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.

Richard Brigham, Milwaukee, WI

Brigham

Name: Richard Brigham

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin (available statewide for mediation and facilitated IEP meetings)

My Mediation Experience:

I am a veteran mediator with experience on several mediator rosters. I have mediated more than two hundred cases. My first experience with mediation was as a consumer. I participated in nearly fifty mediations involving parents of students with disabilities and the school district in which I was a special education administrator. A number of the mediations were with families who had filed for a due process hearing or had filed a complaint against the district with the state. These experiences opened my eyes to the power of collaboration for creating options and solutions and started me on my career as a mediator. My path to mediation began on a school playground where I helped supervise student peer mediators. I am the oldest of eleven children – mediation was a coping skill.

My Perspective Regarding Mediation/Facilitation:

Experienced mediators bring value to parties finding themselves stuck in a difficult conversation. As a mediator I am committed to creating a safe and confidential space that invites both parties to explain their positions and interests regarding the educational needs of the child in question. Though very familiar with special education laws and procedures, I am committed to helping parents and districts work out solutions that make sense to them and are focused on the needs of the student. As an experienced mediator, I will promote exploration of options to solve the dispute. When there is an impasse, I continue to work with parties to create a solution. If there is interest, I will help the parties develop a different future with better communication. I am comfortable working with parties who are working with legal counsel and family advocates as well as parties who represent themselves.

My Education:

  • Marquette University, 1968, B.A., English Literature
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1975, M.S., Educational Psychology
  • Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology, 1989, Psy.D., Clinical Psychology
  • Silver Lake College, 2005, DPI Certification, Director of Special Education and Pupil Services Administration
  • Marquette University, Center for Dispute Resolution Studies, Graduate Certificate in Dispute Resolution, 2010
  • Marquette University Law School Workshop Foreclosure and Mortgage Modification Training, 2011
  • Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System Candidate Roster Training, 2017

My Current Mediation Roster Memberships: I have mediated a wide range of community issues including family and landlord tenant relationships as well as financial issues related to home ownership.

  • Roster Mediator, Mortgage Modification Mediation Program

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin and
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

  • Roster Mediator, Wisconsin Foreclosure Mediation Network
  • Roster Mediator, Kenosha County Small Claims Court

My Professional Memberships: I am a firm believer in continuing to learn about new developments in mediation and to reflect on the way I conduct mediations. To that end, I am currently a member of the following organizations:

  • Association of Conflict Resolution
  • Wisconsin Association of Mediators (Currently serve on the Executive Board)
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (National and Wisconsin Chapters)

My Work Experience:

As a special education administrator with Milwaukee Public Schools, I designed, implemented, and supported the district’s Parent Dispute Resolution System. In this role, I participated in all mediations. My responsibilities included monitoring the district’s implementation of all elements of the agreement.

As a school psychologist I had a wide variety of assignments including providing services to students with Autism as well as services to students involved in a variety of programs for students with behavioral disabilities.

As a licensed psychologist in private practice I have been requested by parents and by school districts to provide independent educational evaluations as well as testimony in legal proceedings.

My Current Interests: I am committed to “next generation” development of mediators and psychologists.

  • I supervise students from Marquette University Law School who mediate cases in the Milwaukee County Small Claims Court and I volunteer as a mediator in the law school’s regional student mediation competitions.
  • I supervise students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who are completing their studies to become school psychologists.
  • I serve on the Multicultural Affairs Committee at the Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology.