July 7, 2006

Accessability to Group Activities

Filed under: Accessability,Forestneeds_Notices — shem kerr @ 11:16 am

Mechanisms that enable and protect the disabled or otherwise disadvantaged, help the group as a whole. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it will benefit all of the interests of all members, as there are some who will manipulate and take advantage of situations of disfunction – situations that include where:

the rules aren’t known or are insufficient to protect and enable;

leaders effectively hide or bar group information from discussion;

the activities are framed in a way that excludes part, even a majority, of the membership.


Farming and forestry based groups are good example groups because of the kind of attitudes involved, and the nature of the interest. The proximity of life and death situations within an unpredictable environment encourages an ad hoc approach to decision making. Conferences and field days can be remote and physically and financially demanding. These activities are pretty much full on physically and mentally – and those who do get to participate have a multi-sensory learning experience. From that perspective, documentation as more than shorthand notes or advertising is seen as unnecessary. Discussion further down the track is also treated in a compressed way. The 90% of members who dont get to that event are effectively excluded from subsequent discussion. In time a small core of members is created that has ‘all’ the knowledge; they are seen as indispensable; they do all the organizing; – the membership at large appear disinterested – therefore information isn’t given, even withheld – a divisive situation builds and the group becomes disfunctional.

Today there is no technological excuse for not documenting and communicating group information. Documenting and communicating provides accessability. This website is an example of how a grower group can provide accessability and do it economically without needing IT skills, or a even members with average or higher iqs. Some references to Content Management Software (CMS), and Computer ( ) are listed on the Accessability page of the Special Needs List of this blog; as should be reference to meeting organisation.



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