People, Planet & Peace
The Massachusetts Affiliate of the Green Party of the United States
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Title: Let's Ensure that All GRP Activities are Inclusive and Accesible To People With Disabilities

 



SHEPARD/FLOOR MANAGER/SPONSOR: Assabet River Valley Chapter

CO-SPONSORS: Danny Factor (Middlesex), Frank Jackson (Middlesex)

VETTING COMMITTEES:  This proposal has been vetted by the Membership,Diversity and Volunteer Recruitment Committee.
                                        This proposal has been vetted by Ad Com.

EXPLANATORY BACKGROUND:

This proposal calls for the Green-Rainbow Party to take steps to ensure that wherever and whenever possible, all GRP activities are inclusive and accessible to people with mental and physical disabilities.

Mindful that:

  • Our 10 key values state that "every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect his or her life" and  "we must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, as to barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and heterosexism, ageism and disability,"
     
  • Both the GRUS Platform and GRP Party Agenda speak of the importance of equal rights and access for people with disabilities...

inclusion and access for people with disabilities should include wherever and whenever possible the ability to fully participate in all Green-Rainbow Party activities, whether it be traveling or attending to a chapter meeting, attending and participating in our statewide convention, participating in teleconferences, and participating in events such as protests, marches and parades.

Such inclusion and access is necessary if we truly believe that every single person deserves dignity, respect and love. In addition, the credibility of our party is at stake. We are supposed to be a party of actions, not just words. Positive change comes when people together practice what they preach and are a model for others. The GRP can do more to provide access and inclusion to people with disabilities who want to be active party members-- and it should. 

SUMMARY:  It is to be a priority that all GRP entities (defined as including but not limited to Party Chapters, Committees, Conventions and Events) thoroughly consider all possible tangible actions to provide maximum access and inclusion possible for people with disabilities, including but not limited to issues of transportation, physical access, hearing and visual loss, mental disabilities, and respect for the right of people to be as independent as they would like. The list of possible accommodations in the proposal is not an exhaustive list. The GRP Participation Fund’s role will be expanded to include providing funds for access to people with disabilities. The Membership, Diversity, Volunteer and Recruitment Committee (MDVRC) may be consulted if assistance is required in making a decision about accommodating people with disabilities.  AdCom, State Com and the MDVRC may choose to follow up on how our entities are performing in regard to accommodating and including people with disabilities.

 

TEXT OF PROPOSAL:

It is to be a priority that all GRP entities (defined as including but not limited to Party Chapters, Committees, Conventions and Events) thoroughly consider all possible tangible actions to provide maximum access and inclusion possible for people with disabilities.

Examples of steps that GRP entities should thoroughly consider taking are:

(This is not an exhaustive list.)

1) Paying for or providing transportation to and from events for individuals who would otherwise be prevented from attending an event

2) Paying for vehicles to allow individuals with disabilities to participate in marches and parades.

3) Having all GRP events in spaces that are fully accessible to people with physical disabilities including parking, entry/egress, restrooms and where applicable eating facilities, stages and podiums.

4) Providing accommodations to people with visual or hearing disabilities such as  CART (Communication Access Real Time Translation), voice to text software, sign language interpretation, and braille/large type, where these individuals would otherwise not be able to access the content of our activities and materials.  

5) Accommodating to dietary conditions, food allergies, and environmental and chemical sensitivity.

6) Demonstrating sensitivity to individuals who have mental disabilities including but not limited to developmental disabilities, mental illness and cognitive and emotional disabilities.   

7) Demonstrating sensitivity to the struggles of people with disabilities and their right to conduct ones activities in as independent a way as one would like.

8) The appointment of an individual in the entity to be a lookout for matters pertaining to any person with disabilities.

The GRP Participation Fund’s role will be expanded to include providing funds for access to people with disabilities.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT: Will depend, as each entity has the authority to make its own decision, however the financial impact could be substantial.

 IMPLEMENTATION:  To be implemented by each entity. The Membership, Diversity, Volunteer and Recruitment Committee (MDVRC) may be consulted if assistance is required in making a decision about accommodating people with disabilities.  AdCom, State Com and the MDVRC may choose to follow up on how our entities are performing in regard to accommodating and including people with disabilities.

 

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Showing 9 reactions


commented 2015-01-09 17:29:24 -0500 · Flag
The bylaws in 11.5 states:
Affirmative Action. The Green-Rainbow Party is committed to encouraging participation by all Massachusetts residents. Every measure shall be taken to insure that no person shall be abridged of the right to participate on the basis of gender, religion, race, creed, physical ability, economics, or sexual orientation.

