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Working Together in Special Education


Nicholas Martin, Director
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Nicholas Martin, Director

Nicholas Martin, founder of The Center for Accord, is a staff development and conflict resolution specialist with extensive experience in building strong teams while minimizing conflict. He is a nationwide speaker who has provided seminars and workshops to thousands of people working on behalf of children with special needs, in both English and Spanish. Nick's emphasis is always on making the complex simple and offering practical skills for making a positive difference.

His educational background is in clinical psychology, having graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973 with a B.A. and a major in psychology. He then attended the University of Hartford, where he graduated in 1975 with a Master's degree in Clinical Practices. After many years as a juvenile court psychologist, outpatient mental health counselor, and dispute mediator, he has come to focus increasingly on collaboration and conflict reduction in special education.

Nick has been providing highly acclaimed and practically-oriented training for over 30 years. He also has taught dispute resolution at the graduate school level. Nick is the author of An Operator's Manual for Successful Living, A Guide to Collaboration for IEP Teams, and Strengthening Relationships When Our Children Have Special Needs (available in Spanish as Fortaleciendo Relaciones Cuando Nuestros Niños Tienen Necesidades Especiales). His most recent publication is Supporting the IEP Process, A Facilitator's Guide. He also has published numerous articles, most of which can be found in the publications section of this website.

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The Center logo uses the pieces of a puzzle to represent the many aspects of any issue and the many points of view to be incorporated whenever people work together towards common goals. Because there are always many "chairs at the table," the challenge for any team is always to bring together their diverse perspectives into the best possible integrated whole.

With a jigsaw puzzle, the whole picture can not really be complete until all of the pieces are found and included. Similarly, unless they are really working collaboratively towards consensus, teams run the risk that some of the "pieces" of their potential wisdom and strength will not be included in the final "picture" that they, as a team, create.

The services of The Center for Accord are designed to help school and parent teams learn how to "assemble" the contributions of all team members, and to integrate them into an optimal and mutually acceptable whole for the benefit of all involved and for the children for whom they meet.

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