ADA Disability Consensus Items for Tues Meeting (6/23 and 6/30)

Hi everyone,
I’ve included some very important new consensus items for tonight’s meeting. These are all around disability access to Noisebridge.

Click each item for write up.

Continuing Meeting Remote Accessibility Beyond COVID-19

It is without a doubt that Noisebridge has, under the throws of coronavirus, become more accessible to disabled people than it has ever been before. After years of hardship with a broken elevator, it has been a wonderful shift in these recent weeks to take part in meetings again via new remote options. As a wheelchair user and severely disabled member, I cannot always take buses to the space and I know other disabled members have similar challenges.

Let us move forward as a community and continue this improvement in accessibility. Let us not take steps or rolls backward after the physical space re-opens. We are learning the value of access as a community together, and all the good things that come with it.

This consensus proposal Is for:

  1. Continuing video and/or audio attendance options for Noisebridge General Meetings (usually on Tuesdays), specifically for disabled people as a reasonable disability accommodation, as outlined by Title II and Title III of the American with Disabilities Act.

“‘title III of the Act, which requires public accommodations to remove architectural barriers where such removal is “readily achievable,” or to provide goods and services through alternative methods, where those methods are "readily achievable’”

“Readily achievable means easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense.”

Continuing Class Remote Accessibility Beyond COVID-19

It is without a doubt that Noisebridge has, under the throws of coronavirus, become more accessible to disabled people than it has ever been before. After years of hardship with a broken elevator, it has been a wonderful shift in these recent weeks to take part in meetings again via new remote options. As a wheelchair user and severely disabled member, I cannot always take buses to the space and I know other disabled members have similar challenges.

Let us move forward as a community and continue this improvement in accessibility. Let us not take steps or rolls backward after the physical space re-opens. We are learning the value of access as a community together, and all the good things that come with it.

This consensus proposal Is for:

  1. Continuing video and/or audio attendance options for Noisebridge classes, presentations, and tools, specifically for disabled people as a reasonable disability accommodation, as outlined by Title II and Title III of the American with Disabilities Act.

“‘title III of the Act, which requires public accommodations to remove architectural barriers where such removal is “readily achievable,” or to provide goods and services through alternative methods, where those methods are "readily achievable’”

“Readily achievable means easily accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense.”

Accessibility information and statement on the main website

This consensus proposal Is for:

  1. Providing disability access information on the main website (noisbridge.net) in a clear and easy to access way.

This information should include:

a. Possible barriers and physical access information for the current physical space of Noisebridge

b. A point of contact for disabled people to ask questions specifically around disability and gaining access to Noisebridge (phone, email, etc. - more options the better).

c. Information on how to request disability accommodations to attend.

d. A statement on Noisebridge’s commitment to excellence via inclusion of people with disabilities

Please attend this meeting if:
1. You want to continue to include disabled people at Noisebridge
2. You do not want to continue to include disabled people at Noisebridge.

Come speak your piece tonight at 8pm!

We had a very fruitful discussion of these consensus items last night. I’ve been pinging members to come to the meeting, @everyone please review the above items in the meeting notes and let me know if you have objections, so we can go smoothly through the process next week.

Hey Zach. I am not sure I understand why these need to be consensus items.

Regarding:

Providing disability access information on the main website (noisbridge.net) in a clear and easy to access way.

If you write it up, anyone can send it in as a pull request here: https://github.com/noisebridge/infrastructure
I’ll volunteer to stick the info in a new box under the “Getting in and Getting Access” box.

Keeping up-to-date durable (laminated) physical postings of accessibility information in a clearly viewable area at the entrance of Noisebridge’s physical space.

I don’t see this as needing a consensus item, but rather just someone who is willing to tape the signs up whenever they fall down. When someone makes a nice sign. It tends to stay up.
Plus with the new location, it won’t be nearly as restrictive, as anyone should be able to make it in the front door where we could have ample signage on space access.

Continuing video and/or audio attendance options for Noisebridge classes, presentations, and tools, specifically for disabled people as a reasonable disability accommodation

As discussed in the meeting, this was a prior consensus item, and I doubt re-consensing would change anything. I think the main preventative measure is the annoyance of setting up a in person and video conference meeting.

