One Can Dream - ICOIL

From my Perspective: A Secretary's chronicles

UPDATE January 2009, From the People's Secretary: In 2009, the Indiana SILC (ICOIL) continues to disregard, disempower, and defraud residents of Indiana with and without disabilities at the tax payer's expense. For more information and the most recent updates onecandream interactive community at

Meeting Tally From October 2006 - November 2007:
7 Meetings Held, 7 Meetings Cancelled - 5 cancelled due to lack or belief would be lack of quorum; one held meeting evacuated by the police,
2 held meetings adjourned less then 15 minutes (when room was reserved for 4 hours).

Download Important Documents at From Secretary's Chronicles Documents Page
Onecandream Dimenet Posting Archives

August 30, 2007: E-mail officially sent to the council, feds, and other interested parties
Summary Outstanding OFFICIAL Requests that need to be officially addressed.

NEW: Overview of ICOIL Meeting Accomplishments from June 2006 - August 2007
Then Versus Now Officer Comparison Charts

I learned very quickly that there is nothing simplistic about Indiana's Statewide Independent Living Council also known as ICOIL. Since my appointment in May, I have learned a great deal. I still have a lot to learn as I roll through the ICOIL valley. The following is ICOIL from my perspective. But First...

Who are these people?

2000 or 2001: I attended my first ICOIL meeting back in 2000 or 2001 as an audience member. During that meeting the current council admitted to not having even read the state plan they were supposed to be voting on. At this time the council was obviously more concerned about their own personal gain, then assisting and empowering people with disabilities in Indiana. I wanted nothing to do with it and left.

December 2005: Having returned to Indiana, and wanting to get involved, I attended an ICOIL meeting. Unfortunately there was no quorum and council could not meet. Met Melissa Madill she said the council needed people like me and that she would send me an application. She never sent one, but I found it on-line and applied anyway.

March 2006: Contacted by Governors office and agreed to extensive background required of potential members of the council. (Unless you are a center director). Anyone originally appointed to the council as a center director did not have to go through the background check. This inconsistantly applied policy is problematic.

March and April 2006: Attended ICOIL as an audience member

May 2006 (Before the meeting): I was informed I was a member of the council the two days before the council meeting VIA e-mail from Jodi James the chair. This e-mail contained the ICOIL May Agenda, Modified 1990 Draft bylaws, SPIL Hearing Proceedures, and a Draft version of the April Minutes.. I did not recieve notice of any regular meeting date schedule, then or at any time since. At this point, a regular meeting date schedule has not been set because the council is not official, but attending members agree until a policy is in place to meet from 1-5 est in order to have adequate time for discussion. See April Minutes.

May 10th ICOIL Meeting: Largely confusing for me. Main concern discussed was which bylaws we were operating under, and whether or not the Ruben Center was a center. Richard Simers offers his advice and expertise and sends me hard copy packet of information. I get further confused. I get further determined to become informed. I begin asking questions and talking with people.

May 13: I ask for Information so that I can be an informed council member. Keith Coros sends out his Thoughtsto the entire council and sparks a conversation. Providing a great deal of information and insight.

May 18th:Met with Pat Stewart who was nice enough to explain some things. She told me that All meetings whether they were committee meetings or council meetings needed to be open to the public. That Center Directors were on the council to provide a foundation, and that hopefully they can be phased out in the future. That all of the CIL Directors except one have agreed to work together to save the council.

May 20th:Sent a letter regarding the council to the council.

Bylaw Committee Meetings - During my first meeting, Joanna Wiltalski and I joined the Bylaw Policy and Proceedure Committee chaired by Teresa Mager. Had two meetings before June ICOIL Meeting. Attended both. Developed bylaws. Was asked directly at my second meeting how I intended to vote. Felt uncomfortable, but answered honestly that at that point I was willing to vote yes on the bylaws. Was asked to let them know if that changed. I said I would. Note: a lot has happened since then and I have not been allowed to participate in this committee, of which I am a member. My repeated requests for a call in number as a member of the committee has been ignored. Appears to work this way because I have not voted in accordance to their will

June 9: Sent out a request and offer to the council that I have the opportunity to see what is going on in their community and an offer to provide my services while I learned about indiana

June 14th: - Joined the state plan committee learned that changes were made to the state plan, and the information was not distributed properly at public hearings. Effectively learned the current state plan is not what people had an opportunity to vote on or comment on. Also had June ICIOL meeting where Jodi James, and I were elected officers by unanimous vote. Download approved minutes of the June meeting here. This is the meeting where the bylaws were past. Click here to see the bylaw Committee report read by Teresa Mager chair of the bylaw committee

