by Anita Engiles, Cathy Fromme, Diane LeResche and Philip Moses

There are a number of reasons for making mediation more accessible and responsive to families from culturally, economically and linguistically diverse backgrounds.  This document is intended to provide educators with guidance that may help them understand why some families may not participate in mediation, and strategies for increasing the participation of families from diverse backgrounds. Most importantly, Keys to Access offers practical recommendations that school personnel, early intervention service providers, mediation providers, and families can use to develop the knowledge, positive attitudes, skills and strengths necessary for genuine collaboration. The results of these collaborative partnerships may be reflected in improved programs for children with disabilities.  This document was published in November 1999.