We have done a couple combo meetings in the last year, but they are just more difficult to run. So here it comes down more of a process issue.


In general I don’t think anyone has an issue with the proposals. But I don’t find any of them to be consensus worthy.
I think consensus should be reserved for more meaningful items that shape the way the space runs.

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I understand your point Tyler, but there were opinions at the meeting by myself and others that these are in fact consensus worthy, as these points have not been implemented very well so far, even with a lot of effort on my part and others with disabilities. I feel it’s time for Noisebridge to be commited to accessibility in a direct, open way.

As @bfb pointed out at last night’s meeting, what we are doing here is defining excellence and also making sure that something as important as accessibility does not “slip through the cracks” as many things do over the years.

Unfortunately, to some of those without disabilities who can access the space easily, these do not seem “consensus-worthy.” For those of us who have, and continue to be, excluded from noisebridge on the basis of disability, this is extremely Consensus worthy, and is as important as any consensus item can be.

If you don’t have any problem with them than ultimately this seems to boil down to an issue of how time is spent at meetings and/or some written stuff on wiki. I felt it was time well spent, and I think others present felt similarly. These things should have been implemented years ago and are in fact required by law for most nonprofits and government institutions. That they haven’t been in place already is exactly the point.

Making these consensus items is an important step in helping noisebridge to define “excellence”, combat ableism, and support diversity and community.

I feel it’s disingenuous to say people are “excluded from Noisebridge on the basis of disability”. We were literally stuck in a building with a non-functioning elevator and a non-cooperative landlord. So I feel like your message puts undue blame on the people at Noisebridge. No one chose to keep the elevator broken.

I still feel like the maintenance of signage and ongoing video conferencing is more the domain of something like an ADA Guild. There is no resistance to these ideas,


I would issue a block for the proposed item: “Accessibility information and statement on the main website” simply because I do not think we need to start requiring consensus for updating our website.

And honestly that item could be easily fixed before the next meeting. Like I said, if you draft up some info I’ll gladly submit a PR within a day.


Same with “Accessibility information posted outside the Noisebrige physical space”. This is a doacracy item. Just put the sign on the door. Or request someone else do it.

In fact any time spent discussing it at the meeting is time not spent printing out the sign.

2 Likes

Also as a point of process. You have raised 5 consensus items in the month of June.

Which is more than the 3 items that were consensed in the year of 2019.

I think we should limit consensus to meaningful decisions so that it doesn’t become "some written stuff on wiki"

2 Likes

but then you say

Seems like I struck a nerve talking about able-bodied privilege. This is required by law for all government orgs and government funded non-profits. I’m literally adding language of the ADA. That you are blocking this is astounding.

If I delete that sentence, is there a block remaining?

That’s your opinion as a person without physical challenges to enter Noisebridge. I have been advocating for access for well over a year, shut down and blocked by people. Responses here remind me of the access barriers and the culture that defends them.

Covid-19 didn’t happen in SF in 2019, which was the sole cause of the previous consensus items.
Had I had access to meetings in 2019, I would have brought more items up to improve Noisebridge. I don’t enjoy long meetings, either.
But safety from Covid-19 and ADA disability access? Those are pretty important.

The block is not me trying to assert “able-bodied privilege”. It’s because it’s not worth consensing something we can do in an hour. Just reply to this message with the language you want on the page, and we can put it up this afternoon.

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The need for consensus is so that it stays and is given the importance it deserves. It is to say “access info is not an optional thing we can forgo with a mistaken wiki edit” - that is why I added the ADA language.

The language was consensed at last meeting, you are the only block so far. If you block it I will need to change it and re apply for another 2 weeks for that item.

I don’t want less accessibility at Noisebridge. I want less bureaucracy. I’ve started updating the front page with some rough language. Please opine on the wording / background-color.

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I felt similarly at first glance @themanmaran. However, through the discussion during the meeting last night, I was persuaded that it’s in our best interest to reach consensus on our commitments to accessibility. It’s similar to the anti-harassment policy consensus from a few years back in that the proposals brought by @Zach don’t add new “rules”, but rather clarify the One Rule under specific circumstances. E.g. We are being excellent to each other when we make classes accessible online upon request as a reasonable disability accommodation.

