Facilitated Individualized Education Program (FIEP)
“Early processes such as expert IEP facilitation. . . to increase collaboration and problem solving skills of school staff and parents can help avoid expensive disputes and promote efforts to help students.”
-The President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education, July, 2002
What is a facilitated IEP (FIEP)?
One of the promising alternative dispute resolustion approaches available to parents of children with disabilities and to Local Education Agencies in which trained professionals facilitate the IEP meeting through a collaborative approach for decision making in the development of an Individual Education Plan for a student with disabilities.
The process of facilitation for the IEP meetings enable the ARD committee team to:
- Build and improve strong relationships among team members,
- Focus the IEP content and process on the needs of the student,
- Exercise an efficient, guided meeting process where effective communication and reflective listening are practiced, and
- Reach true consensus.
Benefits of a Facilitated IEP Meeting
A facilitated IEP meeting:
- may build and improve relationships among the IEP members and between parents and schools.
- models effective communication and listening
- clarifies points of agreement and disagreement
- provides opportunities for team members to resolve conflicts if they arise, and
- encourages parents and professionals to identify new options to address unresolved problems
A trained impartial professional helps the IEP teams with the IEP process
The facilitator helps:
- Keep the meeting focused on the student;
- ensures everyone at the table has a voice;
- encourages active listening by all participants;
- keep the group from getting stuck on just one issue.
Local & State Facilitation
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) website contains information about local and state facilitation in accordance with requirements of the Texas Education Code §29.020. Click this link to acces the webpage. TEA has established a program that provides independent IEP facilitators by request of school and parent. Both parties must complete the Request for a State Facilitated Individualized Education Program Meeting form and submit it to:
Texas Education Agency
Division of Federal and State Education Policy
William B. Travis Building
1701 N. Congress Avenue
Austin TX 78701-1494
Fax: (512) 463-9560
For more information contact:
Education Specialist-Special Education