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Special Programs

Special Education/Early Intervention Mediation

In SE/EI mediation, schools/providers and parents meet to discuss a child’s educational plan.

How SE/EI Mediation Works
Mediation provides a forum for face-to-face conversations about the child’s education. It’s both a voluntary and confidential process that can help parents and schools have conversations about a child’s education and services that are facilitated by an impartial mediator. Mediators help communication and support the parties own decision-making.

Based on decisions reached during mediation, a written agreement can be created and a copy provided to all parties. Agreements are only written when all parties decide they would like one. Schools must send a person who is empowered to make decisions and reach agreement.

Common Issues for Special Education/Early Intervention Mediation

  • Identification/Classification
  • Evaluation
  • Recommendation for special education/early intervention services,
  • Educational placement,
  • Disciplinary actions for students with disabilities
  • Other issues related to a child’s education


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I begin the mediation process?
To request a Special Education/Early Intervention Mediation, send a written request to the school’s pupil personnel director or Committee on Special Education Chair and to the Mediation Center. The Center’s coordinator will contact you and the school for confidential intake conversations. An intake conversation is designed to learn more about the situation and explain how mediation works in more depth, but there is no obligation to mediate. If you decide to move ahead, the coordinator will schedule a mediation session. You may also call the Center to talk with staff before you formally request a mediation session.


If there is a Due Process hearing scheduled, participating in mediation will not affect it. If an agreement is reached, parties can decide if a hearing is necessary.

Who are the mediators?
Special Education/Early Intervention mediators are professionally trained staff and volunteers that have received extensive training in mediation with parents and schools about special education issues.

Are there issues that cannot be addressed in mediation?
Yes. They are:

  1. Decisions made at the Subcommittee on Special Education level resulting in disagreement: These must first be referred in writing to the full Committee on Special Education (CSE) for attempted resolution
  2. Awarding of attorney’s fees, even in conjunction with other points of agreement,
  3. Placement in non-approved (by NYSED) private schools.

How much does mediation cost?
There is no fee for Special Education/Early Intervention Mediation. The program is underwritten by a grant from the New York State Education Dept. in collaboration with the New York State Dispute Resolution Association (NYSDRA). The Mediation Center contracts with NYSDRA to provide this program in Dutchess County.
 

Agricultural Mediation

 In agricultural mediation, parties meet with a mediator to discuss and decide farm issues. Mediation provides a forum for face-to-face conversations that is facilitated by an impartial mediator. It’s both a voluntary and confidential. Mediators help communication and support the parties own decision-making.

Based on decisions reached during mediation, a written agreement can be created and a copy provided to all parties. Agreements are only written when all parties decide they would like one.

Common issues for mediation:

  • Loans or debts
  • Right to farm complaints
  • Neighbor complaints
  • Labor problems
  • Landlord / tenant
  • USDA appeals


Mediation is also useful to farm families facing difficulties or planning needs involving:

  • Custody and visitation (parenting plans)
  • Separation and divorce
  • Siblings / in–law out–law
  • Finance and business planning
  • Elder care and planning
  • Unpaid bills / loan restructuring
  • Small claims and credit
  • Family farm succession and transfers

 


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I begin the mediation process?
Contact the Mediation Center for a confidential intake. An intake conversation is designed to learn more about the situation and explain how mediation works in more depth, but there is no obligation to mediate. A staff member will talk with you about the issues you would like to address in mediation and if you decide to move ahead, staff will contact the other parties to talk with them as well. Mediation is provided when all parties have decided that they want to schedule a session.


Who are the mediators?
Mediators are professionally trained staff and volunteers that have received extensive training and are certified by the Mediation Center.

How much does mediation cost?
There is no fee for Agricultural Mediation. The program is underwritten by a grant from the USDA and the Unified Court System in collaboration with the New York State Dispute Resolution Association (NYSDRA). The Mediation Center contracts with NYSDRA to provide this program in Dutchess County.


Lemon Law Arbitration

Lemon Law Arbitration is offered for disputes between consumers and manufacturers of new/leased cars, used cars, motorhomes, motorcycles, and wheelchairs.

Lemon Law Arbitration can be conducted at the Mediation Center by a professionally trained arbitrator.

This program is offered through the New York State Attorney General’s Office’s contract with the New York State Dispute Resolution Association (NYSDRA). NYSDRA contracts with the Mediation Center so that the program to provide this program in Dutchess County.

How do I file a complaint?
To seek relief under either Lemon Law Arbitration Program, a consumer should contact your regional Attorney General's Office for a "Request for Arbitration Form” or on line at the Attorney General’s website at www.oag.state.ny.us.

For more detailed information regarding the Lemon Law Arbitration Program, including a guide for consumers (for both new and used car Lemon Law) or a copy of the New Car Bill of Rights, contact the Attorney General's Office at 1-800-771-7755. For hearing impaired consumers, call 1-800-788-9898 or go to their website at www.oag.state.ny.us.

NYSDRA's Lemon Law  hotline is at 1-888-825-3666 or 1-888-82LEMON.

For more information about the New York Dispute Resolution Association and special (consumer) programs, visit www.nysdra.org.

 

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