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

Zach, your rhetoric and false accusations are really over the top.

broccoli isn’t refusing to engage on Discuss any more than you are refusing to engage in Slack. Should he start grandstanding about how bad you are for that? Because you’re doing that to him.

You keep framing it that way but ignore the cogent reasoning from broccoli and @themanmaran.

Does every concert, Meetup group, movie screening, and every other in-person event that is “not accessible to those with disabilities” violate the ADA by being in-person events rather than remote ones? Of course not.

People too poor to have computers can’t read what you just typed. Does that make you a classist bigot deliberately excluding the most impoverished? That’s what your own logic implies here, and it’s absurd.

Something Better

The constructive way to go about all this would be to encourage people to host remote events so that more people can benefit from Noisebridge, especially those who are disabled or cannot make it to Noisebridge for any other reason.

Accusing @themanmaran of bigotry against the disabled for promoting do-ocracy over bureaucracy, and accusing @anonymous25 / @anonymous26 of the same for catering in-person events to people attending in-person, is a really disgusting thing for you two to do. I would like you to apologize to them for those smears.

Try to conduct yourselves in a way that doesn’t rely on specious logic and over-the-top accusations to try and get your way. “Going the extra mile to make your events online-friendly is even more Excellent!” will get you a lot further than ~“you are a bigot”.

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  1. I was asking the access reason why broccoli doesn’t want to join this forum. They specifically stated they don’t have access here, so I was wondering what the access issue is. Using slack is hard with my disabilities, even harder than typing in here with voice recognition software.

  2. There is bigotry and ableism in this thread. Whether or not it is intentional, is another issue. Denying that is just silly. I’m not going to apologize to people for behaving in oppressive way and asking that I apologize is a bit odd and weirdly paternal.

I’m not asking for any apologies, I know bigotry exists and most people are bigoted unconsciously. I do call it out when I see it though, which is still somewhat taboo in our passive-aggressive culture.

  1. Your response around the American with Disabilities Act clearly suggests that you should read up on it and wow, clearly you have strong views against improving access.

Most of the things I’m asking for here are required by law, and getting pushback for basic disability access (which is readily available, by the way) is troubling, to say the least.

  1. What I’m asking for it doesn’t even cost money. At least when the community wouldnt repair the elevator at 2169 or raise money for it, there was some argument around cost and effort. This however, is totally unbelievable.

Hi Zach I found a way to log in finally. Discuss wasn’t allowing me to reset my password for ages so I havent had access to Discuss except to read what people wrote. I REALLY don’t appreciate you calling me a biggot. The tactics and name calling you are using right now are totally uncalled for. I don’t have any major issues with the stated goals of your consensus items. What I do have a problem with is the climate of this discussion, maybe the wording or interpretation of the consensus items, and possibly of how they will actually be implemented. I have a big problem with you calling me a bigot and I think its emblematic of the way you are approaching this.
Overall I’m also not happy with how the discourse has gone on during the pandemic over these zoom meetings and I don’t think that the full community is being engaged.

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Great, can you explain exactly what you do have a problem with in some detail here? As I posted above, I can’t make sense of the concerns you raised.

Can you also explain why exactly you don’t want Noisebridge to be in compliance with the American with Disabilities Act? Thats all that these proposals do.

Your answers to those two questions would help me understand where you’re coming from a little more.

I’m honestly not sure I can really engage with you right now after you called me a bigot, then want to twist things into saying I’m somehow against the ADA. I have a problem with the CLIMATE of this discussion.

The reason I’m asking these questions is so that I can understand where you’re coming from and retract my previous statement, if needed.

You’re the only capital M member issuing hard blocks against passing all consensus items that literally quote the American with Disabilities Act and requires noisebridge to allow disabled people to access the space better.

As a disabled person trying to access the space, I find this very hurtful and would appreciate some discussion and explanation of your position.

Let me know what we can do to improve the climate, (carbon footprint aside).