I consider the the consensing of the Anti Harassment Policy to be different, as there was an actual body of policy to be written and agreed upon. If instead the idea was to solidify a Noisebridge ADA Policy (similar to anti-harrassment) I think it would more reasonably require consensus.

In general, I believe Big C Consensus should be reserved for decisions that fundamentally alter how Noisebridge operates or uses its resources (i.e. moving, funding upgrades/repairs, COVID safety). I have no issues with the concepts proposed, but the reason for posing these items seems to be virtue signaling, and not making meaningful alterations to the space.


The items:

“Accessibility information and statement on the main website”
“Accessibility information posted outside the Noisebrige physical space”

Seem in the same vein as something like “using gender neutral bathroom signs” or “preferred pronouns at meeting introductions”. I consider both of these very valuable, but they should not require Big C Consensus to occur.


The item:

Continuing Meeting Remote Accessibility Beyond COVID-19

More reasonably requires the consensus process (considering it was consensed 2013-12-17).

I have no issue with this going though, but I’d like to hear the thoughts regarding the addendum to the 2013 item "By the consensus of those present, the meeting may be limited to those in the space for privacy reasons."


To summarize my thoughts:

Proposals 1 and 2:

Continuing Meeting Remote Accessibility Beyond COVID-19
Continuing Class Remote Accessibility Beyond COVID-19

Seem like reasonable consensus items. But perhaps they could be combined into one proposal, and perhaps address privacy concerns.

Proposals 3 and 4:

“Accessibility information and statement on the main website”
“Accessibility information posted outside the Noisebrige physical space”

I believe fall under dooacracy and should not require a Big C Consensus process.

2 Likes

I agree with Tyler’s concerns about having Big C Consensus around pure doocratic items #3 and #4.

For the items #1 and #2, is it necessary to have the references to US Federal Law in there? The reference to the Washington DC issued laws seem to clash with the anarchist nature of Noisebridge. (I’m not a big M Member, but just wanted to weigh in on these.)

@Zach Added each item to the original post for greater context, anyone can just click each title for details. :+1:

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Please read my post above. The point of making this consensus is so that Noisebridge has a permanent stated commitment to disability access.

Signs are torn down and Wiki pages are changed frequently, including the disability signs I’ve previously posted at the space. By making this a consensus item, we can work to ensure that access is not just optonal, in the same way that harassment used to be optional (you’re not supposed to be “unexcellent” - people did it anyway though).

This is very much in the same vein of that, explicitly stating something that was already implicitly implied, but not being followed (which is btw the same reason for my last consensus item concerning closing the space for Covid-19)

The US law is in there as a starting point, and nothing else. As an anarchist space, Noisebridge doesn’t even come close to meeting government disability guidelines, let alone what a truly accessible space would like in terms Anarchisms Cooperative Mutual Aid. We’re a far cry from that.

That there’s so much pushback here for even attempting to satisfy the American with Disabilities Act in a written consensus is testament to how far we have to go to be truly inclusive.

Extra text on a Wiki is a small price to pay for ensuring accessibility to disabled people at Noisebridge.

Firstly, I want to weigh in in favor of the consensus proposal to perpetuate options for remote participation in the weekly meetings. I also think the “physical space-only meeting for privacy reasons option” addendum to the original 2013 consensus item on audio streaming meetings is overdue for re-examination as a potential loophole to that requirement - does anyone else have thoughts on this?

Secondly, @themanmaran, while I appreciate that you (and likely others) would like shorter meetings and less bureaucracy at Noisebridge, I think emphasizing that desire over @Zach’s (and likely others’) stated need for a clear commitment to accessibility directly contributes to upholding a situation that makes him/them feel less valued and welcome than others. And honestly, this could be over with in a single meeting (the next one) - so why the pushback? It seems such a small discomfort to endure in order to prevent a much larger hurt for others.

Additionally, I disagree that item #3 and #4 should be considered purely do-ocratic, for the simple reason that things done do-ocratically can be undone do-ocratically. If there is a true commitment to accessibility, then I agree with Zach that using Consensus is the only reasonable path forward. I too believe that the proposals do in fact represent a substantial change to the way Noisebridge operates, in that it adds to the Noisebridge canon that the text on the website and the signs must be preserved permanently - not simply when somebody bothers to (re-)post or (re-)hang the signs.

