A multitude of conflict situations from interpersonal disputes to work performance issues, EEO complaints and grievances abound in the workplace. Misperceptions, lack of knowledge, miscommunication, and attitudes surrounding employees with disabilities are also potential sources of workplace conflict and may compound the other typical conflict areas.
This special collection of articles brings to the readers some of the most current thinking in the field of ADA mediation. The ADA Mediation Guidelines, published in 2000, offer practitioners a set of ethical principles and practical suggestions. Since the issuance of the ADA Mediation Guidelines, large numbers of mediation providers have put the Guidelines into practice. Ongoing dialogue and experimental implementation has fostered further development of the Guidelines, which continue to be a “work in progress.” Judy Cohen, ADA Mediation Guidelines Coordinator, addresses this in her article on emerging developments.
The Guidelines do not offer the practical “how-to” of providing accessible, effective, mediation services to people with disabilities. In this collection, Kathleen Blank announces an exciting new partnership between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the National Council on Disability (NCD). This collaboration will produce technical assistance documents and a training program to give mediation providers a practical framework for mediating a fair, quality process for disability-related cases. Kathleen, the Project Manager, seeks insights and experiences of mediators who have handled disability-related cases.
Readers can learn more “how-to” steps in the article by Debra Vitali Dupree, Mediation Training Institute International. Debra provides a structured process for mediating reasonable accommodation cases and discusses the importance of convening to prepare for a successful disability-related mediation session. Finally, Marsha Wagner, ombuds at Columbia University, provides a new twist on ADA mediation by describing in her article the variety of dispute resolution approaches and techniques used by ombuds in disability-related workplace cases.
This collection of articles provides an overview of important aspects of ADA mediation in the workplace today. We hope that it will contribute toward a continued dialogue in the field.