Special Education Mediation
Key Points about Mediation:
- A Request for Mediation may be initiated by the parent or the public agency. The Request for Mediation form is required.
- The Request for Mediation Form must be faxed, mailed or hand-delivered to the Indiana Department of Education/Office of Legal Affairs. The form may be completed electronically, but it must then be printed and include a handwritten signature.
- The mediation process cannot begin unless both parties agree to participate.
- Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process that provides a trained and impartial mediator to facilitate discussion between the parent(s) and school to help the parties resolve a disagreement.
- There is no cost to the parent(s) or the school.
- Mediation sessions are scheduled in a timely manner in a location convenient to both parties.
- All discussions that occur in a mediation session are confidential and cannot be used as evidence in a due process hearing or court proceeding.
- Mediation may be requested before or at the same time as a request for a due process hearing.
- If the disagreement is resolved through mediation, the parties must put their agreement in writing in a written agreement.
- The written agreement must be signed by both the parent and the school's representative.
- It must describe the parties' agreement.
- It must state that all discussions that occurred during mediation are confidential and will not be used as evidence in a due process hearing or other civil court proceeding.
- The written agreement is a legally binding agreement that may be enforced through the state complaint process or in federal or state court.
Mediation may be used to resolve:
- A complaint;
- A disagreement from the Case Conference Committee meeting regarding:
- A student's identification or eligibility for services;
- The appropriateness of the evaluation, level of services, or placement;
- Anything else affecting the provision of a free appropriate public education; or
- A disagreement about the schol reimbursing the parent(s) for services obtained by the parent(s) (e.g., private therapy, evaluation, etc.).
- Works with the parent(s) and school to schedule a convenient date, time, and location for the mediation session;
- Helps the parent(s) and the school identify and talk about the issues causing the disagreement;
- Gives everyone the opportunity to present his or her point of view;
- Helps the parent(s) and school personnel look at whether there are any common grounds or issues on which they might be able to agree;
- Helps the parties communicate and, if possible, reach an agreement; and
- Does not recommend solutions or take sides.
Please check out the Frequently Asked Questions section to see if your questions have already been answered.
For questions regarding Special Education Due Process, please contact:
Office of Legal Affairs
Telephone: (317) 232-6676
Facsimile: (317) 232-0744
South Tower, Suite 600
115 W. Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204