I wanted to introduce myself, so they (ICOIL) voted to have me arrested.
Two days ago as a member of the public I drove 3 hours to Indianapolis in order to participate in a two day facilitated discussion regarding the Indiana Statewide Independent Living council.
The discussion was open to the public and the "chair", Dee Ann, gave NO indications to the public, prior to my arrival on the first day, that the public could not make any noise whatsoever...including involuntary laughter for the whole two day period.
It should be noted that I did not come to the meeting with any intentions of being particularly disruptive. This was the first meeting that I have even attended since November (when I attended as a council member). If my goal had been to be disruptive to the council, I would have done so before now. But that never has been my goal.
I did not go to this meeting with a mob of people wearing a "offensive" tee-shirts and carrying protest signs. I came wearing a pink sweater and a pair of blue jeans because it was going to be a long day and I wanted to be comfortable.
I came armed with only the truth, a binder full of all versions of their minutes, and an official copy of their bylaws which I signed when I was secretary. When I entered the room, I was not disruptive, I just shook Dee Ann's hand and said "Hello, Dee Ann, how are you doing?" then worked on finding an accessible path to the back of the room.
Things were fine until Dee Ann called the meeting to order, stated that the public could not participate in the public Facilitated discussion. I tried to get clarification, but all that did was lead to the council reading a code of conduct they never actually adopted at any meeting, and voting that the entire public, except those they liked, should leave.
There were seven center directors in that room (and one person trying to become a director), each of whom professed a love for the Independent Living Philosophy, and yet...nobody allowed me to get clarification, bothered to make sure I understood the particulars of what they were saying, or even had a problem with the fact they were discussing what they wanted me to do without even including me in the conversation...even as I sat in the room with my hand raised.
What ever happened to nothing about me without me?
The public did not leave and the council voted that we needed to be silent. But I still needed clarification, and I wanted the opportunity to at least be able to introduce myself after spending my own time and money travelling to Indianapolis.
They did not respond to my initial question, so I waited with my hand up until everyone was done introducing themselves and politely said to the Facilitator:
"I would like to introduce myself, Please, Sir"
Because I asked to introduce myself and later stated my name the council voted to have me arrested. So much for empowerment -- and their love for the IL philosophy.
Here are a few other things to note:
- I met Beth Quarles for the first time at the facilitated training. She had not been at any other meeting in over a year. There was no way that she could have known all of what had happened recently in ICOIL - yet she acted like an expert, even though she did not know who I was....and kept talking about ICOIL meetings being important. If she believes the meetings are important why doesn't she attend them?
- Several people expressed they were upset about loosing time and money. This included Melissa Madill who lives in Indy. They were all getting reimbursed....I was not...and I had to travel furthr then any of them. -- There is nothing that makes their time any more valuable then mine.
- These people are supposed to be representing the people they are supposed to be serving as center directors, but they are only representing their own best interest...and expending a great deal of energy trying to silence those who know this and are willing to speak the truth.
But you don't have to take my word for it. Watch the videos for yourself