Early intervention and special education service providers, and administrators who provide services for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities and their families make every attempt to follow the law and successfully meet the needs of children and their families. There may be times, however, when parents or other interested parties disagree with the terms and conditions of service provision. In these instances, there are specific procedural safeguards designed to protect the process and ensure that all parties are heard. The three formal processes for resolving disputes are Mediation, Due Process and the State Early Intervention System Complaint Process. Information about these may be found below, obtained from your service provider, or by calling the Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program at 1-800-535-0182.
In Maryland, the Family Support & Dispute Resolution Branch is responsible for ensuring the dispute resolution processes under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) are available and conducted in accordance with all requirements. The Branches maintain data and reports on the dispute resolution processes, including complaint investigations, mediation, and due process hearings.
Procedural Safeguards Notice
Download MSDE’s Procedural Safeguards Notice (July 2017)
Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE) offers information and resources on the use of mediation and collaboration to resolve disagreements about special education services to minimize the effects of the adversarial process on students, families, and district funding. Some resources on the site are also available in Spanish.