Community guidelines

This guideline serves as a Terms of Service. By joining our Slack Workspace, App, Community Sessions, or otherwise engaging with us (our “services”) you agree to follow these community guidelines. 

  1. Who We Are: Name of Organization and Contact Information

  2. The ND-Connect Community - Purpose.

    • Our Slack channel and web-app is a place where neurodivergent people can connect with other neurodivergent people to support each other. Many of our team members know how challenging it can be to find mentors that really understand us as neurodivergent people (and as people who have other identities that impact our experiences); at the same time, we recognize how fulfilling and healing it can be to support someone that reminds you of your younger self. That’s why we created this community: to make mentorship connections between neurodivergent people easier and more accessible. 
  3. Notes about this document.

    • The purpose of this document is to help you understand what is expected of you as a member of our community, and what you can expect from other community members. Following these guidelines will help us make this space safe, welcoming, and accessible. Together, let’s make this space awesome for everyone! 
    • This is a living document. That means that we might update it as we learn new information that helps us keep our community safe and inclusive. If we update it, we will send the new version in the #announcements Slack channel so that everyone has the most up-to-date information, as well as send an email that it has been updated. 
    • We have tried our best to explain our community guidelines and expectations as clearly as possible. Everyone who participates in our ND-Connect community needs to confirm that they understand and agree to follow these guidelines to participate. If there is something that you do not understand, please email support@ndconnect.app with the subject “Community Guidelines Question” and your question and we will get back to you with more information. 
    • Our community guidelines were made to create an anti-oppressive environment where everyone can feel safe and supported. For that reason, if you break any of our community guidelines, it might lead to you getting removed from our community (i.e., the Slack channel and/or web-app and other services). We might also remove content that violates our community guidelines or that promotes misinformation. 
    • While we do our best to give you all the information about what to expect, there might still be important things that we miss. Even if something is not in our community guidelines, if something happens that makes people feel unsafe, our team will review what happened and decide what actions to take - which might include stopping someone from participating in our community. 
    • Our goal is never to punish people for making a mistake. We want to work with people to make them feel supported. Generally when something goes wrong, our team will try to use a restorative justice approach. This means that we will listen to community members' voices and focus on working with the people involved to repair harm where possible. 
  4. Internet Safety.

    • Be careful when meeting new people online. While we will do our best to keep our community safe, there might be people who come into the space with bad intentions. If something seems off to you or something happens that makes you feel unsafe in our ND-Connect community, please let us know as soon as possible by emailing us at support@ndconnect.app or by contacting us by using the “Help and Feedback -> Report a problem” pathway on our web-app.. Our team is here to support you, and we can figure out what steps to take together. 
    • Never share personal information like: a bank card number or a home address. Community members should never ask you to transfer them money or share your passwords. 
  5. Anti-Oppression.

