Special Education

Individualized Education Program (IEP) Facilitation Program

IEP Facilitation is a voluntary early dispute resolution option for parents and school districts when both agree that the presence of a neutral third party would assist with communication and problem solving during a committee on special education (CSE) or committee on preschool special education (CPSE) meeting. The purpose of IEP Facilitation is to develop and sustain collaborative, productive relationships between CSE/CPSE members, keep meetings student-focused and reduce adversarial disputes during the IEP development process. Either a parent or a school district may suggest use of IEP Facilitation, but both the parent and school district must agree to its use.

A facilitated IEP meeting is the same as any other IEP meeting except that a neutral, trained facilitator joins the meeting. The IEP facilitator is not a decision-maker, is impartial and does not represent the parent, school district or State. An IEP Facilitator may be used for any CSE/CPSE meeting including for initial development of an IEP and annual review meetings. The IEP Facilitator’s primary goal is to assist committee members in collaborative and productive construction or revision of a quality IEP for a student with a disability.  This is accomplished by using visuals to guide the meeting process and encourage the participation from parents and other committee members, keeping the meeting focused on the needs of the student.

The use of IEP Facilitation can improve relationships among the CSE/CPSE members and between parents and schools; it can provide opportunities for CSE/CPSE members to resolve conflicts if they arise; it encourages parents and professionals to identify new options to address unresolved problems; it serves as a more cost-effective, efficient and less stressful mechanism for resolving disputes than more formal proceedings such as due process hearings; and it supports all members to fully participate in meetings.

IEP Facilitation should be used when communication is breaking down and there are signs that an agreement is not likely to be reached on a student’s IEP; when due process is likely; and/or when there is a feeling from any of the participants that issues discussed at the IEP meeting are creating a hostile environment.

The New York State Education Department has trained IEP Facilitators available to facilitate CSE/CPSE meetings upon request. For additional information on IEP Facilitation, please contact NYSED’s Office of Special Education Due Process Unit at (518) 473-0170. 

Updated translations of the current forms will be posted in Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Russian and Spanish when available.

IEP Facilitation Request Form PDF document 

Role of the IEP Facilitator PDF document

The IEP Facilitation Process PDF document

Agreement to Participate in IEP Facilitation PDF document

Evaluation Form PDF document

Additional informational resources:

CADRE-The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education External link



Last Updated: August 29, 2019