Access to the facilitation process is clearly communicated and not burdensome for intended audiences. How a program is accessed may depend upon the program structure (i.e., local, regional, SEA, or through a contracted program provider). There are a variety ways for people to find their way to facilitation. Some examples include a direct line to the Intake Coordinator, contacting through email, and use of an online form accessed through a dedicated webpage. Regardless of how a person finds the facilitation, access to the program must be free (such as a toll free number) and consideration must be made for parents who may not have access to the Internet. Finding contact information on the agency’s website must be intuitive and clear, and any forms used must be ADA accessible.
The first contact to the facilitation program must have strong listening skills and be able to identify cases appropriate for facilitation. It is important that the intake person is familiar and able to answer general questions about all dispute resolution processes. Facilitation must be explained as a voluntary process and realistic expectations should be communicated. Finally, data collection and tracking begins at the intake process.