Mediation is a problem-solving process rather than an adversarial process that allows the parties to communicate directly with each other as they work toward a mutually agreeable solution. Either a parent of a child with a disability or a public education agency may request mediation as a way to resolve disputes involving any matter that arises under the IDEA or its implementing regulations. [34 C.F.R. § 506(a)] Mediation may be used to resolve issues in a due process complaint or it may be requested, by the parent or the school, to address concerns or disputes that arise prior to the filing of a due process complaint. Mediation is offered at no cost, must be voluntary on the part of both parties, and may not be used to deny or delay a parent’s right to a due process hearing. The Arizona Department of Education maintains a list of qualified mediators who are trained annually in the area of special education law. For more information on the benefits of mediation, please visit our website or contact the Dispute Resolution unit at 602-542-3084.
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