Mediation Assistance

A division of the continuing education for professionals’ component will also include training senior mediators in local areas through the local ASSET Centers, to assist parents, guardians, care givers and agency-responsible personnel, in the educational IEP (Individualized Education Plan) process.  This is in hopes to balance the power that comes into developing educational curriculum plans when a child needs special education benefits from a local school district. 

Typically, there are one or two parents, possibly a trained IEP partner from a local agency and then more than 4 representatives from the child’s school and school district. The IEP meeting is to determine the child’s educational and transitional needs that the school district is mandated to provide by law.  Since the balance of power is usually very one sided (school districts’ favor), the child’s needs are not always adequately represented due to extenuating issues.  The list below are some examples:

  1. Parent(s) lack of negotiation skills,
  2. Parent(s) understanding of their legal rights,
  3. Parent(s) knowing what the school district is obligated to provide
  4. Parent(s) being aware of what shortcomings, service gaps and budget restrictions may be within that school district thereby reducing the child’s ability to obtain the proper services and thrive.
  5. Parent(s) emotional distress over their child needing special education services.

There are many different issues and there can be one or a combination of several.  Many times not having all the information impedes the process and causes delays or inappropriate steps in the child's IEP process.


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