Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

What is ADR?


ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR) is a no-cost process for resolving conflicts, one that respects the dignity of individuals while creating mutually satisfying solutions. The North Region SELPA believes strongly in the concept of “working it out by talking it through” and encourages parents and school districts to access the services of the ADR program as a means for resolving disagreements and conflicts.  ADR focuses on communication, collaboration, negotiation, and mediation to achieve agreements that meet the interests of all the parties involved.


The Parent/Caregiver ADR guide describes the North Region Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) ADR program. The SELPA supports ADR at no cost to families or the school district. 

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Components of the North Region SELPA's ADR Program


Intake Coordinator/Program Specialist:

  • Speaks with all parties when a dispute arises, may engage in informal resolutions
  • Determines, with the parties, which strategies are most appropriate for the situation
  • Knows special education programs within the SELPA

IEP Meeting Facilitation:

  • Uses neutral, trained facilitator
  • Guides the IEP team through a collaborative decision-making process
  • Maintains focus on the student's needs
  • Results in a mutually acceptable IEP

Resolution Meeting Facilitation:

  • Uses a neutral facilitator to assist parents and districts to complete the legally-required resolution meeting prior a due process hearing
  • Confidential problem-solving process
  • Results in signed agreement
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I Want to Use the ADR Process. What Should I Do?


We encourage you to talk first with your district's Special Education Administrator to resolve issues.  If you are not comfortable with this venue, call the SELPA Intake Coordinator at 510-525-9800. The SELPA Intake Coordinator will provide information about the ADR process and assist in determining which of the ADR strategies would be most appropriate for your situation.