Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE)
CADRE is funded by OSEP to work with state and local education and early intervention systems, parent centers, families and educators to increase the nation's capacity to effectively resolve special education disputes and improve results for children with disabilities.
CADRE developed the following four Family Guides and the Quick Comparison Chart with the support of OSEP and Parent Leaders from across the country. Each is available in multiple languages.
- Written State Complaints
- Due Process Complaints and Hearing Requests - Part C Procedures
- Due Process Complaints and Hearing Requests - Part B Procedures
More from CADRE
- Part B Dispute Resolution Parent Guides (2014)
- Resources for Family Members
- Playing Nicely Together: Family-Centered Practices to Help Practitioners and Families Work Together
- Continuum of Dispute Resolution Processes and Practices
The IDEA Amendments of 2004 (IDEA '04; P.L. 108-446) strengthened the availability of mediation as an option for resolving individual child complaints by requiring that all states establish and bear the costs of a mediation process for both Part B and Part C programs.
Mediation must be available prior to or after a hearing is requested, and must not delay the hearing process. It is to be a voluntary process, conducted by a qualified and impartial mediator.
Under Part C of IDEA, the state lead agency may establish its own mediation system for its Infant and Toddler Program or use the mediation system established by the state education agency for Part B of IDEA.
IDEA Statute on Mediation
IDEA Regulations on Mediation
Congress provided the rationale for requiring mediation in the report on IDEA 1997 amendments, P.L. 105-17:
The Committee is aware that, in States where mediation is being used, litigation has been reduced, and parents and schools have resolved their complaints amicably, making decisions with the child's best interest in mind. It is the Committee's strong preference that mediation become the norm for resolving disputes under IDEA.
H.R. Rep. No. 105-95, 105th Cong., 1st Sess. (1997), p. 106.