canstockphoto4113527A board member  or member of a Statewide Independent Living Council should be willing to sign an ethical code of conduct. This document should be part of the board or council member’s orientation and of any annual board or council development/training.

  1. I will uphold and enforce all laws, rules and regulations that apply to recipients of federal funds and to the Center or SILC.
  2. I will make decisions that assure the equal access and independent living of people with disabilities and will seek to develop and maintain Independent Living Services.
  3. I understand that the role of the board is policy making, planning, and appraisal, and I will help to frame policies and plans only after the board/council has consulted those who will be affected by them.
  4. I will carry out my responsibility, not to interfere with the day to day operations of the Center/SILC, but, together with my fellow board/council members, to hire and supervise a qualified executive director.I
  5. I recognize that authority rests with the board as a whole and will make no individual promises nor take any private action that may compromise the board.
  6. I refuse to surrender my independent judgment to special interest or partisan political groups or to use the board/council position for personal gain or for the gain of friends or family.
  7. In all activities and decisions of this board/council, I will act in respect for all people, and will assure that the rights and dignity of others are upheld.
  8. I will refer all complaints to the executive director and will act on the complaints from the public only after failure of an administrative solution.

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Eight ethical values for your board or council

3 thoughts on “Eight ethical values for your board or council

  • September 23, 2016 at 12:07 pm
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    I would have liked #3 to state more clearly that the people effected by board / council decisions are not the board members or staff, but a large, diverse, local disability community. When the legislation uses the language of IL philosophy “community-based,” it is intends to honor the intersectionality of the disability community.
    Our Centers and SILC s have been dominated by, white professionals who have disabilities (or not), and now we must consciously expand the inclusion of the disabled marginalized by other identities. To quote Rebecca Cokley, executive director of the National Council on Disability, “the rights of those with disabilities are an issue that impact many kinds of people, … We have LGBT folks, we have African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians—there is not a community where disability is not present.”
    To fulfill the mission of IL’s grassroots, community-based philosophy, we have to purposely consider the ‘who’ being effected by programs and policies.

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  • September 23, 2016 at 12:40 pm
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    Good points, Darma. The assumption I made is that this board is consumer controlled. If it is a CIL, more than 50% are people with significant disabilities. If it is a SILC, more than 50% are people with disabilities who don’t work for either a CIL or a SILC. Even so, each board member has a responsibility to that wider constituency that goes far beyond what a few people can represent.

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    • September 24, 2016 at 8:45 am
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      Thank you for responding. When I joined the IL movement in 1993, the CILs in Michigan were created by, led by and staffed by people with significant disabilities who had personal knowledge of discrimination, segregation, and programs that were built on submission and compliance. Staff and board members were fighting the establishment because we we knew we could loose our independence, with the next budget cut or change in administration. The staff and boards were 80, 90 or 100% made up of disability advocates with independent living challenges in their past, present or future. There wasn’t much money, but there was a lot of clarity about the need for change.
      I understand Centers must use good business practices and be financially sustainable, as well as, advocates for systems change. It seems like the list of ethics might apply to almost any board or council and doesn’t really address the unique organizational qualities of IL programs. #3 and #8 hint at the “community-based” model but it would be easy to ignore the implications if the board or council have little knowledge of IL history and philosophy.
      What I am looking to ilnet-ta to do is articulate those qualities that make a CIL / SILC different from the established non-profit charity model, and to set fidelity standards for using IL history and philosophy as the foundation for the state’s IL network. That is the law, but less and less the practice.

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