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Special Education Facilitation

What are some resources that facilitators use?


Facilitators use a variety of tools in preparing for IEP and other meetings and facilitating the meeting. These tools can be helpful to all stakeholders when preparing for and participating in meetings. CDE and PEAK Parent Center provide additional training and resources on the tools described below. If you would like to receive copies of any of these tools, please email


The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) offers resources on resolving conflict, including "The Working Together Series," which includes five interactive self-directed courses. These courses provide families and educators with a number of strategies for working together and through conflict.

Working Together Series | CADRE

How do I request a Special Education Facilitator?

You may request a facilitator by completing the form available on the ADR page on CDE's website.

Information & FAQ on Special Education Facilitation | CDE

What if I want someone who is on my side?

An advocate represents the family and helps them in seeking special education supports and services. Advocates are often former teachers, administrators, special education professionals, education specialists, and even parents. Advocates are not required to have certifications or specific qualifications, so it is important that you find an advocate who has the experience and approach that works for your family. Most Arc chapters provide advocacy services free of charge. There are also many private advocates available.

More information can be found on CDE's website:

CDE Facilitation Information

Brochures are available to help explain facilitation:

English: English language facilitation brochure

Spanish: Spanish language facilitation brochure 

When should I move to facilitation?

If your IEP team has been meeting for a student’s IEP and is having trouble working together through some key issues, it may be time for Special Education Facilitation. While there may be many issues in conflict, the team should be ready and willing to work together, keep open minds, and hear the other party. Facilitation is intended to prevent disputes, so if you are having concerns about the IEP process, do not hesitate to check with CDE’s ADR Specialist about whether facilitation might improve your team’s collaboration.

What is the point of facilitation?

Special Education Facilitation may prevent disagreement among IEP team members from developing into a more serious dispute. It is important to schedule the Special Education Facilitation early in the process before insurmountable roadblocks or impasses have occurred.

What does it mean that the facilitator is neutral?

The facilitator does not represent and is not aligned with any of the parties. The facilitator’s role is to support the process and keep the focus on the needs of the student.

What is Special Education Facilitation?

Special Education Facilitation is a service provided for special education meetings where an impartial facilitator participates to promote effective communication and assists the IEP team in developing an IEP based on the student’s needs. The facilitator keeps the team focused on the appropriate development of the IEP while working through conflicts that arise and ensuring the participation of each IEP team member.

For more information.