My main concern is passing more consensus items when we are in a state of emergency and when Noisebridge is closed. This is how I feel and several members of the community have voiced similar concerns. I don’t think zoom is the same as Noisebridge. I don’t think this forum is the same as Noisebridge. I don’t think it makes sense to rush consensus items through when the community is not intact and you can’t have one on one or group discussions with people. Instead I see discussion getting shut down, name calling, and any question or concern that people might have about the wording or meaning of your proposal (expressed through this particular medium) and suddenly they’re an ablist biggot.

So to recapitulate this conversation, the pro/con are:


  • (Online NB meetings / classes) Many people can now participate that haven’t before due to online meetings, notably the disabled.

  • (ADA signs / posts) Do-ocracy alone isn’t permanent enough of a measure because it can be overriden at any time.

  • Legal precedence : by refusing, we are specifically acting against a standard law and thereby making a statement in opposition to it and whom it protects (i.e. the disabled).


  • (Signs and posts) Making laws on topics everyone at NB agrees on is abusing a process reserved for significant or controversial changes only

  • Passing expansive measures when Noisebridge is technically closed will alienate many members of the community

  • (Online meetings) Meetings and classes will be more difficult to conduct due to lack of visible social cues in video meetings.

Where in the ADA does it say that every in-person event must be augmented to become a remotely-accessible event? Do you really believe that Circuit Hacking Mondays have been illegal this entire time due to their in-person nature and no remote option for attendance? Do you believe that it should be illegal for Noisebridge to provide Circuit Hacking Mondays in person only, as per your interpretation of ADA, and that Noisebridge should face heavy fines for not somehow providing remote options for everything we do?

(I would appreciate it if you would answer these questions.)

I’ve dug into this further and found the following: Title II doesn’t even mention the word “remote”, and Title III says nothing relevant except for the small excerpts that you have quoted then provided misleading commentary on.

There is nothing in any of the articles I found that supports your legal theory that implies that in-person-only Circuit Hacking Mondays are illegal and that all other in-person events in the US are illegal unless people can remotely attend.

The closest cases ruled upon seem to be for disabled employees trying to work remotely. 70% of these cases (21 of 30) ruled that remote accommodations cannot be legally demanded for remote workers under ADA, much less those seeking a service from a nonprofit:

Your comment is not an honest portrayal of this situation. You are trying to get what you want through demonization, which is not Excellent.

If someone running an in-person class wants to go the extra mile and be extra Excellent by providing a remote setup, great, but I think you should argue this on the merits and not make up legal interpretations that are not supported by US law as you continue to insist:

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Thanks for clarifying.

  1. Is this the sole reason that you are blocking?

  2. Will you be attending the meeting tonight?

  3. Would you withhold your block if we were in a situation later on where Covid is over and the space is physically reopened, or would you block for other reasons?

@culteejen I appreciate you trying to help summarize things, but the summary here has some inaccuracies.

  1. Are you a member in good standing blocking this item(s)?

  2. Will you be at the zoom Tuesday meeting tonight?

I understand that you do not want to provide equal access to those with disabilities. Access is a right, it is not a privilege to be granted on the whim of whoever is teaching a particular class to be “extra excellent.”

  1. If you have more questions about the legalities of the ADA and how it applies noisebridge, we can discuss that at the meeting tonight.

  2. Are you a capital M member in good standing and are you blocking these item(s)?

  3. Will you be attending the meeting tonight?

This thread can go on for a long time, I hope people can attend the meeting tonight so we can have a fruitful conversation discussing these issues and hopefully come to a compromise where we can support those with disabilities having access to Noisebridge.

Zach, I hate to say it but I really doubt that we are going to have a fruitful discussion tonight. I really thought this thread was going to go in a more productive direction when it started.

But I feel you are really failing to understand the consensus process. By calling everyone who disagrees with you a “bigoted ableist” you’re not facilitating discussion. You’re shutting it down.

Also your constant question of “are you a Big M Member” seems to indicate that you only care about the individual if you feel they could legitimately threaten your proposal(s). The goal of a consensus discussion is to include the entire community.

Finally I would like to remind you that the “be excellent to each other” rule applies online as well as in person. If someone were to engage in the same level of namecalling at Noisebridge itself, they would be asked to leave.


That is factually untrue. I have called out one persons bigotted behavior and a couple of ableist comments. It has not been “everyone who disagrees with me.” I’ve also pointed out that most bigotry and ableism is unconscious and I ask for no apologies.

