Code of Conduct

This code of conduct is, like the Support Needs Lists, a work in progress. Initially, its main use will be to guide how people behave in the comments of this website, and by email; and how the Oversight Group conducts its business. Over time it will include how we conduct ourselves in virtual and in-person meetings. We hope that we have captured important principles from the very beginning, but like the taxonomy we expect this code of conduct to evolve. 

General Principles

As you would imagine for a site that wants to make lives better for disabled people and those in vulnerable situations, we take our code of conduct seriously.

As you would expect for a project that is built around a taxonomy, we have put a lot of thought into how best to arrange that code of conduct in order to make it as clear as possible.

In order to make these lists as effective as possible in delivering meaningful change in real lives, it is essential that everyone is able to participate openly and without fear in the conversation. 

  • Those who have particular needs have to be free to articulate them without fear of ridicule or reprisal;
  • Those who have experience of trying to implement needs have to be free to articulate the practicalities of doing so without fear of the response;
  • Those who have something valuable to contribute in any capacity have to be free to make that contribution

In short, taking part in this conversation, in whatever way, is an act of generosity and should be treated as such: those entering the conversation should do so in good faith; those responding should also do so in good faith and gratitude.

We also recognise that conversations might take place, and might need to take place where those taking part might not be perceived to hold equal power, for example where those whose needs have repeatedly not been met in the past discuss with those who have the power to meet those needs – or not – in the future. 

  • We expect those in positions of relative power always to respect those who are not, never to intimidate. Without that respect, we will be unable to make this the fullest list it can be;
  • We recognise that many will have experience years of frustration. And we recognise that unless they are free to articulate that, we will be unable to identify the best ways that people’s needs can be met;
  • We also recognise that behind every keyboard is a human being, and expect that representatives of orghinzations also be treated with respect. If they are not, then we will be unable to ensure this list is able to make the most change possible in people’s lives.

How we will behave to you and How You Should Behave to Us

This site is run on a very part time basis. Please be patient.

This is not a medical, diagnostic, advice, or assistance site. Please do not use it as such. There are many wonderful sites out there. We will share as many as we can in the resources section. We will not respond to any emails, and will delete any posts that breach this request. 

We will aim to respond to your email suggestions within a week. Please accept that we cannot always enter into long conversations individually. We will, however, ensure that suggestions sent by email form part of the ongoing discussions aimed at expanding and improving the taxonomy. You are not creaming into the void!

We will moderate all comments and replies to comments on this site. Where comments are offensive or disrespectful, we will not publish them.

We will not edit comments for language that we do not use. For example, some people use “person first” language around disability. Many others use “identity first” language. We will not “standardise” these when they are used by others. While we will not edit comments that use language or express opinions with which we disagree, neither will we edit or refuse to publish respectful replies, especially from disabled people, explaining why they disagree with your use of language or believe that you are wrong.

We will edit comments that give identifiable sensitive information about someone else, or in some cases about you. We welcome you drawing on your experience to make suggestions, but try to do so without revealing more information than you need.

We will accept suggestions from those who are allies but do not have lived experience, but where these refer to someone else’s experience, please tell us that you have their consent to share, and please always amplify their needs and opinions rather than your assumptions about them. 

How we expect you to behave to each other

As a general principle, the comments here are for use by disabled people and those in vulnerable circumstances to express their needs and discuss how they may best be met. We will not refuse to publish respectful comments.

Please be respectful. We will moderate comments and not publish those that do not meet this standard. Especially be respectful when you disagree.

Be sensitive to different ways of doing things, different manners of expression, different forms of presentation.

Please try to ensure everyone is given an equal audience. Do not dominate threads, especially if you have more of an audience or more perceived authority than the person with whom you are speaking. Amplify and assist those who may be struggling to get a point across.

Respect everyone’s privacy.

Treat others with empathy. Remember that many people here have very real struggles, and that many of those might be very different from your own. Seek to understand without demanding explanation.

Search engines exist. Please do not expect and please never demand labour from disabled people that you could have undertaken by using a search engine. 

Some things are unacceptable. We will enforce a zero tolerance policy by deleting comments and emails. Where this behaviour occurs within a group or a meeting, we will take appropriate action up to and including removing people from the group or event permanently. 

Bullying, harassment, and discrimination are always unacceptable.

If you have done something wrong, whether intended or not, apologise and behave differently in future. Do not centre yourself in your apology.