Special Education Mediation
A neutral, impartial, trained mediator may be sought voluntarily by parents and school staff to assist in their negotiations with each other. That assistance to convene and conduct a meeting to clarify issues, focus on the needs of a child, and to explore and evaluate possible solutions in a confidential setting is mediation.
Mediators are trained neutrals, skilled in helping people to hear and understand each other and to work jointly to find solutions to difficult issues in special education. Mediators do not take the role of anyone's advocate, but support and assist everyone in the negotiation process.
- Overview of Mediation brochure (PDF)
- Comparison of Mediation and Hearings (PDF)
- Administration of the Virginia Special Education Mediation System (PDF)
Preparing for Mediation
As individuals prepare for a mediation, typically they have many questions. To facilitate preparation activities, the Virginia Department of Education requested Art Stewart, a coordinator for many years of a statewide special education mediation system, to identify those questions asked frequently by disputants and to formulate responses to them.
- Preparing for a Special Education Mediation (PDF)
- Approaching Negotiations (What should I think about...) (PDF)
- List of Practicing Mediators
- Mediation Services Request Form (PDF) • (Word)
- What Can You Expect When You Mediate? (PDF)