June 15th: Read the what the bylaws required of the Secretary, and attempted to do my job by requesting people send me information regarding the membership ledger. Got some not nice and an even hurtful non-productive reply. See some of what happened when I requested Ledger information required by the bylaws. Note: as referenced in the e-mail accidently sent to me, the council is well aware of the fact an Audio-loop has been requested by a council member and does need to be purchased

June 15-21: Realize it is not possible for me to do my duties as secretary, and be the chair of the Ad Hoc Website committee. See what happens when I acknowledge I have too much on my plate and resign as Chair of the Website committee in an attempt to delegate.

June 19th: Wrote letter to the people

July 6th: Frustrated with the response I was getting from the council for trying to do my volunteer job as secretary, but still hopeful that the council could be responsive leaders...I sent out Yet another letter to the entire council. I don't think it worked.

July 12th Before the Meeting: A council member advised me that it was not necessary to keep the source documents of the meetings, and that in fact it was safer not to. I also attended the finance committee to request a consistant non-biased policy with regards to compensation be developed which would not discriminate against me as an independent contractor (that has lost substancial income due to working on this council.)

July 12th ICOIL Meeting (The beginning of the Real Bad): Jodi James attends this meeting by phone because of a wheelchair malfunction. Emas Bennett the Vice Chair did not attend in person, nor did he teleconference even though he said that he was going to. The chair of the bylaw committee gives me hard copy of the bylaws to sign. Al Tolbert chairs the meeting, and from there things start getting pretty bad. Highlights from this meeting are that the June minutes are officially passed. There was still a refusal to set up an unbiased compensation policy not having the appearance of being based on how a person votes (a trend which currently continues...denying me compensation allowed in the bylaws). Pat Stewart, and Melissa Madill claim they have further information and that committee meetings do not have to be open to the public, (despite what they told me and what it says in the bylaws). Their reasoning because committees don't make decisions and are not covered by the open door law. I tried to make a motion that all our meetings were open to the public in accordance with open door and our bylaws....nobody would second. Actually Jodi James the official chair seconded, but because she was on the phone Richard Simers said that she could not do make motions or vote because of the open door law. Al Tolbert acting chair agreed with Richard and my motion died due to lack of a second. The Council refused to honor the request of a fellow council member to read an ADA Complaint ignoring repeated requests from both the Chair and Secretary. See For yourself. Click here to download the draft minutes and watch the videos

July 18th (Open Door and bylaw concerns):Still had concerns about the idea our committee meetings did not have to be open to the public. Had to read the hard copy of the bylaws anyway before I signed it, I wanted to make sure what I signed was what the council voted on. To protect myself and make sure the council was informed, to the council at large I sent out an e-mail outlining portions of the bylaws which indicate our meetings should be open. In the process I discovered minor differences between the hard copy bylaws I was given to sign and the one that was voted on. I sent a detailed e-mail to the executive committee and chair of the bylaw committee. To the rest of the council I briefly mentioned I had concerns so that they were informed of a potential problem.

To Be Filled in

August 4 - Executive Committee meeting - I attended in person in order to address the bylaw issue. Meeting Minutes coming soon.

August 9th ICOIL Meeting:Meeting highlights council nullified the Executive Committee that was open to the public. A committee was formed to address meeting length and address the needs of people not to sit on their rear, and the council voted not to allow the chair to follow the bylaws. See video and download minutes

August 19th (re-request fair compensation policy): - replied to Keith Coros the treasurer and chair of the finance committees request for what was needed with regards to purchaseable accommodations. Also sent Keith a reminder and a repeated request for a consistant policy for compensation which was applied fairly regardless of how a particular person voted on an issue.

Chair Cancels Meeting Proof and evidence: Check out The Secretary's Chronicles Documents Page for further information.

September 1st Executive Committee Meeting: Jodi James as Chair calls Executive Committee meeting that is open to the public. The Executive Committee discuss the meeting cancellation, and the majority of the Executive committee, with input from others in attendence including Al Tolbert, and Richard Simers, decide to reschedule the already cancelled meeting to September 22 2006. View September Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

More coming soon

September 22: The gathering which was held in violation of the open door law and the ADA. This meeting was not a legitimate meeting and was not held in accordance with our bylaws. During this meeting where the primary agenda seems to have been to remove officers (Behind their backs) who are trying to make sure the council is compliant with applicable laws and are actually responsive to people with disabilities. Download minutes and see the videos of this gathering At this gathering they accused both myself and Jodi James the Chair of breach of ethics, misconduct and dereliction of duty of office without providing evidence.

