Diversity Council’s comments on the following Proposed Motion and Amendment Bylaws: 

Proposed Conference Motion:

Motion name: CM2017.01

Diversity Council
Comments:

The Diversity Council recognizes the intent of this motion but does not support the motion as written. Providing professional development opportunities in sign language requires a culture shift among presenters, hosting organizations, and workshop participants to ensure professional development opportunities reflect the value of using sign language during these interactions.

The motion may pose no fiscal impact to the national organization. However, there is a definite negative fiscal impact to individuals from rural areas and to those who experience financial hardships (e.g. the costs for travel, hotel accommodations, etc.).

The potential to earn CEUs online may at times provide increased access for individuals who are DeafBlind, for individuals with cognitive processing disabilities who benefit from self-paced learning opportunities, and for persons with other disabilities that are likely to struggle with access due to structural and societal barriers that may exist.

For the reasons stated, the Diversity Council does not support this motion in its current form. We do think there is merit in reviewing the requirements for hosting CEU eligible workshops and professional development opportunities online to ensure that these opportunities are both accessible and provide opportunities for authentic learning.

 

Proposed Bylaw Amendments A-G:

The Diversity Council has no comments to submit at this time for the following motions:

Global Editorial Changes
Bylaws Referendum A

Article IX. Mail Referendum
Bylaws Referendum C

Standing Committees Motion
Bylaws Referendum D

Article XIII Changes
Bylaws Referendum E

Proposed Amendment to the RID Bylaws
Bylaws Referendum G
Motion name: Gender Neutral Motion
Bylaws Referendum B
Diversity Council Comment:

 

The Diversity Council fully supports this motion and further suggests that the organization reviews other instances where gendered language is used and can be made to be more inclusive. For example, currently when a member logs into their profile, the only options under gender are Male and Female. Male and Female relate to sex (biology) and not gender. If the intent is to capture gender demographics, then Male and Female should be replaced with an inclusive list of gender options, or should be a comment box where members are empowered to self-identify.

 

Motion name: Motion to Amend Bylaws to Eliminate Ex Officio
Bylaws Referendum F
Diversity Council Comment: The Diversity Council does not support this motion as written. Though California law is referenced, there is no reference to Virginia law where RID resides and conducts the majority of its business. We feel more information is necessary for an informed decision on this specific issue to be addressed.
Further, the Diversity Council is hesitant to support the awarding of a position on the Council of Elders to the immediate Past President. The Council of Elders’ purpose is to ensure that RID’s roots and history are preserved. While we recognize the intent is to have the Past President serve on the council because of the history and experiential knowledge they bring, currently, this motion would serve to limit the demographics of those who could serve on the Council of Elders. For example, the Council of Elders currently has no representation of persons of color or Deaf individuals within the council. Looking at the history of RID, having the Past President serve, is likely to ensure that at least one of these council seats continue to be given to a person who matches the majority demographic of the organization, limiting the historical perspective of the council.