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.

Moira J. Kelly, New Berlin, WI

Name: Moira Kelly

Location: New Berlin, WI

Education: Master’s Degree in Dispute Resolution and a Bachelor of Arts degree, Marquette University; Master of Science (Management), Cardinal Stritch University

Current Position: Private practice, KELLY CONSULTING LLC, a consulting firm that specializes in workplace dispute resolution, organizational effectiveness, labor relations, and mediation services. Current lecturer for University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Master’s in Human Resources and Labor Relations Program. Past Adjunct Assistant Professor, Marquette University Graduate School of Management.

Mediation Experience: I have been an active mediator for nearly 20 years, and a member of the special education roster for 16 years.  I have conducted over 800 mediations for disputes in special education, employment, small claims, medical malpractice and personal injury, community and workplace issues. I have presented sessions at several national or regional conferences in mediation topics such as effective participation skills in mediation, the role of emotion in mediation, how to facilitate IEP sessions, and other topics. I have been asked to provide specialized training for the state special education mediators in Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Ohio. At the Marquette University Law School, I developed a course in mediation advocacy to show those who advocate for others in mediation (attorneys, representatives, advocates or others) how to improve their skills, how to prepare their cases, and how to use mediation as a way to improve outcomes for the people they represent. In 2015, I was presented with the President’s Award from the Wisconsin Association of Mediators in recognition of significant contributions to mediation in the state. From the perspective of a special education mediator, I have designed and presented programs to current military families who have children with special needs to help them make the many transitions between schools go more smoothly for their children. I grew up in a military family and I have a deep understanding of how the many moves from location to location impact families and the education of their children.

Statement on Perspective on Mediation: I strongly support the ability of the parties to reach their best solution to the dispute that is between them. I serve as the guardian of the mediation process, which has been demonstrated time and time again to work to effectively end conflict.  In special education mediation, I can understand the perspectives of an educator (as an adjunct college professor) as well as the parents of the child whose education is being discussed (I have relatives and friends with disabilities).  My ability to listen and understand all points of view can help those in the dispute find the common ground necessary to resolve the issue.