Stakeholder training is aimed at equipping stakeholders - parents, educators, service providers, advocates and others - with skills that enhance their capacity to communicate, negotiate and prevent conflict from escalating. A wide variety of topics may be included in the training curriculum and the learning setting can vary from short workshops provided to small groups, to all-day courses provided at state-wide conferences. 

Learning or refreshing collaborative communication and dispute resolution skills can help parents and educators work together effectively for the benefit of children with disabilities. These skills can help improve the quality of Individualized Family Service Plans (IFSPs), Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), resolution meetings, and mediation sessions.
“RESPECT”, an acronym for ‘Recognizing Everyone's Strengths by Peacebuilding, Empathizing, Communicating and Trustbuilding’, addresses conflict in its relational context and has been taught to special education administrators, educators, service providers, parents and others throughout Iowa for over fourteen years. The primary goal of this program is to enhance learning for students receiving special education services by respectfully and creatively building and growing relationships between educators and family members of IEP teams.
The Office for Dispute Resolution has provided conflict resolution training since 2002. More recently, in 2008, ODR joined a national effort led by CADRE and the IDEA Partnership to build capacity for early dispute resolution by implementing “Creating Agreement in Special Education: Conflict Resolution Training for Parents and Educators”. ODR has been the lead state in the nation for its investment in delivering Creating Agreement training to school and family communities across the commonwealth, and has trained in excess of 2,000 participants.


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