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Special Education   >   Technical Assistance   >   Dispute Resolution

Technical Assistance
Dispute Resolution

OSPI encourages parents and school districts to work together to try and resolve disagreements that affect a student’s special education program at the lowest possible level. When parents and districts are not able to resolve differences through direct communication, there are more formal dispute resolution options available.

Technical assistance resources on this page include research, articles, tools, templates, technical assistance centers, and Web sites. An overview (PPT) of the four State Performance Plan indicators related to Dispute Resolution is also provided.
(Note: Use of the resources included on this site does not guarantee that the district’s performance or determination status under section 616(d), will improve for the next reporting period.)

Dispute Resolution (General)

  • Information About Dispute Resolution Mechanisms for Special Education Students Web site – Provides an overview of the three dispute resolution processes (special education mediation, citizen complaints, and due process hearings) available for students age 3 through 21 under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA).
  • Notice of Special Education Procedural Safeguards for Students and Their Families – Requirements under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Federal Regulations, and the State Rules Governing Special Education. The procedural safeguards are available in English, Cambodian, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese, Somali, and Ukrainian.
  • Dispute Resolution Workgroup Resources Web site – The Dispute Resolution Workgroup with membership from the OSEP-funded Regional Resource Center Program, Parent Technical Assistance Centers, and the Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education has released several tools for parents, state, and local personnel to improve special education dispute resolution.

Citizen Complaints (Indicator 16)

Due Process (Indicator 17)

Resolution Agreements (Indicator 18)

  • Information on Resolution Sessions (OSPI, Word) – IDEA 2004 establishes a resolution period after the due process hearing request is provided to the other party. An explanation of the resolution period is provided in this document.

Mediation Agreements (Indicator 19)

  • Sound Options Mediation Group Web site Sound Options Group serves as the Administrative Agent to OSPI for Washington State to provide mediation services under Part B of the IDEA. IDEA mediation services are available at no charge to parents, school districts, lead agencies, or service providers.
  • Mediation in Special Education (Sound Options Mediation Group brochure, PDF) – This 2-page brochure provides families, districts, and other interested parties with a brief overview of the mediation process.
  • CADRE Participation in Mediation Web site – Provides a variety of resources, articles, videos, and frequently asked questions relating to the mediation process.

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