Tonya Saheli

(510) 461-0759

I have been a professional Mediator and Arbitrator for a combination of 10 years. I started a mediation practice shortly after graduating law school. In this capacity, I have worked as an ADR professional facilitator in several school districts and facilitated IEP meetings, collaborative conferences, and Manifestation Determination meetings. I have also served as a conflict coach as well as provided trainings to districts on the topics of Communication, Conflict Resolution, Empathy, and Racial Equity. I also train other ADR facilitators to do this work.

I think what sets me apart is that not only have I worked as a professional mediator in various areas of the law, but I have been working specifically in the field of Education for almost 5 years. I understand the CDE complaint process and when the IEP process mandates a neutral facilitator because I have facilitated several of these types of IEP meetings. I believe that my ability to remain neutral throughout the entire process, while still able to help facilitate resolution of the conflict also sets me apart. The fact that I am very familiar with the Education Code, particularly the Special Education provisions, is also a benefit to the districts with whom I work.

Lastly, my ability to work with diverse families and model empathy is also a factor that has proven effective when working an ADR facilitator. Families and District professionals feel comfortable talking with me and also trust that I will remain neutral throughout the process.

Areas of Expertise

  • ADR
  • ADR Best Practices
  • Changing the School Culture for ADR
  • COVID-19 Related Issues
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Creating Systems (e.g., ADR Continuum)
  • Creative Problem-Solving
  • Cultural Responsiveness
  • Distance Learning
  • Due Process
  • Equity
  • Facilitated IEPs
  • Facilitation
  • Mediation
  • Negotiation & Conflict Resolution
  • Parental Relationships & Advocacy
  • Professional Development
  • Resolving Complaints (e.g., Resolution Sessions)
  • Strategic Planning Processes
  • Training Parents for ADR Processes
  • Virtual ADR Meetings