October 11th (First Amendment Rights Violated): Jodi James the chair and Ramona Harvey try to provide the council with information and evidence regarding the validity of the meeting. They requested evidence of misconduct, breach of ethics and dereliction of duty and was not only not provided any evidence, but were not allowed to defend themselves or read statements. While I was reading my statement not causing physical harm or being a physical threat to anyone the police were called. My first amendment rights were violated. Just watch the Video Statements to be posted soon.

October 19th (First chance to look at modified minutes and 704 report): Dee Ann Hart sends out copies of the modified versions of the July and August minutes - presumably on behalf of Al Tolbert (minutes are not signed). This is the first opportunity that I have had to see them, as I did not get a copy at the October meeting, and they were not sent out prior to the October meeting so that council members had an opportunity to look at them and submit corrections.Despite the fact the council repeatedly requested that motions, points of order, votes, brief summaries and things officially said for the record be included in these minutes...several of these things are missing from these modified versions of my minutes. These documents are no consistant with either the with source documents or the expressed "Will" of the council. Download modified minutes and original draft versions here. Dee Ann Hart also sends out a copy of ICOIL's 2005 704 report (downloadable here) I am glad to recieve it, especially given that as a council member since May, who has repeatedly asked for any necessary documentation, I did not know we actually had a 704 report.

November 8th ICOIL meeting - still no answers, or evidence of wrong doing: Upon arrival discover that the conference room doors are locked even though the doors are typically never locked. Room is reserved from 12:30 to 5 pm for ICOIL meeting yet, the doors were not opened until 1 pm. The people with keys were instructed by the state not to open the doors until Nancy Young was present. Police officers are in the building early. Because council members did not show up, there was not a quorum and none of the important issues on the November Agenda which included addressing how to become compliant with Federal Law could be addressed, because there was no quorum. However, several important things were discussed including the audioloop, and the Sept. 13th gathering. See November 8th ICOIL Minutes. Unfortunately no answers or evidence was provided with regards to any dereliction of duty, breach of ethics, or misconduct, on the part of the duly elected officers, Jodi James and Ramona Harvey.

November 8th After ICOIL meeting(Governors office), Jodi, Ramona and about 25 supporters and people with disabilities went to the governors office to request a meeting. An appointment was set for about 10-12 people to meet with a member of the governors staff the following friday.

Friday November 17th 2006 (First meeting with Governors Staff and the States Lawyer) About 12 people including Jodi James and Ramona Harvey show up for the scheduled appointment with a staff member who initially refused to meet with the entire group though they were told the group was coming.

More later, but important outcomes: were another meeting was scheduled to discuss concerns about term appointments. We agreed to four specific people attending this meeting. Three members of the council, and one individual who should be on the council according to Indiana State law.

December 5th and 6th (Second meeting with Governor's Staff) - I drove 3 hours to meet with Mr. Vanator without getting any reimbursements for mileage to discuss important concerns of the council. True to our word the meetings were with the four agreed upon individuals. Though not every one of the four individuals who attended this meeting were able to be there in person (due to transportation problems). Those individuals who could not make it teleconferenced. We met for approximately 9 hours, over the course of 2 days and I left those meetings full of hope that something would be done to address the systemic problems associated with the council. I gave my personal word to Jon that I would work with him to help make sure the council was compliant with the laws, and work to try to get to a point where meetings could be productive...He mentioned the possibility of cancelling the December meeting, I stated that if he were to do that because of the situation we were in any cancellation needed to come in writing from the Governors office. He agreed to send any notice in writing, and I agreed to wait for his direction and send him the information he requested.

December 6th after the meeting (LATE): After driving 3 hours, I sent a follow up e-mail letter to Mr. Vanator providing some of the information which had been requested, and promising to get the other information as soon as possible. I also wanted to reiterate the need to have something in writing given the situation.

