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Product ID: 391173EAU
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Effective Mediation Techniques to Avoid the Impartial Hearing

OnDemand Webinar (85 minutes)

Every educator understands the inordinate expense and difficulties that accompany an impartial hearing under IDEA or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Although both of these statutes require public school districts to offer mediation and, in the case of IDEA, mandate participation in a final settlement conference, educators, advocates, and parents can undervalue these opportunities to resolve the dispute. Additionally, the efficacy of participants in these processes can be compromised by institutional or personal defensiveness or unnecessary adherence to a position, a failure of communication between the parties involved, or a lack of proper understanding regarding the issues in play or the compromises that can be reasonably reached. These dynamics can result in the failure of opportunities to resolve the dispute before a full-blown impartial hearing, causing both parents and school districts to incur unnecessary and extreme expenses and interruptions and operations.

This OnDemand Webinar is designed to help educators, advocates, and parents in identifying issues that can impede an effective mediation or resolution conference and overcoming such dynamics. It will also help these individuals prepare to effectively participate in a mediation and maximize the potential for a successful outcome. This program will also ensure that you understand your legal obligations relative to mediation and resolution conferences and address various issues that arise during them.

Learning Objectives:

  • You will be able to discuss legal obligations regarding mediation and settlement conferences.
  • You will be able to identify factors that often deter or prevent effective mediation.
  • You will be able to review effective mediation techniques and considerations.


James P. Evans, Hiscock & Barclay, LLP



Legal Obligations Regarding Mediation and Settlement Conferences

• Mediation Required Under IDEA

• IDEA's Mandated Settlement Conference

• Mediation Under Section 504

• Mediation in Other Circumstances

Structure of Mandated Mediation

• Under IDEA

• Under 504

• Discretionary Mediation

Factors That Often Deter or Prevent Effective Mediation

• Trust Issues

• Institutional and/or Parental Defensiveness

• Position Entrenchment

• Lack of Communication

Benefits to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Effective Mediation

• Reduction in Cost and Loss of Time

• Improved Educational Benefit to Child

• Strengthened or Renewed Parental-School Relationship

• Limit of Risk

Effective Mediation Settings

• Careful Selection of Mediation Services

• Selection of Mediation Location - Setting

Effective Mediation Techniques and Considerations

• Considerations Regarding Selection of School Personnel

• Identifying Reasonable Parameters for Resolution

• Informing the Mediator

• Using the Mediator as Educator and Translator

• Effective Presentations at Mediation

• Effective Means of Memorializing the Agreement

• Other Considerations