissatisfied by the d.p. experience overall. School officials reported the hearings to be more fair/satisfactory than parents, and won more often than parents. Author argues that mediation could resolve these issues, but not in the form that the IDEA currently requires. Author states that mandatory mediation is inappropriate and that the process is too formal. She also believes that the inherent power imbalance between parents and schools and the lack of regulation of mediation are obstacles to successful mediation. Article advocates lawyer participation and regulation of mediation to remedy the power imbalance.
Categories: Research - Qualitative
Due Process Hearings

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