Webinar Archive: Helping Families Prepare for Mediation and Resolution Sessions

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Conducted November 19, 2008

The IDEA entitles children with disabilities the right to a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. Regrettably, parents and school officials do not always agree on what special education services and placement provide a child with this right. Recognizing the potential for disputes, the IDEA provides several dispute resolution mechanisms to help parents and school officials resolve differences of opinion. Two of those mechanisms are mediation and resolution sessions.

This presentation includes an overview of special education mediation and resolution sessions, information on why and when a parent should participate in mediation or a resolution session, how parents and their advocates should prepare for mediation or a resolution session, and tips for successful negotiation at mediation or a resolution session.


Jane R. Wettach is a Clinical Professor of Law at Duke Law School and the Director of the Law School's Children's Law Clinic. The Children's Law Clinic operates as a community law office, staffed by supervised law students, offering free legal services to low-income children and their families in cases involving special education, school discipline, school enrollment, Supplemental Security Income, and other miscellaneous matters. Prof. Wettach also teaches Education Law. Prior to teaching at Duke Law School, Prof. Wettach was an attorney with Legal Aid of North Carolina. She earned both her law degree and her undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She is a frequent speaker on issues involving the educational rights of children, especially children with disabilities.

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