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.

Kaye Vance, Glendale, WI

Kaye Vance

Name: Kaye K. Vance

Location: Glendale, WI; Rhinelander, Wi; statewide availability

Current Experience: I have mediated or facilitated over 300 special education meetings in all disability areas.

Background and experience with special education. I have served as a:

  • Special Education Classroom Teacher;
  • Program Support Teacher, Supervisor and Assistant Director of Special Education;
  • Member of the Department of Public Instruction committee of parents and school representatives to develop an IEP process and guidelines for placement decisions;
  • Lawyer representing both parents and schools;
  • A Sec. 504 Impartial Hearing Officer*;
  • Wisconsin Impartial Due Process IDEA Hearing Officer for 3 years;
  • University Instructor in both Regular and Special Education Law at the graduate level, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for 10 years.

Disclosure: I am a parent of an adult child with special needs.

My Approach to the Mediation and the IEP Facilitation Processes:

I work to focus both mediation and IEP meetings on the student. I believe parents are critical experts regarding their child, and the school staff are trained experts and teach the student on a daily basis. When it is appropriate I encourage the student to attend. At a meeting, each party will share ideas, concerns and their different perspectives. In both facilitated IEP meetings and mediations, I ensure that each person is listened to and heard. My approach is to encourage working together towards a result that permits each person to move forward to benefit the student.

In Mediation, I am proactive, creative and positive. I very much want the process to work. My role is to clarify, elicit suggestions, keep the meeting focused and at times, present options.

IEP Facilitation is different from mediation. The IEP meeting is a legally required decision making process that, at its best, unites the school and the parents in the development of a clear educational blueprint. I facilitate the meeting within the IEP requirements, talk with the parties to identify priorities and guide the meeting to completion in a timely manner.

My Education:

  • Law Degree from Marquette University; Lead Articles Editor on Law Review;
  • Master’s degree in Special Education, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee;
  • Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
  • Certifications include regular, special education teacher, principal and pupil services administrator. In addition, I received a mediation and alternative dispute resolution certificate from Marquette through a post-graduate training program that involved mediating community disputes. Recently, I attended a Guardian Ad Litem training focusing on facilitating communication of the child’s needs.

* Section 504 is a federal law that addresses discrimination concerning handicapped students. WSEMS is not involved with 504 plans and does not mediate disputes between families and districts about 504 plans.