No matter who initiates a referral for ADR, the process and goals are the same. ADR is designed to help parents and districts come to mutually agreeable solutions that best serve the student, while maintaining or improving collaborative relationships. ADR may be requested when there are simple issues that need an outside lens, or when complicated cases are at an impasse.
The ADR Program Specialists are not advocates for either the parent or the District. Instead, they help the team focus on each party’s desired outcomes, weigh the pros and cons of decisions to meet those desired outcomes, and if applicable, provide a structure for IEP meetings so that all participants can listen and share in a safe environment.
Frequently, initial phone conversations with each party is sufficient to resolve a dispute. If necessary, an ADR Program Specialist may facilitate an IEP meeting. This does not necessarily mean that the dispute has intensified. The IEP meeting may just be the most appropriate way to ensure that Desired Outcomes that need IEP team agreement are captured.
Both parties need to agree to participate in ADR. If you need more information before making a decision, the ADR Program Specialist assigned to your case will be happy to answer any questions.