Document Type


Publication Date


Published In

Journal of Disability Policy Studies


Facilitated individualized education plan, Alternative dispute resolution, Partnerships


Facilitated individualized education planning (FIEP) presents an alternative to formalized dispute resolution procedures, which can have damaging financial and relational consequences for families and schools. Although recommended as an alternative dispute resolution practice, minimal research has examined its implementation and evaluation. In this study, we described where and how FIEP was being implemented and what types of data state educational agencies (SEAs) implementing FIEP were collecting. In two phases, we contacted representatives of each SEA in the United States, asking them to complete a survey on their state’s use of FIEP, and then to share outcome and participant feedback data and data collection forms. From 43 responses in the first phase, we found that almost half of SEAs are using FIEPs (n = 24), and of those not currently using FIEP, 12 were considering implementing the practice in the future. In the second phase of the study, we found that six states that responded to the request for data captured similar content on meeting outcomes and participant feedback. Outcome data provided preliminary, initial evidence for the potential effectiveness of FIEP in achieving positive outcomes in the form of agreement or consensus regarding IEPs. Implications for practice, research, and policy are discussed.

Grant Information

Support for this research was provided by the Office of Special Education Programs Next Generation Training Grant (H325D100027) and the Office of Special Education Programs Grant for Leadership Training in High-Need Students with Severe Disabilities/Autism(H325D100010).




This is the author's accepted manuscript version. The final published version may be found at


© 2016 Hammill Institute on Disabilities

Included in

Education Commons