Pennsylvania Special Education
Mediation Service

What is Special Education Mediation?

At times, parents of a child/student with special needs and school officials or service agencies disagree on what is educationally or developmentally appropriate for the child. Mediation is a process that uses a neutral person as mediator, trained in special education and conflict resolution techniques to help the parties reach a solution about their concerns. The mediator listens to the issues and helps the parties develop an agreement that benefits the child. The mediation program is available statewide to serve eligible children from birth through age 21.


Basic Features of Mediation

  • Mediation is a one-time session. Parties reserve the entire day for mediation.
  • The goal of the session is to reach an agreement that is in the best interest of the child.
  • The school may be represented by three people.
  • The Parents may invite two additional people to help during mediation.
  • The parties are not represented by legal counsel at mediation.
  • Mediation is available to resolve issues about early intervention services for infant/toddlers and preschool eligible children.
  • The mediator facilitates the meeting, keeping the parties focused on the issues needing resolution.
  • Mediation promotes open communication between the parties.
  • The session is held at a location and time convenient for the parties.
  • The session is private and confidential.
  • The Department of Education. Bureau of Special Education and the Department of Public Welfare, Office of Mental Retardation, support the use of medication to resolve early intervention and/or special education issues.

For more information call 1-800-992-4334 or 1-717-544-2657