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.

Who We Are

The Partners

WSEMS is managed by a unique partnership that represents a collaborative team: A special education director, a parent, and a mediator. The WSEMS team conducts outreach activities (training, WSEMS booths, etc.) to promote the WSEMS and the importance of resolving conflict at the earliest possible stage.  The team also assists with development of system materials and models collaboration statewide.  The partners have been active nationally on the topic of special education mediation.  Each brings a unique expertise to the system.

  • Nissan Bar-Lev, Director of Special Education, Cooperative Educational Service Agency # 7 (CESA #7)
  • Courtney Salzer, J.D., Executive Director, Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training & Support, Inc. (WI FACETS)
  • Jane Burns, President, Burns Mediation Services, LLC

Parent/School Collaboration

Our Staff

  • Diana Rhyne WSEMS Intake Coordinator
    Diana Rhyne, President of Rhyne Consulting, Inc., is the Intake Coordinator for WSEMS. Formerly a roster mediator at WSEMS, she has extensive experience in mediation and case management. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Legal Studies, and her Master’s of Business Administration, from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Diana is currently a mediator for Kenosha County’s Small Claims Court and Milwaukee County’s Family Court. She earned her certificate as a family mediator from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee School of Continuing Education and a certificate in Mediation and Domestic Violence from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Continuing Studies and UW Extension. She is a child of immigrants and has extensive experience working with diverse groups of people from underrepresented communities. Rhyne Consulting, Inc. focuses on mediation services, project development and management, and group facilitation of cognitive behavioral therapy. On her free time, Diana enjoys exploring new hobbies and spending time with her family and their two dogs-Bigfoot and Dumpling. Most recently, she has been taking Korean language classes through University of WI-Milwaukee’s School of Continuing Education.

    Disclosure: Diana has one daughter who attends public school.

  • Nelsinia Ramos is the Multicultural Outreach Coordinator for the Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System (WSEMS); she is also the Parent Services Coordinator of Wisconsin’s Parent Training and Information Center WI-FACETS and the multicultural consultant of the Region 4 PTAC, a grant funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education to provide technical assistance to Parent Centers in 8 states. Nelsinia received her B.A. in Business & Management from Alverno College; an Associate’s Degree in Social Work from Milwaukee Area Technical College and a Non-Profit Management professional certification from UW-Milwaukee. Nelsinia is the parent of a young adult with social and intellectual needs. She currently serves on the National Military Parent TA Center Advisory Board and is a former member of the Autism Society of Wisconsin Board of Directors and the National IDEA Partnership on Creating Agreement training team.

Our Mediators

WSEMS maintains a roster of active neutrals (mediators/facilitators), all of whom are required by state law to attend a five-day introductory training and a one-day update training each year. The neutrals are located throughout Wisconsin, and also in Illinois and Minnesota. Three are bilingual in English and Spanish.

    Contact WSEMS

    888-298-3857 (Toll Free Voice)
    608-283-9106 (Fax)

    PO Box 829
    Madison WI 53701-0829