There has been some good discussion in here and hopefully there will be some better discussion tonight.

I hope that you and others can keep an open heart and an open mind so we can make progress on these consensus items and improve access at Noisebridge for those with disabilities.

For my part, I will listen to concerns about privacy and other valid arguments and do my best to hold my tongue when I believe people are behaving it an ableist / biggoted way.

I will not be at tonight’s zoom meeting but I may be at future ones. I have been a bit frustrated by the zoom meetings which is why I stopped going to them. I’m definitely not going to a zoom meeting where someone is going to be calling me a bigoted ableist and attempting to twist my words while others transcribe it. I will definitely make sure to read the notes though, and in the meantime if there is an overwhelming indication that I’m being a tyrant then I will withdraw my block. I’ve stated a few of my concerns already, and others have also raised concerns worthy of consideration. My top concern is the fact that Noisebridge is closed due to a state of emergency, and that I can not have the one-on-one or group conversations with the community that I am used to (zoom is not the same, neither is discuss). I don’t see the immediate urgency of rushing to a decision on these consensus items during the pandemic. After the state of emergency is lifted and Noisebridge is open again I don’t see any clear reason to block; I would simply like the opportunity to listen to what the community thinks when it is intact.

(Re-)affirming the right to telepresence and recording in the space (during volunteer-run classes or otherwise) seems like a really interesting and important topic and I hope we can continue the discussion through Noisebridge’s re-opening while being open-minded and respectful of oneanother. I have a feeling that any consensed right to telepresence in the space will by necessity need to be very narrow and have it’s wording carefully thought through. I certainly do not want to be at the center of this discussion (having the burden of being a “capital M member”) but I am happy to participate.

This will be my final comment in this thread,
as, I just need some time to meditate and
think about life. I’ll take it upon myself to
learn more about ableism in general. I found
some things on wikipedia about it as a
starting point, but any books on the subject
recommended by the noisebridge communnity
would be very much appreciated.

In the spirit of responding to all questions
asked of me, I’ll do so, but please know that
there is no intentional malace coming from
my end.

I usually am present via this option. While I
usually don’t comment at all during the
meetings (even when we were open), I enjoy
being online even-if no one knows who I am.

The riseup pad is heckin’ awesome because
it requires no account, no request to join,
and is truly anonymous, but, you bring up
some great points that I can’t ignore about
it: More thoughts on this later.

While I probably won’t be present via riseup
this time to give myself some mental space, I
have expressed my thoughts here, and, as dumb
as it sounds, spent hours on those two short
replies & this post as well :3

Posting here on discuss let’s me move at a
slower & more comfortable pace when it comes
to online communications with the wider
Noisebridge community.

With in-person Noisebridge meetings, I have
nowhere to hide. While I might be hella
awkward in these meetings, a real-time
discussion can happen there, and, I can use
an alias hiding who I actually am in the
meeting minutes on riseup — but, typically
I’m silent anwyays.

With lectures, well. It’s basically the same
except there isn’t a concept of broadcasting
in those scenarios, and, I’m usually the one
doing most of the talking.

Social anxiety is a fault in my character,
and, someday hope to truly overcome it.

Totally. I dislike the current state of most
communication platforms today (unfree,
backdoors, walled-gardens, …). It’s been an
active dream of mine for years to break away
from all of this.

Had the fun (dumb?) thought this morning of
having a “monitor/screen per person” that
could be placed in the room that would solve
the whole “can’t see you, but you can see me”
sort of deal. Noisebridge always receives a
bunch of donated VGA computer monitors that
could be put to use! Still has the issue of
“remote users could be recording this” and
what-not, but, again, it’s more of a personal
fear of mine when it comes to online presence
than any technical barrier.

As you mentioned, and, I never really thought
about it before: riseup is kind of terrible
for true real-time participation remotely. It
never really bothered me personally, because,
well, I’m kind of a social recluse.

e.g. When folks remotely participate on
riseup, it’s typically in chunks of
pre-written text, and, they have to be
noticed by the meeting going on to be
recognized. By me communicating here in this
discussion, I view it as an extension of the
“general meeting” in a format I’m more
comfortable with during this time.

