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the AlternAtive Dispute If you have a disagreement resolution proCess involving a child with disabilities, Alternative Dispute Resolution 1. When a call for assistance is left on may be the solution. the ADR Helpline (707) 524-2785, an ADR-trained SELPA program specialist will respond to the phone call within 48 hours (response time will be longer on weekends AlternAtive and holidays). The program specialist will listen to the concerns and help identify key issues and interests. Information about special education laws and practices may be provided, if relevant, and a referral may be made to others who can appropriately work Dispute 2. with the issues. The program specialist will explain how resolution the ADR program and its components work, then determine the best option for resolution. 3. If Phone Mediation is determined to be “ADR is a great process for the best option, the program specialist will bringing together schools and coordinate communication between the families. We wholeheartedly parties and facilitate resolution through this endorse this program.” communication. The majority of ADR cases start at this level of intervention. Sonoma County SELPA Community Advisory Committee (CAC) 5340 Skylane Boulevard, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 4. If IEP Facilitation is determined to be the best option, the program specialist will assign a case-carrier to proceed with the case. Alternative Dispute Resolution Program 5. If the Independent Child Advocate is ADr helpline ■ (707) 524-2785 determined to be the best option, the sonomA County selpA program specialist will have the Advocate contact the party directly. 6. If Local Mediation is considered the best option, the program specialist will mediate sonomA County selpA the parties’ concerns. When a mediation 5340 Skylane Boulevard agreement is reached, the details are put Santa Rosa, CA 95403 into an agreement form and signed by (707) 524-2750 everyone involved. revised 2/08 It’s an idea whose time has come WhAt is AlternAtive Dispute resolution? Why Choose ADr? Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR, is a process for resolving conflicts, one that respects the dignity of individuals while creating mutually satisfying solutions. ADR uses communication, The Alternative Dispute Resolution process collaboration, negotiation, and mediation to produce an agreement that meets the interests of was developed in response to the growing need for a better way for families and schools the parties involved. When participating in Alternative Dispute Resolution, parents and districts to resolve their differences around special maintain the right to seek state-level due process. education. The process is: The Sonoma County SELPA will facilitate an Alternative Dispute Resolution process to ■ sAtisFying help resolve conflicts between schools and families with children in special education. The Alternative Dispute Resolution uses neutral program serves the families of all children in special education within Sonoma County. intervention and support to assist the two Major components of the program include: parties in reaching a mutually agreeable solution. A safe, collaborative working relationship is developed and supported, ■ phone meDiAtion ■ inDepenDent ChilD ADvoCAte building trust between the parties. Phone mediation is the first level of The Independent Child Advocate is a response that the ADR team employs. neutral ombudsperson trained in ADR. The ■ Cost-eFFeCtive Following the identification of the parties’ Advocate is assigned to difficult cases where As opposed to due process, ADR options issues and interests, the ADR case-carrier relationships are at risk and communication have no cost. Alternative Dispute Resolution will coordinate communication between is limited. The Advocate is knowledgeable does not involve the use of attorneys. the parties and facilitate resolution over about special education law and programs. the telephone. ■ FAst AnD eFFiCient The ADR process is initiated within 48 hours ■ loCAl meDiAtion AnD of the initial contact (except on weekends ■ iep FACilitAtion resolution sessions and holidays). This is considerably faster Parents or school staff may request that Both Local Mediation and Resolution than the 45-day timeline for state-level an ADR-trained SELPA program specialist Sessions use an effective problem-solving due process. facilitate an IEP meeting if the meeting method that allows parties in dispute to is expected to be difficult. The facilitator reach a mutually agreeable solution. It ■ ConFiDentiAl uses specific techniques designed to assist is a safe, low-pressure process guided by All information shared or collected through the parties in completing the IEP while a trained mediator. Local Mediation or the ADR process is held confidential unless maintaining good relationships. participation in Resolution Sessions does both parties agree to release it. not prevent either party from pursuing ■ results-orienteD state-level mediation if the parties are not ADR options may result in mutually satisfied with the result. acceptable verbal or written agreements if the parties choose to have them.
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