1301 Luisa Street, Suite B • Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505 [Map]
(505) 989-8558 • Contact me by email!
serving Santa Fe, Taos, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Ratón,
About Special Education, ADA and Disability Mediation
Mediation "levels the playing field" for those who have special needs
People with disabilities have certain rights under federal and state statutes, especially the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). How these rights are honored can become a source of dispute between disabled persons (or their advocates) and employers, school systems or private organizations.
People with disabilities who feel they have been discriminated against can contact the US Department of Justice to press their claims; cases may be referred to mediation at no cost to either the complainant or the responding party. Please refer to the Resources sheet indicated below for contact information. I provide this mediation service through the auspices of the Key Bridge Foundation of Washington DC, as well as in private settings.
A list of resources available to New Mexicans with special needs is at Disability Resources for New Mexicans.
In New Mexico, mediation is available—at no cost to the parents or the district—after a request for Due Process Hearing has been made, but before the hearing has taken place. There is also provision for mediating disputes before they rise to the level of formal complaint. I have received focused training in mediating Special Education disputes for the New Mexico Public Education Department under this program. This mediation provides an opportunity for parents, teachers and district staff to air their concerns and reach resolution of issues before the more expensive and drawn-out hearing process. It also enables the parties to restore the relationships that are often damaged in the complaint process. I also provide mediation services privately for schools and districts that wish to avoid Due Process Hearings.
As a former teacher (many years ago) and as one who has worked with school populations as a mediator and trainer, I do understand the concerns of parents who only want what’s reasonable and beneficial for their children—and the teachers who also want to provide services for children in need.
For information about Special Education in New Mexico, please refer to the website of the state’s Special Education Bureau or call them at 827-1457. Look for additional information under the link to Dispute Resolution at the left side of the Special Ed web page.
“I now have a much better appreciation for the way you conducted that meeting, having attended a meeting two months ago which, no doubt, would have gone much smoother had someone with your abilities been present.”
Links and resource information:
Please contact me for a Free Consultation!