Ground Rules

In order to establish an accessible and inclusive space for discussion, the reading group has some general ground rules, and those at the bottom are specific to online communication. We hope these will enable cross-disciplinary discussion with space for diverse experiences and opinions.

  • The focus of the reading group is to read and discuss academic texts – we will try to complement this with non-academic texts and videos.

  • Not everyone has experience with reading groups; be generous with and patient towards others and yourself.

  • Everyone is invited to participate equally – note that facilitators will actively seek to make sure that everyone who wishes to can speak.

  • We have different academic backgrounds and knowledge; if you need a definition or further explanation, please ask – and please respond generously to requests for definitions/explanations.

  • We welcome different communication and thinking styles and speeds; e.g. we equally appreciate linear and non-linear communication, free thinking and written communication.

  • We welcome participants, and neurodivergent folk specifically, to make themselves comfortable -- feel invited to tic, stim, fidget, move around etc.

  • Respect the experiences of others; acknowledge that lived experience shapes understanding and perspective.

  • Note that this group does not exclude or include any particular perspective on diagnostics, medication and/or ‘treatment’; a critical discussion of the medical, pharmaceutical and diagnostic industrial complex is welcome; judgement of personal choices, however, is not welcome.

  • You do not have to discuss – or disclose – your own experiences and identifications; equally, do not ask others to discuss or disclose theirs.

  • With regards to confidentiality and anonymity, the Chatham House Rule will be followed: i.e. “participants are free to use the information received” that emerges in the RG, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.”

  • We specifically welcome LGBTQ+ people, people of colour, and disabled people and aim towards an inclusive space.

  • Use preferred pronouns (e.g. she/her/hers, they/their/theirs, he/him/his).

  • We expect participants to acknowledge their own normative and hegemonic experiences and (internalised) perspectives - be that in the realm of abledness, race, gender (identity), sexuality, class or otherwise.

  • If you are privileged (e.g. neurotypical, abled, white, male, cis), even when marginalised otherwise, check in with yourself regularly so that you do not inadvertently take up disproportionate time and space and, in doing so, reproduce inequalities. (See also the bottom of the page 'Facilitation'.)

  • While we all will learn, the group is not a place for people with normative identities to seek other participants’ marginalised experiences; we encourage all to self-educate.

  • This group is not a neutral space to debate people's identities and experiences with oppression.

  • The group's baseline is to support struggles against not only ableism and neuro-ableism, but also anti-black and other forms of racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism, transphobia and trans-exclusion, misogyny and sexism, classism, and sexuality-based oppression.

  • These are not public meetings, and those not following the ground rules or otherwise disrespectful are unwelcome.