The spirit behind OMA’s formation was making mediation more accessible with advances in technology. Our founder refers to the following major technological disruptions that were key to advancing the field: 1) PC and Word Processing, 2) The Internet, 3) Mobile devices with bandwidth, 4) The Cloud.
1985 Our founder gets started
PCs and the launch of word processing was a precondition for modern mediation because agreements could now be drafted. The birth of this technology allowed the field to move forward at an accelerated rate.
In the news: Tools for desktop publishing begin to be commonly used. Microsoft releases Windows 1.0, radio pagers and wired car phones are in use, 1st mobile phone is released (came in a suitcase.)
1986 The Oregon Mediation Association is founded
Learn more about our purpose here. In the news: Commercial workstations were introduced; Steve Jobs purchases a division from Lucas films for $10MM and renames it Pixar.
1988 OMA adopts “Standards of Practice”
However, no efforts were made to adopt competency standards until the Oregon Mediator Competency Work Group (“Work Group”) was convened in 1995.
1989 The Oregon Dispute Resolution Commission (“Commission”) is established by legislature
The Commission is charged with the statutory mandate of developing qualifications, rules and standards for individuals and programs providing dispute resolution services with state funds. These include community dispute resolution centers, court-annexed domestic relations and civil court mediations, and the court systems.
In the news: The 486 series of microprocessor is released by Intel, opening the way for the next generation of much more powerful PC’s, Microsoft releases Office Suite, Berlin Wall collapses.
1995 The Oregon Mediator Competency Work Group (“Work Group”) convened
The Work Group was a joint effort between OMA and the Commission. In February, an invitation to participate in the Work Group was broadly distributed to practitioner organizations, trainers, university programs, court services and others involved in mediation. The following mission statement was agreed to by the Work Group:
To encourage a collaborative process based on consensus principles that will: identify stakeholders; design and then implement a statewide dialogue by which the stakeholders can communicate their thoughts and ideas on qualifications and competencies of mediators in the State of Oregon; and recommend a course of action to ensure competency of mediators.”
In the news: dot.com boom starts, Amazon.com opens, Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 1.0 and Windows 95, eBay was founded, Yahoo! was incorporated.
1998 The Oregon Mediator Competency Work Group issues its Final Report
2000 OMA establishes Core Standards of Mediation Practice
After a multi-year process, OMA revised its Standards of Practice and adopted the Core Standards of Mediation Practice on September 9, 2000.
2003 The Oregon Dispute Resolution Commission is eliminated during the legislative session
The Community Dispute Resolution Center program was moved to the University of Oregon Law School. The Oregon Office of Community Dispute Resolution (OOCDR) office oversees grants generated from state funds and is now administered through the U of O Law School.
2005 OMA revises Core Standards of Mediation Practice
After another multi-year process, OMA adopted revised Core Standards of Mediation Practice (“Core Standards”) on April 23, 2005. The Core Standards use non-mandatory language and are intended as a guide to mediators and not intended to be disciplinary rules.
In the news: Apple releases iPhone, the 1st YouTube video is uploaded, Pandora is launched.
2006 OMA launches Grievance Process pilot project
OMA adopted its Voluntary Mediation Process for Resolving Disputes with OMA Mediators as a pilot project on December 11, 2006. The Grievance Process was intended as a voluntary process for resolving disputes that may arise between mediators and participants in mediation. It was not intended as a method of enforcing the Core Standards or of assuring competency.
2007 OMA forms The Quality Assurance Task Force
OMA convened a Quality Assurance Task Force to revisit the questions surrounding competency. The Task Force reviewed the options explored by the 1998 Work Group.
2008 OMA Quality Enhancement Initiative
Based upon the Task Force findings, OMA adopted its Quality Enhancement Initiative (QEI) on June 16, 2008. The QEI emphasizes six elements: Leadership through Partnerships, Consumer Education, Mentoring, Mediation Complaint Process, Model Standards for Qualifications, and Model Standards for Training and Trainers.
In the news: Barack Obama elected President (technology played a major role), Facebook reaches 100MM active users, Global Financial Crises, GPS now on devices, Apple’s App store launched.
2010 OMA adopts Model Guidelines for Private Practice Mediator Education, Training, and Experience
The adoption followed a multi-year process with extensive outreach to members and stakeholders spearheaded by the OMA Standards and Practices Committee. View model guidelines.
2020 OMA hosts first Annual Conference using Zoom’s virtual platform
In the news: COVID-19 pandemic triggers lockdowns and global recession, Zoom and Microsoft Teams are the new offices, Joe Biden announces Kamilla Harris as running mate.
2021 OMA’s hosts 35th Annual Conference in a virtual format
OMA Board adopts EDI Decision Making Framework as a model to evaluate the impact of business decisions. In December, Basic Equity Training is offered to members. 2022 is launched with multi-series training workshops focused on political depolarization, conflict resilience and transformative dialogue.
In the news: Second year COVID-19, Joe Biden sworn in as President, Representative Deb Haaland (NM) is confirmed as secretary of the Interior.