That said, @Zach, I also disagree with the strategy of breaking your asks into multiple consensus items to avoid all of them being blocked or held up by debate instead of building true consensus around a single proposal everybody can get behind. If I volunteer my typing services, research time, etc. (to the extent that those are limiting for you?), would you be interested in (co-)drafting a more comprehensive accessibility policy for the new space? Maybe start looking into necessary and desirable upgrades to the space to implement that policy?

My blocks on the first two items mostly center around
privacy.

Item 1

Continuing Meeting Remote Accessibility Beyond
COVID-19

Reasons to block:

  1. There are folks who shy away from the current online
    meeting format due to it’s very public nature. If
    this item is not blocked it would remove those
    individuals from all future meetings even after we
    re-open at 272 capp.

  2. The new 272 Capp St. location is physically
    accessable.

  3. We already take excellent real-time meeting
    minutes at riseup for those that want to
    participate remotely.

. . .

Personally: I’m one of those people if it’s not obvious
by my “anonymous” handle. I’ve always been like
this. Always will be.

If this items passes: Folks who want to remain
anonymous can still participate via the pad.riseup.net
and write in their thoughts on the consensus items
before the meeting (like I’m doing now!).

Item 2

Continuing Class Remote Accessibility Beyond COVID-19

Reasons to block:

  1. There are folks who shy away from online formats due
    to it’s very public (and potentially permanent)
    nature.

  2. The new 272 Capp St. location is physically
    accessable.

  3. It should be left up to the instructor of the class
    if they choose to broadcast it online or not.

. . .

Personally: I don’t participate verbally or ask
questions in any class / presentation / etc. that’s
broadcasted online.

Also: I wouldn’t feel comfortable being forced to do
this with the classes I teach. I use the word “forced”
here because I take consensed big-c items very
seriously. It would mean I’d just stop teaching all
together at Noisebridge.

Please: don’t pass this item.


References:

https://www.noisebridge.net/index.php?title=Current_Consensus_Items&oldid=72038

2020-06-28-consensus-page.pdf (89.6 KB)

Will you be coming to the meeting on Tuesday so we can discuss your blocks?

  1. Noisebridge meetings are already allowed to be streamed digitally, via 2013 consensus item.

  2. The space at 272 Capp street, especially the classrooms upstairs, is not accessible to disabled people. (Side note, I would not use the words “x space is physically accessible” unless you are disabled and know what that means)

  3. The only time a class would be streamed is if a disabled person specifically requested it because they want to access the class and cannot get into the space. It sounds like you would deny that request?

I think privacy is very important, and we talked about this at the last Tuesday meeting. I’m open to discussing and coming up with provisions for security classes that might not be open to the disabled, as much as it sucks to do that.

I am concerned however, that the tone here is not “I support accessibility at Noisebridge and I’m concerned about privacy” but rather, there are some assumptions being made here about what disabled people can and cannot access. If you can make it to the meeting on Tuesday, I’m sure we can have some really productive discussion about this.

@anonymous25 Can you confirm somehow that you are a true Member who can actually block this.

Oh. I’m just providing an argument against items one and two on privacy alone. My reasons to block are just that: reasons. Did not mean to imply that I’d personally be the one blocking anything.

In my current situation: no.

Yes, but they aren’t always streamed digitally as they are currently.

Hey — sorry I mentioned this as reasons to block items one and two:

The new 272 Capp St. location is physically accessable.

You’re right — I don’t know what “x space is physically accessible” means, but am learning more-and-more through folks like you who bring it to our attention. It is much appreciated :heart:.

I felt the need to throw that in there to “stay on topic” for these items, but, clearly it was in error. I’m not bringing up my reasons to block based on any accessibility concerns.

My reasons to block are strictly around privacy reasons.

Again: sorry — I’m strictly focused on privacy here.

And yes: If my first post didn’t make that clear I would deny any request to live-stream any class over the internet irregardless of the persons situation. I value reading the room, prompting people, etc. If item two is passed I’d never teach at Noisebridge out of respect for the consensus process.

idk. imo: If we know a consensus will need future provisions it shouldn’t be passed? :woman_shrugging:.

:heart:

Wish I could make it without compromising my current situation. Can’t wait to interact with you irl, and, will disclose who I am (and reference these posts) when we meet up so I’m not just some “anonymous” person online.