Pennsylvania Office for Dispute Resolution
6340 Flank Drive
Harrisburg, 17112
United States
(717) 541-4960 (x3932)

Kerry Voss Smith is the Director of the Pennsylvania Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR), which provides the resources for parents and educators to resolve special education disputes. In addition to due process and mediation services, ODR also offers IEP and Resolution Meeting Facilitation; ConsultLine (a parent helpline); and communication and conflict resolution skills training. In 2008, ODR began offering Creating Agreement in Special Education: Conflict Resolution Training for Parents and Educators, a training program jointly created by CADRE and the IDEA Partnership. To date, ODR has trained over 2,000 Pennsylvania parents and educators. In 2009, Pennsylvania was selected as one of four states designated as an exemplar state in the area of special education dispute resolution by CADRE, with approval of OSEP.

In the fall of 2011, Ms. Smith will earn a Masters of Art degree in Conflict Analysis from Antioch University-Midwest. Her initial special education mediation training was with the Justice Center of Atlanta in 2000. Ms. Smith is a member of the Advisory Board to the Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE). She has a Juris Doctor degree from the Dickinson School of Law (now associated with Penn State University) and Bachelor of Science degrees in special and elementary education from Penn State University. Between college and law school, Ms. Smith worked with adult residents of the Pennhurst State School who were being transitioned into community placements. She was in private practice for twelve years, most recently as a partner with Marshall, Smith & Haddick, a civil litigation defense firm. She was employed by the Department of Education's Office of Chief Counsel for two years prior to ODR, where she spent the majority of her time handling federal special education litigation.

Ms. Smith is a frequent speaker and Creating Agreement trainer. Her professional interests include conflict analysis and alternatives to litigation. Ms. Smith comes from a family of educators, and has a brother with a disability, who is successfully living and working in the community with supports and services.