WHAT IS AN OMBUDS?
An Ombuds is a specialist available to help ALTA members and attendees with issues, concerns, conflicts, or other difficulties. The Ombuds role is impartial and informal, all communications are confidential, and she functions independently of ALTA’s organizational structure.
THE ALTA45 OMBUDS IS HERE TO HELP
The Ombuds is available to help all ALTA members and attendees. Examples of situations the Ombuds can assist with include:
- Difficulties, conflicts, or communication breakdowns between ALTA members or attendees
- Issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, fairness, and respect
- Concerns regarding discrimination and harassment
- Concerns about the climate, culture, or functioning of the programming or conference
- Identifying and connecting with appropriate resources and channels for assistance
- Clarification of ALTA policies and procedures
- And more… please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Ombuds with any question, concern, or issue, no matter how small or large it may seem. She will be happy to help and/or connect you with other appropriate resources.
HOW THE OMBUDS CAN HELP
- Listen to concerns, act as a sounding board
- Help to identify and clarify interests, needs, and goals in relation to a programming-related issue
- Assist with analyzing situations/issues from multiple perspectives
- Assist with problem-solving and generating options for constructive resolution
- Provide coaching and tips and tools for difficult conversations or situations
- Facilitate dialogue and provide informal mediation
- Identify, clarify, and refer members and attendees to relevant ALTA policies, procedures, processes, and other resources, including reporting processes
- Provide input to leaders, key stakeholders, and/or others in positions of influence about issues, needs, or concerns while maintaining ALTA member/attendee anonymity and confidentiality
HOW TO OBTAIN HELP FROM THE OMBUDS
Contact Information: ALTAOmbuds@gmail.com / 623-239-2485
Important notes about contacting the Ombuds:
- Only the Ombuds has access to this email and voicemail; all messages are protected by Ombuds confidentiality.
- While all communications are treated with strict confidentiality, it is recommended to not share detailed information via email as the confidentiality of electronic communication cannot be guaranteed.
OMBUDS ANONYMOUS REPORT FORM
ABOUT THE ALTA45 OMBUDS
Caitlan Hendrickson, the ALTA45 Ombuds, is a Certified Organizational Ombuds Practitioner (CO-OP) with over eighteen years of experience in conflict transformation and over a decade of experience leading alternative dispute resolution offices within large public multicultural organizations. She is the owner and founder of Mutuality Realized LLC and holds a Master of Education in Human Relations as well as several certifications, and has received extensive specialized and advanced training in a wide variety of dispute resolution practices. In addition, she is bilingual in English and Spanish, is an experienced translator, and has worked extensively with matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout her career.
The ALTA Ombuds works in accordance with the International Ombuds Association Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. (Note: “Visitor” is the Ombuds term for client)
Confidentiality: Confidentiality is a fundamental element of the Ombuds service. As such, the Ombuds is not authorized to accept notice of allegations of violations of law and she treats all communications, and the identities of all visitors, as strictly confidential to the maximum extent permitted by law unless, in the discretion of the Ombuds, failure to disclose information would create an imminent risk of serious harm. No ALTA member, event attendee, employee, or other constituent may compel the Ombuds to disclose information.
Impartiality: As ALTA’s designated neutral, the Ombuds works with all visitors and situations in an impartial manner. The Ombuds does not take sides or advocate for any individual or group.
Informality: The Ombuds is an informal and off-the-record resource and as such does not engage in formal processes and is not authorized to make or change policy. All services and processes offered by the Ombuds are informal in nature.
Independence: The Ombuds Office functions independently of all other organizational entities.