Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) are concepts related to special education, while Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a process used to resolve disputes outside of the traditional legal system. Here's how they relate to each other:
IEPs are written plans developed for students with disabilities who are eligible for special education services. The purpose of an IEP is to ensure that the student receives an appropriate education that meets their individual needs. The IEP is developed by a team that includes the student's parents, teachers, and other relevant professionals. The IEP includes information about the student's present level of performance, measurable annual goals, accommodations, modifications, and services that the student needs to access the curriculum and make progress.
FAPE is a legal requirement under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that ensures that students with disabilities receive an appropriate education at no cost to the family. This means that the school district must provide special education and related services that are tailored to meet the unique needs of each student with a disability.
If there is a disagreement between the school district and the parents or guardians of a student with a disability regarding the provision of FAPE or the implementation of an IEP,
ADR can be used as an alternative to litigation. The IDEA requires school districts to provide parents with an opportunity to resolve disputes through ADR before resorting to a due process hearing. ADR methods that may be used include mediation, arbitration, and facilitated IEP meetings. The purpose of ADR is to find a mutually agreeable solution to the dispute without the need for costly and time-consuming litigation.