All that I am saying is that the Participation Fund as it now stands may fund the required accommodations on all events. Like with the candidate victory party, we may decline in the future to participate in events or use a location because the cost of accommodation may be too high or refusal by the venue to make the person feel included. For example, some being asked to use a back door may be unacceptable.
commented 2015-01-09 16:48:28 -0500 · Flag
Maureen, I sit on my town Commission on Disabilities. We survey the public and I can can guarantee you that at least in our town,many ADA accomodations such as accesible trails, and the many other accomodations which are provided are heavily used. Others are not as heavily used but still make a world of difference in making people feel included in our town. Of course, this proposal would not effect things like public trails; it just seeks to ensure that all GRP bodies are strongly considering disability access issues in the normal course of planning GRP events and activities to ensure that everyone feels included.

Ian, I dont think that the current balance or past donor contributions to the Participation Fund is relevant to being for or against this proposal. The point of the proposal is to ensure that GRP chapters, committees and conventions make it a regualar practice to consider accomodations and then plan to implement what can reasonably be accomodated, including the raising of more funds. As far as your comment in #4, it all depends how you define what is a “benefit.” Our chapters, committees and conventions must discuss how much does inclusion matter? Agreed that we need accurate estimates and reports of our costs.
commented 2015-01-09 16:44:41 -0500 · Flag
While I want to include as many people as possible, I do not want impossibly complex processes — “thoroughly consider all possible tangible actions to provide maximum access and inclusion” — to undermine our primary raison d’etre, which is to be a POLITICAL party & promote ideals the mainstream parties are ignoring.
I have no problem with having a better coordinated way of, for example, linking people who need a ride with people who can provide it, but agree with Elie’s observation that people must “act within my limitations rather than demand assistance because of those limitations. If I can attract assistance through mutuality of purpose, that is good.”
Beyond that, what is the Participation Fund’s current role? This is the first I’ve heard of it.
commented 2015-01-09 15:35:47 -0500 · Flag
I thought we already did that. I am all for inclusivity; from working on trails and such (wich all have to be ADA compliant) I am saddened that we do all this work to comply and no one who needs the ADA accomodations use them. That is sad. Hopefully, there will be some who use the planned accomodations that we are implementing.
commented 2015-01-08 16:47:57 -0500 · Flag
1) It is useful to remember that we need to include everyone.This is trying to figure how to implement something that is in our bylaws.

2) The Participation Fund has only raised 746.75 according to Nation Builder. (According to 2014 budget $400 was carried over.)

3) No donations have com in the past two years. Since the address is the N. Hatifield address, it is unlikely that donations made their way into the accounts.

4) For tracking purposes, we need a clear report of the cost of an event or location. This will help in cost effectively making the right choice. If a location or an event costs more to include our members, the party should get a more of benefit compared to a location or event that costs less that will allow a similar participation.

5) We need to remember that none of the special funds have large sums of money.
commented 2015-01-08 14:59:09 -0500 · Flag
As a result of others’ comments and also as a result of vetting, I have made some (I think) small changes to the proposal. The changes consist of 1) Adding the names of the committees that have vetted this proposal 2) Adding that the GRP Participation Fund’s role will be expanded to include providing funds for access to people with disabilities. 3)Expanding on the financial implications of the proposal and 4)Stating that the Membership, Diversity and Volunteer Recruitment Commitee may help GRP entities in accomodating people with disabilities.
commented 2014-12-20 18:00:38 -0500 · Flag
Excellent proposal. One suggestion for implementation: This policy should be sent to all local chapters and clubs, ward and town committees, and other local formations for their consideration. If the local entities find that they are in need of assistance, they should communicate this to Adcom.

Mike Heichman, Suffolk County
commented 2014-12-20 11:26:16 -0500 · Flag
Mixed. To me, as someone who suffers various disabilities, due to advanced age and loss of agility, the principle of inclusiveness is more connected with attitude. I expect that, as a party member, I will not be demanding, as partisan “priority,” compensatory consideration for my various situational disabilities, mental or physical. Party building will remain my priority and I will act within my limitations rather than demand assistance because of those limitations. If I can attract assistance through
mutuality of purpose, that is good.

Politically active in Cambridge, which includes work with people of various disabilities, and campaigners for personal rights, I am fully aware of the importance of respecting the rights of everyone including the rights of people who are less able than others. And also of the maladaptive operation of “ressentiment” in both able and less able people. Ecologically speaking, political inclusion is first and foremost a pragmatistic openness, an inclusion of difference, and especially of differences of opinion about what makes the GPUS and its affiliates, politically distinctive.
published this page in Winter 2015 Proposals 2014-12-19 22:04:33 -0500