Mediation service

Business Disability Forum’s mediation service provides a unique tailored resolution service which focuses purely on disability-related cases.

Our mediation service works to help those in dispute reach disability-smart solutions as well as repair or maintain effective working relationships.

Mediation for disability-related disputes

Mediation is suitable for organisations who are having difficulty resolving most types of disability-related disputes, for example;

  • Between an individual and line manager.
  • Conflict within a team.
  • Between an individual and HR department.
  • Between a customer and a service provider.
  • To repair working relationships where they have become difficult or completely broken down. 

In reality most types of dispute or conflict can be resolved through the use of informal resolution (mediation) techniques.

Our mediation service can also be used to help facilitate difficult conversations that sometimes need to take place, for example between a manager and an employee where either party is uncomfortable discussing a disability related matter. 

It is not uncommon for communication, or more specifically, a breakdown in communication being a contributing factor to a dispute between individuals. 

Our experience and expertise also means that we are well placed to mediate situations where there are barriers to communication between individuals in dispute, e.g. Where a neuro diverse condition has impacted on communication between two parties. 


Successfully resolving a dispute using mediation offers many potential benefits both to an organisation and the individual, such as:

  • Reduction in time consuming grievances/complaints or litigation – most mediations are completed in one day.
  • Reduction in organisational costs associated to handling complaints.
  • Reduction in absenteeism.
  • Avoids the sometimes irreparable damage often caused by a formal complaints process.
  • Parties “own” mutually agreed solutions which helps to secure sustainable resolution.
  • Where  necessary mediation can help end working relationships in a more amicable way.
  • Reduces the risk of reputational damage/negative publicity. 

Further information

Neutral diagnostics

Neutral diagnostics is an informal and impartial assessment process designed to help those involved in a disability related dispute and those with responsibility to resolve/end such a dispute, i.e. line managers, HR departments. BDF will use a range of skills such as mediation and appreciative inquiry techniques, we will also apply our extensive knowledge and expertise of disability related matters in order to produce recommendations.

Download our briefing on Neutral diagnostics here (PDF).

Information for people going through mediation

Mediation is a process by which an impartial, trained person helps two or more people in a dispute to talk about their situation, exchange their concerns, and come up with ideas about how to move the dispute forward. What is discussed in mediation is confidential, and there are ground rules to help people feel confident and safe enough to communicate their needs, feelings and concerns.

Download our briefing for people going through mediation here (PDF)

Communication support

Where communication support is required this must be supplied by the organisation requesting mediation.  


The referring organisation is responsible for providing a suitable venue for the mediation.  

Liability and confidentiality

Each party involved in a mediation process must complete a liability and confidentiality document.

For more information about our mediation service, contact Adrian Ward, Disability Consultant via email to