CADRE recognizes the importance of informed practices and advancing knowledge in IDEA dispute resolution. While facilitated IEP meetings, engagement efforts, resolution meetings, mediations, state complaints, and due process hearings support thousands of youth with disabilities each year, we know families and schools stand to benefit even more from research-informed policies and pracopen booktices. 

In 2021, CADRE surveyed the researchers in the fields of special education and early intervention dispute resolution to identify areas of needed research with the goal of encouraging scholarship activity in these areas. In addition to the topics identified by researchers as areas of need for additional research in the areas of special education or early intervention dispute resolution, CADRE offers topics that arise as areas of interest from conversations in the field.

Finally, as part of CADRE’s ongoing effort to highlight and provide access to timely full-text research articles through our RAISE literature database, emerging research topics are added to this list.

Emerging Research/Knowledge Gaps in IDEA Dispute Resolution
  • Cost comparison across DR options 
  • Cultural Implications (e.g., access, responsiveness, implicit bias) 
  • Family Engagement 
  • Student Involvement 
  • Use and Effectiveness of Early and Informal Dispute Resolution Practices 
  • Effectiveness of Virtual Alternative Dispute Resolution  
  • Technology Impediments to Access 
  • Low Incidence of Dispute Resolution in Early Intervention 
  • Impact of the Pandemic on Dispute Resolution Access and Delivery 

Additionally, we offer this resource as a hub to connect researchers--scholars and graduate students, primarily--with each other to with state or local offices, parent/family resources, dispute resolution practitioners, and others involved with the full range of resolution processes.  

Help Me Connect to the Field

If you are a researcher with a proposed area of inquiry, CADRE is willing to review your research proposal and, upon approval, engage our national networks to facilitate a possible match with accepted research proposals. CADRE has a vast network of State Education Agencies, State Lead Agencies, federally-funded Parent Center, and several school districts who may be interested in research activities.  CADRE is happy to review research proposals for possible distribution to our network. Please contact: Dr. Melanie Reese at or Dr. Tim Hedeen at for more information. 

CADRE thanks these researchers for their assistance

Meghan Burke, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Associate Professor of Special Education
College of Education
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Tracy Gershwin Ph.D., BCBA-D
University of Northern Colorado

Samantha Goldman, PhD, BCBA 
Assistant Professor of Special Education
School of Graduate Studies and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Assumption University

Tricia Jones, Ph.D.
Department of Communication and Social Influence
Temple University

Shailen Singh, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Graduate Coordinator
Department of Organization, Workforce, Leadership Studies
Texas State University

Perry A. Zirkel 
University Professor Emeritus of Education & Law 
Lehigh University