IEP Strategy: Navigating IEP Mediation

Episode 304,   Oct 03, 2023, 01:00 PM

Welcome back to another episode of The Special Ed Strategist with your host, Wendy Taylor! In our last episode, we delved into the world of facilitated IEPs. If you missed it, you definitely want to catch up! But today, we're diving into a crucial topic: IEP mediation. It's a powerful tool in the special education process that many may not fully understand. So, buckle up as we unravel the secrets of IEP mediation.

What's IEP Mediation? 

Imagine a private meeting room where parents and school districts unite, striving for consensus. At the heart of it all is a neutral third party, the mediator. Wendy breaks down this crucial aspect of dispute resolution in the special education process. It's voluntary and aims to find common ground. Wendy emphasizes that schools must offer free mediation services for IEP disputes, but costs may apply to other conflicts.

The Mediator's Role 

Wendy highlights the pivotal role of the mediator, who acts as a neutral facilitator, guiding both parties toward an agreeable education plan. Mediation meetings can be lengthy and vary by state, so knowing your state's specific rules and procedures is essential. Also, should you bring a lawyer? Wendy shares insights on that, too!

Preparing for Mediation 

Wendy offers valuable tips for preparation: organize records, decide who attends, choose a suitable time and place, outline your child's case comprehensively, and prepare evidence. She also emphasizes the importance of knowing the law to empower your decisions. Writing a compelling opening statement and practicing negotiation skills are vital steps in mediation preparation.

Day of Mediation 

On the big day, Wendy advises arranging childcare, eating well, getting a good night's sleep, and dressing professionally. She's got your back, ensuring you're comfortable and confident. Bring notes, relevant documents, and essential supplies. Keep the support team limited to those essential for the discussion.

The Mediation Process Step by Step 

Wendy walks you through the mediation process step by step: the mediator's introduction, opening statements, private discussions, joint negotiations, and closing. She underscores that preparation is key and that even though the process may vary, the goal remains the same: finding a plan that satisfies everyone involved.


As Wendy wraps up, she leaves you with a powerful reminder: Mediation doesn't have to be scary if you've diligently documented your child's needs and progress. Armed with knowledge and preparation, you can navigate IEP mediation successfully.

Don't miss out on this insightful episode! Tune in now and empower yourself to tackle IEP mediation with confidence! 🎧📚 #SpecialEdStrategist #IEPMediation #EmpowerYourself