2/03/12 Meeting Minutes

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Second Meeting of the Disability Caucus
February 3, 2012
6:00 PM
Atrium – 60 Wall StreetATTENDANCE:
Nadina LaSpina
Danny Robert
Alejandra Ospina
Julie Maury
Philip Bennett
Akemi Nishida
Leslie Freeman (via Skype)
Pat Walls
Phil Walls
Constance Lesold
Pamela Bates

Akemi is facilitating, after discussion reminding all that, since OWS is a leaderless movement, in this group we will take turns facilitating, taking minutes, etc.

Alejandra will audio record meeting to transcribe minutes at a later time.

Leslie is present via Skype, will try to type back responses as audio is not very good in the Atrium.

Attendees introduce each other by name.

Akemi and Nadina go over the agenda, which is announced by Akemi:
Introductions, Mission Statement, possible action in the spring, subgroups and commitees, NYCGA.net

Akemi asks if anyone would like to add any items to the agenda; Connie would like to revisit the health committee/senior citizen report back.

Akemi requests a summary of previous meeting be added to the agenda.

Nadina explains use of hand gestures and protocol in OWS meetings. We need to have some understanding of meeting protocols if we are participating in larger OWS meetings/movements.  Decisions are reached by consensus. If no consensus is reached at first, there’s further discussion.

Gestures: Agree, Disagree, Mutual, Question/Clarification, Information, Point of Process, Temperature Check, Abstain (no sign for stand aside/sit aside), Block, Silent (for disruptions)

Some disabled people cannot do hand gestures. As a “reasonable accommodation,” they will simply say: Agree, Disagree, etc.

[An observer approaches group, asking what group we are, she is interested and Nadina & Akemi welcome her to look up Disability Caucus on Facebook]

Leslie is leaving meeting due to audio difficulties with Skype, but has point of order:   If mission statement begins to be drafted at this meeting,  I propose that I and others not physically present be given an opportunity to review it and contribute to before it is posted on Occupy Wall St. website.

Nadina relays to Leslie that the mission statement will take some time to draft, and like all decisions, it has to be made by consensus, over the course of several meetings, and the statement will come available online so that people can read, comment, and propose edits.

Akemi proposes discussing the Mission Statement.  Nadina  talks about how the mission statement began to take shape in the previous meeting, led to a draft that was created, which Nadina reads [as subsequently posted to NYCA Disability Caucus Group website].

Constance wonders if what Nadina has read will be clear enough to include children.  Akemi asks for any other questions/clarifications:

Julie wonders if statement should take note of persons with mental health disabilities; Nadina responds that the statement cannot be too detailed, or too long, current statement is a bit long.  Statement must ring true for Occupy Wall Street  and relate to what they are doing.

Pamela suggests “disabled seniors, adults & children” “of all ages”, others suggest similar versions of phrasing that would be more inclusive.  Group discussion follows regarding language that may or may not include or exclude various kinds of disabilities and disabling conditions; is the ADA definition of disability appropriate/enough for this statement, as suggested by Philip?    Should we make parenthetical statement listing various categories of disability, for those who are not aware of what disabilities encompass?  Danny suggests footnote(s) at the end of the statement clarifying definition based on ADA definition?  Akemi suggests current consensus could be to clarify the definition of disability via footnote, and others can continue to add/edit over time.  Group members are concerned that general public is not aware of disability definitions, that ADA definitions may not include everyone who identifies with a disability, that different lists of disabilities may not be inclusive.

Akemi suggests moving to other areas of discussion re: mission statement, but before that, a temperature check on how to clarify definition.  It is suggested that the statement be posted online for people to read/comment/edit before the next meeting (e-mail, Google Docs, Facebook?).  Nadina states that documents must be posted for review on NYCGA.net as protocol dictates.

Nadina suggests moving to agenda item re: NYCGA website and role of caucus group.

Nadina explains that NYCGA.net is official website of OWS movement.  (www.nycga.net). Encourages everyone to register on the site and join Disability Caucus group.   It is very important for group members to establish and maintain a presence on this official website, it is checked often and the group was almost removed for inactivity.  We are active on Facebook (Krips Occupy Wall St),  and have discussions there, but this official group should be the hub of activity online.  Alejandra  agrees that we should create more activity on this official site, but is concerned that it does not have the capability for people to edit collaboratively online, vs. something like Google Docs.  Nadina clarifies that NYCGA website does allow for commenting/collaborative editing by members, and suggests that documents/drafts can also be posted on other spaces for comment and review.

Nadina talks about other ways to increase NYCGA activity, such as starting new forums for subgroups/committees.

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