Andrea F. Blau

Document Type



The Individual Disabilities Education Act of 1997 first offered mediation processes to parents and school systems as an available dispute resolution process. Congress mandated that mediation be made available whenever a due process hearing was filed. The intent was to assist parents and school systems in resolving their differences regarding the educational needs for children with disabilities through increased discussions and collaborative efforts; this would reduce the need for costly and adversarial litigation. Alternative dispute resolution processes have taken an increasingly dominant role within the newly reauthorized IDEIA of 2004, reflecting Congressional promotion of parent and district collaboration for achieving the Act's goals.