Mediation and Impartial Hearing

Mediation and Impartial Hearing

Source: Visit Site 

According to the Federal Law of IDEA (The Individuals with Disabilities Act), states must give parents two options for resolving disagreements with the school districts: (a) Mediation and (b) the Impartial Hearing.

(a) Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary process conducted in the presence of a neutral third party (i.e., a mediator) and usually held without attorneys. A mediator does not favor one party over the other and has no power to make a decision on dispute resolution. The purpose of the mediation is not to prove right or wrong positions in regards to regulations, but to bring people together to resolve their disagreements and work towards a solution that meets the educational needs of the child and satisfies all participants. The relationship between the child’s family and school can be improved after the process.

In each borough in NYC, there is a Mediation Center, known as a Community Dispute Resolution Center Program (CDRCP). Parents may request Mediation directly through the Mediation Center.

IMCR Dispute Resolution Center
384 East 194th Street,
Room 330
Bronx NY 10455
T 718 585 1190
F 718 585 1962
NY Center for Interpersonal Development
(SI Dispute Community Resolution Center)
130 Stuyvesant Place
4th Floor
Staten Island, NY 10301
T 781 720 9410
F 781 876 6088
The New York Peace Institute
210 Joralemon Street,
Room 618
Brooklyn, NY 11201
T 718 834 6671
F 718 834 6681
Community Mediation Services, Inc.
89-64 163rd Street
Jamaica, NY 11432
T 781 523 6868
F 781 523 8204
The New York Peace Institute
346 Broadway,
Room 400 W
New York, NY 10013
T 212 577 1740
F 212 577 1748

(b) Impartial Hearing

Compared to other dispute resolution options, a hearing is a more formal and legal process, usually held with attorneys. It is conducted in front of a neutral third party (i.e., hearing officer) who considers the information submitted by each side and determines the outcome. While mediation and resolution meetings are the processes by which people (e.g., parents, school staff, etc.) who know the student well work together to solve their disagreements, in a due process hearing, a hearing officer who does not know the student makes the decision, which is legally binding.

For more information on Mediation and Impartial Hearings:

  • Mediation and Impartial Hearings: Visit Site
  • IDEA Special Education Mediation: A Guide for Parents of Children & Youth (Ages 3-21) (View PDF)
  • IDEA Special Education Due Process Complaints/Hearing Requests (Including Expedited Hearing Requests): A Guide for Parents of Children & Youth (Ages 3-21) (View PDF)
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