Promoting productive child-centered IEP meetings that are conducted in a respectful and collaborative manner
IEP facilitation is a process that helps foster effective communication between parents and districts as they develop a mutually acceptable Individualized Education Program (IEP). This process may be used as a preventative measure in which a trained facilitator promotes whole team participation, acknowledging and addressing differing opinions in a respectful and neutral manner. IEP facilitation can improve relationships between school districts and parents in order to effectively plan services to meet the needs of the student.
State-sponsored IEP facilitation is a free service offered to districts and parents of students with disabilities. Although there is no cost for this service, ISBE will not pay for any costs of the parties associated with the facilitated IEP meeting (e.g., mileage, meals, wage loss, advocate fees, attorney fees, etc.)
The IEP facilitation process is intended to promote effective communication and prevent conflicts. Therefore, a conflict does not need to exist to make a request. However, if a conflict is likely or occurring, a request is still appropriate.
Both parties will need to agree that it would be valuable to have a neutral facilitator present at the IEP meeting to assist with the development of the IEP before a facilitator will be assigned to the case.