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What is a facilitated IEP (FIEP)?

A FIEP is an option for early conflict prevention available to parents of children with disabilities and to Local Education Agencies (Independent School Districts and Charter Schools).

A trained impartial professional helps the IEP teams with the IEP process.  The facilitator helps to:

  • Keep the meeting focused on the student
  • Ensure everyone at the table has a voice
  • Encourage active listening by all participants
  • Keep the group from getting stuck on just one issue


The 10 Benefits of Facilitated IEPs

10. Costs less than more formal proceedings such as due process hearings.

9. Insures the ARD meeting is student-focused.

8. Models effective communication and listening.

7. Clarifies points of agreement and disagreement.

6. Provides opportunities for team members to resolve conflicts if they arise.

5. Encourages parents and professionals to identify new options to address unresolved problems.

4. Is typically less stressful than formal proceedings.

3. Supports better follow through and follow-up as roles and responsibilities can be discussed and planned.

2. Supports all parties in participating fully.

And the number one reason:

1. Builds and improves relationships among the ARD committee members and between parents and schools.


Facilitation is not mentioned in special education law and it is not one of the dispute resolution options described in the law's procedural safeguards. However, facilitation is being used to help IEP/ARD teams reach agreement in a collaborative manner.