December 7th: Sent the requested Council member attendence record From May 2006 - Nov 2006 This information included attendence to the Executive committee meetings which were open to the public. I also sent a copy of the marked up bylaws because Mr. Vanator specifically requested that I provide him a copy of the bylaws with comments. He asked me to create a document similiar to the documents created comparing original version of the July and August Minutes to the modified versions of those minutes. He felt that both the July Minutes Comparison Document and the August Minutes Comparison Document were helpful. After that I had nothing to do but wait until I heard from the Governor's office.

December 11th 2006Recieved a letter from the office of the Governor by Certified mail removing me from office. Also recieved an e-mail from Vanator expressing a desire to work with me to make sure the states obligation to the disabled is filled. See Letter I recieved from the Governor's office

December 13th December ICOIL Council meeting: Council members vote to allocate money and resources to each other. Council members vote on a meeting schedule for 2007. Because Nancy Young was not able to get a room in the Government Center, and it would be good to have a Vacation.... The Council voted to adopt a meeting Schedule for 2007 in which there is no meeting for April of 2007. The council also voted to not post ending times so that they could finish the meeting at their convenience regardless of how long the room is scheduled for. This way if anyone from the public arrives late, they can't complain about the council not being there. See Documentation and Video of the December meeting Note: No code of conduct was passed.

January 10th 2007: January Meeting the ICOIL Councilmember Binder is introduced and contains several things which the council never voted to accept including a code of conduct that they claim was adopted in December but was not. Substantial time is wasted determining the mininal requirements needed with regards to public hearings and communicating with the people. Office space and the need to clear out old irrelevant documentation is discussed. Al Tolbert volunteers to help get rid of old meeting documentation and tapes which are likely not needed. Council decides to look into consolidating documentation into one filing cabinet which can be kept in the government building. Council members express concern about storage issues and were basically brushed off. See Documentation and Video of the January meeting

February ICOIL Meeting: February 2007 ICOIL Meeting Cancelled with no notice to the Public

March 14th, 2007 Monthly Business Meeting (Cancelled): Originally scheduled to last only 30 mins. The agenda for this meeting included no public comment and Dee Ann Hart the Chair refused to put public comment on the Agenda. This meeting was cancelled when the council was asked to leave the facility because they wished to call the police on a member of the public for trying to introduce themselves. See information regarding the Public Facilitated Training.

March 14th 2007 Public Facilitated Discussion: I tried to introduce myself, and the council voted to call the Police. Training began open to the public, but was moved to IRCIL when the building people at the location of the training was being held kicked the council out. At IRCIL the training was closed. Watch the Video online for yourself and visit The Secretary's Chronicles documents page for further information.

After the March 2007 Public Facilitated Discussion:
Empowerment Hell created True Poem about my experience with trying to work with the ICOIL Council.
It Feels Pretty Powerless List Created If only it could have been an Empowerment List... In response to a comment at the Public Facilitated Discussion

April 15 I discover that the council still refuses to keep me informed of council meetings. Though the council specifically voted not to have a meeting in April and officially told several members of the public they were not going to have a meeting, I find out that they are planning to meet on the third tuesday of the month April 17th, which is not their regularly scheduled date. See my repeated official request to be kept informed.

April 17 2007 (Cancelled): Indiana SILC Questions the ADA Council attempts to meet even though the public was told there would not be a meeting and was not subsequently informed there was a change in the schedule. Meeting Cancelled because of lack of an accommodation which was repeatedly requested. As Chair, Dee Ann Hart, informs the public that she will not make efforts to make sure members of the public who are on the mailing list are aware of meeting changes.

May 9, 2007:Council members meet, but ignore official request to address specific concerns about HB 1001 Council adjourns meeting after only about 10 mins, and leaves though audience emplores them to stay and discuss important issues impacting people with disabilities. Watch the video and check out and check out the documents section of the secretary's chronicles for more info.

June Coming soon check out Documents Page

July Coming soon check out Documents Page

August More Coming soon check out Documents Page

August 30th 2007 Sent council an E-mail summarizing outstanding official requests that need to be officially addressed at this point.

September 12 2007 Highlights: Dee Ann acknowledges at the ICOIL meeting that both Danny Grissom and Beth Crain have resigned some time before this meeting. The council now does not have a majority of people with disabilities not associated with a Disability, even on paper and therefore should not be able to meet, but they go ahead and meet anyway. Discuss membership crises, the meeting schedules, and nominations of officers. For more information visit the Documents Page

October 10 2007 - For more information visit the Documents Page

November 14 2007: No Quorum more information soon, visit the Documents Page

It appears that though it is supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, on ICOIL it is guilty because you are innocent.