• Facilitating IEPs


    Facilitating IEP (Individual Education Plan) meetings or, in Texas, Facilitating ARD (Admission, Review, and dismissal) Committee meetings is a term used to describe an approach on the rise in special education.

    This facilitation approach applies skills and knowledge from the fields of group dynamics, conflict resolution, communication, and meeting management to IEP or ARDC meetings.

    "Facilitation is a process in which a person intervenes to help a group improve how it identifies, discusses, solves problems, and makes decisions . . . thus increasing the group's effectiveness."

    Roger Schwarz, The Skilled Facilitator, 1994


    Facilitation Training:

    • enhances the skills of all ARDC/IEP team members
    • encourages positive parent and school relationships
    • improves the quality of IEPs
    • promotes greater commitment to follow-through on decisions and recommendations

    ARDC/IEP meetings benefit from skilled and capapble facilitators who assist the team in crafting agreements that lead to educational programs with beneficial outcomes for students with disabilities.

    ARDC/IEP facilitation is not mentioned in special education law and is not one of the dispute resolution options described in the law's procedural safeguards; however, facilitation is being used to help ARD committees reach agreements in a collaborative manner.

    Education Service Center, Region XV supports this national trend by offering facilitation training and by other activities such as technical assistance, coaching, and mentoring.

    Local Resources:

     For a list of trained facilitators, please contact Lindy Lyles 

    National Resources

    Austin Dispute Resolution Center
    Consortium for Alternative Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE)
    Iowa Dept. of Education
    - AEA Resolution Facilitator Statewide System
    Michigan DOE, Center for Educational Networking
    National Technical Assistance ALLIANCE Center for Parents, PACER Center, Minneapolis, MN
    Pennsylvania DOE
    - Office of Dispute Resolution, Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network
    University of Delaware
    - The Conflict Resolution Program (CRP) and the Special Education Partnership for the Amicable Resolution of Conflict (SPARC), part of the University of Delaware's Institute for Public Administration
    Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System (WSEMS), IEP Facilitation


    Lindy Lyles

    email: lindy.lyles@esc15.net