Posted: 4-17-06

We have received numerous requests to control some of the dialogue on the lists that we administer. Many people avoid posting their opinions because they would rather not be attacked by others through inflammatory and personal emails. So we have agreed to exert more control over the content of the list. While some might see this as censorship, we believe it is critical to maintain an open and constructive dialogue.

We ask you all to follow some basic rules and guidelines. By posting to this listserv you implicitly agree to these rules and guidelines. If you fail to comply, actions will be taken to limit or bar your access to the list. See Policies for Violation of Rules below.

Basic Rules for Posting Messages

1. Unprofessional Postings. No foul language or inappropriate slang.

Users are expected to communicate in a professional manner. Unprofessional, disrespectful or threatening communication may result in the suspension of the user's listserv account. Suspension of an account may occur without prior notice.

2. Threatening Postings. No flaming or "personal attacks".

Disagreeing with someone's opinion is not a personal attack, but calling names or adding childish remarks, not showing respect for another's right to express their opinion is not allowed. Obscene, racist, sexually explicit, religious defamation or any other defaming language is not allowed.

3. Solicitations. Solicitations or commercial advertisements are prohibited.

No advertisements, spam or blatant promotion of businesses, commercial products or services are allowed. Announcements of new commercial products, events or services known to you or even from your own company are acceptable as long as they are not direct solicitations. You may include links to advertisements on websites but do not include the advertisment in your message.

4. Copyright. No infringement of intellectual property.

Users may not use the discussion board to post a message that infringes copyright, trademark, patent, or other intellectual property law. Posting of articles, graphics, lyrics, recipes, etc., without prior written permission from the copyright holder are prohibited.

5. Religion. No promotion of religious beliefs.

This list has members of many religions and difference in attitudes toward religion. Please respect the sensibilities of all and avoid using religious based salutations, holiday greetings and other expressions of religious identity or preference. It is acceptable to discuss how religion may play a role in practice or how religious issues should be studied in research, for example, how to design an elevator that can be used on the Jewish Sabbath under religious law. It is also acceptable to offer a general wish for a happy holiday, for example, Have a Happy Holiday Season.


These are some guidelines that we ask you to follow to improve usability of the list. If you slip up by accident, don't worry, we won't suspend your access for this.

1. Spelling and Grammar

We ask that you please try to use proper spelling and grammar, but we'll excuse any mistakes you make and won't point them out so long as you make the effort. There is a difference between a typo and shorthand "r u all goin' 2 b at da park". Finally, leave the caps lock off, as it's uncomfortable to read and no one should be shouting.

2. Format

Avoid colored backgrounds or backgrounds with imagesthat lengthen loading time and makes text difficult to read. Use legible types, not pseudo handwriting, gothic characters, etc.

3. Keeping Things Organized

It is easier to follow a discussion on a topic if it is not broken across multiple threads. Keeping all related messages within a single thread keeps us organized, and makes following a discussion a breeze.

4. Topic Titles

We cannot say enough about how important a title for your thread is (Re: field).. If you put a short, non-descriptive title, fewer people will read it. Too long of a title gets annoying to the users. Try to sum up your message in as few words as possible to still communicate what it's about to your users.

5. Quoted Material In A Reply

As a courtesy to all it is appreciated when you delete any or all of the original quoted content in a reply that is not necessary to understand your comments. Keep what is needed so your reply makes sense, but delete the excess.

Attention to Viruses

The consequences of posting documents containing viruses are widely known. Therefore, do not upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any material that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment. If we deem that viruses are being spread by a member, either knowingly or not, we will suspend membership until we have assurances that the problem has been corrected. Please let us know if you are experiencing a problem with viruses from one or more individuals.

Policies for Violation of Rules

We reserve the right to deny access to a listserv or remove the posting privileges of members who violate the

Basic Rules. No notification will be sent to a list subscriber who has violated these rules before action is taken. We will notify individuals through a private email message after the action. The process for dealing with violations will be as follows:

1. First Violation - Warning.

Subscribers violating the above rules for the first time will generally receive a communication from the listserv moderator about the inappropriate nature of the posting. There are several exceptional conditions that could lead to immediate removal from the list.

2. Second Violation - Suspension

Should a second violation occur, the subscriber will be denied posting privileges for a period of time commensurate with the seriousness of the incident. To be reinstated, the suspended member will be asked to provide public apologies, evidence that they understand what they did and why it was a violation, and a plan for avoiding a future violations and subsequent removal.

3. Third violation - Permanent Removal

A third violation will result in removal of the individual and restrictions on re- subscribing to the listserv. Mitigating circumstances may be cause for avoiding removal but this would be based on correspondence privately with the list administrators. Re-instatement will only be allowed under unusual circumstances and are entirely at the discretion of the administrators.

4. Extreme incident

Posting of illegal material, purposeful dissemination of viruses or intentional unprovoked personal attacks will result in immediate revocation of posting privileges.

Learn, Share and Have Fun

Last and most important, learn, share and have fun. We value all of our listserv participants and have worked hard to establish a valuable forum for positive and constructive information exchanges between concerned and motivated professionals, consumers and advocates. The IDEA Center Listservs have generally been friendly places, where people have felt comfortable discussing their views, questions and concerns and we want them to continue to be that way in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

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