SDS MEMBERSHIP DISCUSSION LIST GUIDELINES
Like the field of disability studies itself, the SDS discussion list is lively and informative, and these guidelines are intended to promote these challenging and productive discussions. Some suggestions are practical – such as how to reply to and forward messages – while others are directed toward encouraging newer members of the list to join in the discussion. These guidelines are not intended to stifle discussion or free expression on the SDS list.
WHAT IS THE SDS DISCUSSION LIST?
The Society for Disability Studies (SDS) is an international non-profit organization that promotes the exploration of disability through research, artistic production, and teaching. Disability studies encourages perspectives that place disability in social, cultural, and political context. Membership in SDS entitles you to participation on the SDS Membership discussion list. This discussion list is a virtual forum where members can participate in the exchange of ideas, information, and thoughtful discussion about disability studies.
WHAT ARE THE GUIDELINES FOR DISCUSSIONS ON THIS LIST?
The guidelines are fairly simple and straight-forward:
- Comments should be constructive; avoid put-downs of other people. For example, while it is acceptable to say you disagree with an idea, please do not make pejorative statements about the person putting forth the idea.
- When responding to list messages, please avoid duplicating the message to which you are replying in your own message. You can do this by simply deleting everything but your own message. Duplication is often inconvenient and/or costly to other users. To clarify which thread you are addressing, double-check your subject to ensure that it accurately reflects it, and consider adding the name of the person to whom you are responding.
- Remember that the SDS membership is very diverse in terms of experiences, knowledge, and level of comfort around issues related to disability studies. To ensure that all members feel welcome when participating on this list, members should collectively ensure that no one gets “flamed” on this list. “Flaming is the act of posting messages that are deliberately hostile and insulting, usually in the social context of a discussion board on the internet. A flame may have elements of a normal message, but is distinguished by its intent. A flame is typically not intended to be constructive, to further clarify a discussion, or to persuade other people”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flaming).
- Treat communications on this list as you would private conversations. Do not forward or reproduce a message posted on this list without the author’s explicit approval. If a person has forwarded information from a public source (e.g., a newspaper, a web site accessible to the general public, a government announcement) to this listserv, of course, you can pass this on to others. However, please remove the poster’s name, the poster’s personal comments, and the SDS list address from the forwarded message.
- Include your full name and email address in the body of your message so that individuals can contact you off-list to pursue a particular discussion or to request information that is not of general interest.
- Be attentive to the volume of messages list-members receive in one day. In an effort to keep discussions on point, consider whether your own posting will add something new to the discussion. Remember that postings are discussions that can be left open-ended and do not necessarily have to be resolved on this list.
- Try to remember that e-mail communications can be misinterpreted. What is intended to be an innocent attempt at humor can be interpreted as a personal attack. If you post something that offends someone when no offense was intended, simply say so.
- Commercial advertisements are not welcome. However, feel free to announce upcoming workshops or informational materials that you think others on the list might find useful. It’s fine to share information about your own publications, presentations, and activities on the SDS list.
- Avoid sending binaries, attached files, or encoded messages through the list. These take too much space in some people’s mailboxes, and there is always the danger of passing on viruses. If you have an article or a long file you think people might be interested in, inform members that they can obtain it from you via private e-mail or through a web link.
- You can include your affiliation at the bottom of your message, as it is assumed that you are speaking for yourself, unless you say otherwise.
The SDS Membership list is a moderated list. The SDS Board has asked a volunteer (Susan Fitzmorrese) to moderate the list to ensure that posts are consistent with the guidelines. The moderators have the authority to reject posts that are not. They have been instructed by the SDS Board not to censor messages for the opinions expressed therein. If your post is not accepted, you will be informed politely and respectfully. Please understand that serving as a moderator of a list is a thankless job and that our moderators are trying to do their best to be fair to both members who attempt to post on the list and to the SDS membership who receive posted messages. The SDS Board is always open to receiving the comments and concerns of the membership. You may direct any comments regarding the SDS list to the SDS board by using our contact form and use the “electronic lists” category.