NSSSA Minutes From:
Inclusion Committee Meeting
Location: MSVU Evaristus Room 102
Time of Commencement:10:07am
Time of Adjournment: 11:03am
Duration: 50 minutes
Present Voting Members: Maggie Biggs, Alyssa Malay, Brianna Fitzgerald, Ciara Harris
Present Non-Voting Members: Meagan Soley
Regrets: Margaret Lee, Cath Densmore, Anna Campbell, Angus Kennedy, Mitchell Aguinaga, Ella Stacey, Jasmine Metzler, Emily Webb, Matt Walsh, Renee McLeod, Kaleigh McLeod
To start the meeting, the committee introduced themselves, and then Ciara explained how each position differs on the Inclusion cabinet compared to other NSSSA cabinets. The discussion of each position is as follows:
3-Tions: The role of the 3-tion is very important on IC, as there is a lot more detail on IC forms. There is a lot more to be entered into the database, as the forms will have a lot more things like food allergies, whether a delegate is prone to seizures, and other health concerns. If 3-tions have any questions, Abe is their best resource. As the committee currently has only two 3-tions, and since Angus lives in Antigonish (so he can’t access the mailbox) Ciara is currently looking for another 3-tion that lives in Metro. It was also discussed that since Angus won’t be doing a lot of the entering into the database, that he could potentially help the PR’s after forms have been released.
Skill Building Chair: On IC, the Skillbuilding Chair must take different disabilities into account when creating the skillbuilding manual. Meagan brought up one example: you wouldn’t do two truths and a lie as a Skillbuilding activity at IC, because that would be very confusing for an autistic delegate. Other factors to keep into account are whether an activity involves fine motor skills, or how easily adapted an activity can be. The SB chair should share activity ideas with the whole committee so we can make sure they are inclusive. The skillbuilding/DA retreat could also potentially have speakers from different disability organizations to help DA’s and skillbuilders understand their needs.
Public Relations: The public relations for Inclusion should be looking for disability-specific pamphlets/other items for the delegate bags. The same goes for the opportunities fair: booths can include organizations like Autism Nova Scotia, the Halifax Nova Scotia Down Syndrome Society, Easter Seals, etc. PR’s should note that the delegate bags and opportunities fair can have the same organizations. PR’s can only start contacting businesses and organizations once we have a conference name.
WENDYs: The main difference between IC Wendys and other Wendys is that at Inclusion, the Wendys should have one or two cheers that they focus on for the whole conference, rather than different ones every time. By focusing on only a few cheers, this gives everyone a chance to learn them, so they can feel included. These cheers should also be included in the delegate manual so they are easier to follow.
Welcoming Co-Chairs: Inclusion conference has usually used fuzzies as the main part of the welcoming activity, but the Welcoming Co-Chairs are encouraged to think of something that could be more accessible. It has always been a concern that some delegates might find tying the fuzzies to be difficult, so if the Welcloming Co-Chairs can come up with a welcoming activity that doesn’t use fine motor skills, that would be wonderful. Other than that, Inclusion conferences usually have other stuff going on during the welcoming activity, such as colouring, facepaint, or games. Meagan suggested that some activities could be held outside the MPR because the noise can be overwhelming for some delegates.
Secretary: Since IC only meets once a month, it is important that regrets send an update over email. Since it is the first meeting, updates were not required, but for subsequent meetings they will be very important. All members of the committee must read the minutes and reply with the codeword.
Communications: Promotion within the learning centers at schools in essential. We also put an emphasis on schools that have Best Buddies chapters, as buddies are able to attend the conference together. Committee members will be expected to help Jasmine with presentations at school, so we can present to as many schools as possible. Many hands make light work, so committee members should be prepared to do presentations at their own schools as well as others.
Head Mental Health First Aid: Anna has already started her mental health first aid it. Currently there are menstrual products, stress balls, coloring books, markers, colored pencils, fidget spinners, tums, bandaids, bubbles and a pinwheel. If anyone has any suggestions for things to add, let Anna know.
Postitions that are still needed: Ciara is currently looking for another PR, a 3-tion who lives in the Metro region, a DA Chair, and a Head First Aid (she is likely going to talk to James Grant or Julia Lawrence about that.)
Partner communication: Partners should talk once a week about their position. This can either be in person, or over the phone. Consistent communication is key to the success of your position. If partners have any issues or disagreements, they should go to Ciara for advice. If both partners are unaware or confused about what they should be doing, they should ask Ciara ASAP. It is better to admit you’re confused early on than right before conference.
Promotion: Ciara plans on doing conference touring. Although we need to promote to potential DA’s and Skillbuilders, promotion should be focused on getting our delegate numbers up. This means promotion should be done primarily in learning centers and Best Buddies chapters. Promotion should also begin early so people have time to come up with the money to attend conference.
T-Shirt issue: T-shirts are very expensive, and with the attendance at IC usually being somewhat unpredictable, they often make us lose a significant amount of money. The committee is encouraged to think of alternatives to T-shirts. We could have some item that doesn’t have the conference name on it, just NSSSA Inclusion, that way if we had some left over, they could be used in subsequent years. Ideas proposed were patches and stickers.
Conference Name: Name needs to sound professional, so that it doesn’t hinder the PR’s ability to get donations. However, it should still sound fun/inspiring, and IC has a longstanding tradition of having names with acronyms. All committee members should think of a potential name to be brought up at the next meeting.
Adjournment: Alyssa motioned to adjourn the meeting at 11:03, Brianna seconded the motion.