I like the pace of discussions here, as, it’s
not a single “meeting” of sorts — like —
it doesn’t feel so fast, and, allows for slow

hell yeah we are!


thanks your reachout. :heart:

I’ve got a lot to think about.

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I have already stated previously that I will do my best to hold my tongue and not call out any bigotry or ableism.

Since you are blocking the proposed items for ADA disability access, and you are the primary Capital M block here, it would be really excellent for you to come to the meeting tonight so we can hear your concerns and position.

This is not an excellent use of the block. I should hope that you would provide some clear reasons for what you were blocking and why you feel strongly enough to use the blocking power to prevent increased ADA disability access to Noisebridge.

I would appreciate if you could be extra clear on this point. Does your block consist entirely of passing no consensus items during covid-19 but you would have no reason to block these consensus proposals as they are written right now once the space is reopened?

I ask again that you please attend the meeting tonight to listen to the community and discuss your block. If there’s a short portion of the meeting you want me to leave for or mute myself for, I’m willing to do that so that you will feel comfortable to express yourself.

For the record, this is a travesty of a conversation and not the kind of communication that results in upholdable Consensus.

The great thing about true Consensus is that when it’s achieved, things go fairly easy, because everyone’s on board.

The hard part about true Consensus is that everyone needs to be on board. Truly. Heart and soul.

If people aren’t on board with the process of Consensus, we cause community fractures, resentment, and a devaluing of Consensus itself.

Let’s treat this more seriously…

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I am not sure who this is directed to, but one thing I can say for most all involved here, is that we are all taking it seriously. If we weren’t taking it seriously, we wouldn’t have anything to disagree on. It would just be “grab a brew and netflix and chill.”

I disagree. I think there have been some good points made and some hurtful things said, but I wouldn’t call it a “travesty.” We need to discuss things as a community if we are going to reach decisions together. Those discussions can be contentious sometimes, that’s just the way life works.

There are plenty of consensus items that people go along with, without “Heart and Soul.” I feel you are setting an exceptionally high bar for these disability access proposals.

One thing that I would love to see Noisebridge build a better framework for is ensuring the rights and access of minority groups.

People with disabilities are the minority at Noisebridge - we don’t have the same voting power or social capital. Yet, we ask from the community for basic disability access to the programs and services of the space.

It is an unfair burden for any minority group trying to attain equality, and especially difficult with this current process. Maybe one day, Noisebridge will have a better one. But for now, it is the only formal process Noisebridge offers for minority groups to engage in.

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Instead of dismissing the conversation out-of-hand, changing the subject, or treating our seeming disagreements as the end of the discussion, maybe we could to try to talk about whether we could improve the current consensus proposals to address all concerns raised here?

Can we figure out how to provide remote access without violating anyone’s privacy? Can we “go above and beyond” by incorporating accessibility improvements to the new space, and what we could do to make that as awesome and welcoming for as many different groups of people as possible? Can we make the language more concise, maybe reduce the number of items?

@elimisteve, I think it’s awesome that you decided to dive into the practical implementations of the ADA. I’d be interested to know how come the majority of your selected examples are cases where rulings went against the disabled people? Was it difficult to find instances where it went the other way? And how do you think we should be interpreting those cases? Are there lessons that we can use to craft a truly excellent accessibility policy for Noisebridge?


Sure, I did not make myself sufficiently clear.

In order for Consensus proposals to actually function as intended after they are passed, you have to create Consensus.

“Heart and Soul” isn’t a bar for the individual consensus proposal to pass. It’s the bar for the Consensus process itself to pass.

If you treat the passing of a consensus item as if it is the trophy of war, you will not achieve consensus. If you manage to brow-beat people into accepting what you want, you will not have enough people on the other end of that shallow victory willing to implement what you want.

That means that when people express concerns, even if they are not Members and cannot block, it’s strategically important to listen to what they have to say.

I realize it’s hard to consider what people have to say when you’re disadvantaged and constantly feel like you have to fight for equity.

In conclusion, I suggest we let @Rikke lead the charge so that the burden doesn’t fall on @Zach.