The Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System helps parents and schools work together to resolve disputes about special education. We do not provide legal advice or advocacy for either parents or districts, and we do not mediate 504 plan disputes.
What is special education mediation?
Mediation is an option for early conflict resolution required by state and federal law to be available for parents of children with disabilities and schools.
A neutral, trained professional (a mediator) helps parents and school districts resolve their disputes in an informal meeting.
Mediation is voluntary. Either the parent(s), school district or the mediator may end the mediation at any time.
The mediator does not make a decision for the parties, unlike a judge or a due process hearing officer.
The mediator helps the parties do the following:
Create solutions agreeable to all
When parties resolve all or some of the issues, then they work together to write an agreement. They both sign the agreement. Parties may ask an attorney to review the agreement before signing. If the parties are not comfortable with the agreement, they should not sign it.
The signed agreement is a contract and is legally binding.
Mediation does not delay or deny the right to a due process hearing.
Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System (WSEMS)
The content of this website is managed by the WSEMS partners, reflecting the spirit of collaboration and partnership between parents of children with disabilities and schools in Wisconsin, a spirit rooted in the origin and framework of WSEMS.