When people talk about IEP facilitation in your state, you want to make sure they have the language to explain accurately what you do and why facilitation is valuable. Identify the key messages or values underpinning your program and make sure these are communicated far and wide. Having a consistent message, in addition to the message itself, communicates to a variety of stakeholders that the values, for example, of neutrality and fairness, are applied the same for parents and for schools. 

States with successful programs have been able to normalize and institutionalize facilitation as another dispute resolution option available to parents and schools. Their websites might discuss the four options (facilitation, mediation, written state complaints, and due process complaints) available and tout facilitation and mediation as two early resolution strategies available for disagreements or conflicts related to special education matters. Normalizing and institutionalizing facilitation gives your program credibility. Ensure that materials and program staff can distinguish between mediation and facilitation, two processes that are often confused.

Critical Considerations
  • What are the key messages and values you want to promote? Are those values shared by different constituencies?
  • Has program personnel been made aware of these key messages and are they consistently sharing them with the public?
  • In what ways can you integrate the IEP facilitation program into your DR System? 
Lessons Learned
  • Having facilitation, as well as other DR processes, defined on your website is beneficial.
  • Consider including FAQs to inform your public. You could include questions and answers about accessing facilitation, who are the facilitators, what facilitators do, and many others.
  • Have materials to send or provide that promote facilitation available anytime you can get in front of a group. (For example, CADRE’s Parent Guide to Facilitation).