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Journal of Disability Policy Studies


Facilitation, Individualized education program, Partnership, Procedural safeguards


Facilitated Individualized Education Program (FIEP) meetings present one option for early, alternative dispute resolution in special education. Although it has been suggested that this process may be useful in resolving disputes and improving relationships, these hypotheses have not been directly addressed. In this study, we used individual participant feedback data collected by a northwestern state over a 2-year period to answer the following research questions: (a) What are the perceived outcomes of FIEP meetings in terms of agreement, reduced future use of procedural safeguards, and improved relationships between school staff and family? and (b) What are the predictors of these positive participant perceptions of the outcomes of FIEP meetings? We found that respondents perceived FIEP meetings to be successful, with more than half of respondents reporting an outcome of full agreement by all team members, 44% reporting reduced future use of procedural safeguards, and 42% reporting an improved relationship between school staff and family following the meeting. Using multilevel models, we found that perceived facilitator quality was a significant predictor of all three positive outcomes, even after controlling for significant meeting characteristics such as region and year. Given these initial findings, we also provide implications for research, practice, and policy.

Grant Information

The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: 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


© Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2018

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