National Communication Association
Disability Issues Caucus (DIC) Business Meeting
Friday, November 21, 2003, at 5:00-6:15 p.m.
Conference Room 5, Fontainebleau


I.  Welcome by the Chair, David Worley.

II. Award Presentation – Christopher R. Smit, Calvin College, received the Top Paper Award including a plaque and $100 for his paper “The Discourse of Disability studies: A Historical, Critical, and Rhetorical Review.”

III. Myrna Cornett-DeVito, Secretary, distributed the minutes from the November 22, 2003, DIC business meeting, and they were approved as written.

IV. Reports

A. Ad Hoc Committee on Accessibility
Jim Cherney, the DIC NCA Representative, asked for interested persons to remain after the business meeting to discuss access issues.  He explained that with Jim Guadino’s departure, it was necessary to “map out” a strategy for working with the new director

B.   DIC Data for NCA 2003
1. Cherney confirmed that the NCA by-laws have been changed, and caucuses can vote next year.
2. Subsequently, Cherney urged an amendment to the DIC by-laws as follows:

“The NCA representative in the second year of her or his term shall vote for the Caucus in Legislative Assembly meetings, except when that representative is unable to attend or already votes as an at-large member or representative of another unit.  In that case, the NCA Representative in the first year of her or his term will vote for the Caucus in the Legislative Assembly.”
  The amendment passed unanimously.

3. Further discussion related to the Caucus membership considering Division status as a viable option.  On hundred signatures are required.

V. Elections

A. Vice-Chair. After some discussion about the responsibilities of the Vice-Chair, Elaine Jenks was elected by acclamation.  Jenks will be the planner for NCA 2005 in Boston.

B. Secretary.  Cornett-DeVito explained that she was completing her second year as Secretary and had prepared a handbook for her successor.  Katie LeBesco was elected by acclamation.

VI. New Business
A. NCA 2003 Programming. Worley reported on the 2003 programming.  Seven panels were programmed with about seven papers that were arranged into panels. There was a good acceptance rate, although not all submissions were accepted.

B. NCA 2004 Programming.

1. Joy Cypher, Vice-Chair, reported on the planners’ meeting for 2004. DIC was allocated six slots including the business meeting according to Martha Watson.  This number was derived from the percentage of members in a unit, not attendance.  Worley mentioned the issue of statistics versus social justice. Cypher explained that the Caucus has the option to co-sponsor, however, a unit “takes the bite” in terms of claiming the slot against its allocation.  She suggested that co-sponsoring with units that have extra slots might be effective. Watson has some panel slots that she's holding as discretionary. Discussion ensued about how to collaborate with other divisions.   The 2004 theme (90th anniversary) is “Moving Forward; Looking Back.”  Cypher encouraged the membership to apply the theme if possible.  The February 16 deadline is uniform for all units, and everything must be online. She also described the new feature that 25% of panels must be discussion-based; namely, papers must be submitted and posted online in advance of the conference so that they can be read and discussed during the panel session.  Discussion about the need to have the online posting Bobby Compliant (passed 6/14/02 and beyond ADA) occurred.

2. Kelly Herold led some brainstorming about Chicago as a “hot bed” of activism with notable headquarters (e.g., United Cerebral Palsy Assoc.; Cancer Institute).

3. Concerns were expressed  about online self-selected panel submission could lead to publication dilemmas (e.g., any APA journals won’t copyright if a work is released to a venue).

4. Herold discussed the merits of joining together with other caucuses and units considered “minority groups” and take joint concerns to the Legislative Council.  He also suggested inviting NCA officers to discuss issues that have not received focus attention (e.g., better pre-conference information for persons with disabilities such as mapping hotels; access).  Herold will look into recruiting for an NCA officer panel. Contact Herold at with ideas and concerns and he will forward to the new affirmative action officer.

VII. Announcements
A. Cherney reminded the membership that the Disability Studies Quarterly edited by Beth Haller considers both peer and non-peer-reviewed manuscripts.
B. Cherney encouraged the establishment of a committee to investigate divisional status for the Caucus. Worley invited discussion.  The caucus status meets affirmative action requirements, however, the division is more substantive.  Herold suggested that exploratory work be completed to prepare for the 2004 conference.  A joint motion resulted to establish a committee (Committee on Divisional Status) to explore the feasibility of divisional status including the tentative plan of presenting signatures to the Legislative Council in Chicago as well as to deal with any issues that evolve during the process.   The motion passed unanimous.  Volunteers who will serve on the committee include Jim Cherney, Kelly Herold, Cynthia  Matthews and Pat Foley.

C. A motion was passed unanimously to invite Dawn Braithwaite and Theresa  Thompson to write an essay about the DIC.  The essay would invite others to get to know us and would focus on scholarship more than practical aspects of DIC.

D. LeBesco suggested that the DIC “Call” be placed on other web sites and will confer with Cypher about this. A suggestion was made to reach out to graduate schools and to have one panel of “Big Wigs” (e.g., 1st VPs) and previous work done by disability scholars.

The meeting adjourned at approximately 6:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by,

Myrna M. Cornett-DeVito
2003 DIC Secretary