    • No predatory, harassing, or unwelcomed behaviours. Don’t take advantage of others in harmful ways, and do your best not to do things that make other people feel unsafe or uncomfortable. 
      • Examples of things to avoid include:
        • Commenting on someone’s appearance
        • Messaging someone when they have told you that that they don’t want to talk
        • Making an offensive comment about someone’s identities 
        • Commenting on people’s lifestyle choices and practices without their permission (e.g., choices about food, health, parenting, employment, etc.) 
        • Threatening someone 
        • Telling someone to be violent or self-harm 
        • Stalking 
        • Being sexual or romantic towards someone without their permission
        • Sending inappropriate photos
        • “Outing” someone. This means telling people about a part of someone’s identity (e.g., their religion, disability, sexual orientation, etc.) without their permission
    • No prejudice or discrimination. Don’t treat people unfairly because they hold certain identities. As a community, we stand against things including (but not limited to):
      • Racism
      • Transphobia 
      • Homophobia
      • Fatphobia
      • Ableism
      • Classism
      • Ageism
      • Misogyny
    • Hold yourself accountable and acknowledge the difference between intent and impact. Even if your intention is good, sometimes we can accidentally say things that have a negative impact on people, and we all have things to learn/unlearn. If someone tells you that you’ve done something harmful or oppressive, try not to:
      • Get defensive or ignore how they feel. 
      • Make comments on their tone or how they’re expressing their feelings (e.g., don’t say things like “calm down” or “you’re overreacting”). 
      • Use the fact that you had good intentions to deny harm (e.g., don’t say things like “I didn’t mean it! Get over it.”)
      Instead, try to understand their perspective, listen to what they’re saying instead of how they’re saying it, and take the experience as an opportunity to grow. A simple apology can go a long way. For example: “Sorry for *insert thing you did*, I didn't mean to but I recognize the harm I caused. Next time, I will do *insert what you will do*”.
    • Respect boundaries set by members of our community. Everyone has different triggers and boundaries. If someone tells you that they are not okay with you doing something that involves them, please listen and be respectful. Don’t ask them to explain why they are uncomfortable. Be kind even if you don’t understand it personally - we all have different life experiences that shape what we need and who we are. 
    • Self-diagnosis is valid and welcome here. Professional diagnosis is often a privilege and can be inaccessible to some people. Believe people about their lived experiences and don’t make anyone prove their disability to you. 
    • Be respectful of people’s identities. This includes respecting pronouns (e.g., she/her, they/them, he/him etc.), respecting disability identification preferences (e.g., person vs identity-first language), and updating your language if someone asks you to. Please include your pronouns with your name if you are comfortable sharing them. 
    • Use content warnings (CWs) or ask for permission before posting or talking about something that might be distressing to someone else so people can avoid the content if they need to. For example, topics like death, experiences of oppression/violence (racism, ableism, etc.), profanity, and childbirth might be things you want to give CWs about if you can. Usually, this looks like including “CW: *insert potentially sensitive topic*” at the beginning of a message you send. 
  6. Confidentiality

    • Respect privacy/confidentiality. This space (e.g., Slack channel, meetings, etc.) is confidential. Not everyone in our community might be open about their neurodiversity/disability, or want their thoughts or experiences shared widely. Please do not take things that are said in our community and share them outside our community, unless someone has given you direct permission to do so (in writing). This applies to content posted in the group like screenshots, messages, or other written/visual content (anonymized or not). This does not include public tweets, blog posts shared from outside sources, or things that people directly ask you to share. 
  7. Prohibited Uses

    • You are not permitted to:
      • Use the Services in a way that damages them or prevents their use by other users
      • Use our Services in a way to interfere with, disrupt or negatively affect the platform, the servers, or our Services’ networks
      • Use our Services to cause harm or for illegal or nefarious purposes 
      • Ask for or try to get other users passwords or personal information for commercial or unlawful purposes 
      • Share people's personal information without their permission in writing 
      • Ask for money, gifts, loans, or other compensation from users 
      • Upload viruses, malicious code or otherwise compromise the security of our Services
      • Disclose private or proprietary information that you do not have the right to disclose
      • Express or imply that statements you make are endorsed by ND Connect
      • Use any robot, crawler, site search/retrieval application, proxy or other manual or automatic device, method or process to access, retrieve, index, “data mine,” or in any way reproduce or circumvent the navigational structure or presentation of our Services or its contents;
      • Copy, modify, transmit, distribute, or create any derivative works from Member Content or Our Content without our prior written consent
      • “Frame” or “mirror” any part of our Services without our prior written authorization
      • Modify, adapt, sublicense, translate, sell, reverse engineer, decipher, decompile or otherwise disassemble any portion of our Services, or cause others to do so
      • Make a new account after we suspend or ban your account, unless you receive explicit permission from us in writing. 
      • Use meta tags or code or other devices containing any reference to ND Connect/Neurodivergent Futures Co-op/Neurodiversity Connect or the platform (or any trademark, trade name, service mark, logo or slogan of Neurodivergent Futures Co-op) to direct any person to any other website for any purpose.
      • Use or develop any third-party applications that interact with our Services or Member Content or information without our written consent.
      • Use, access, or publish the ND Connect application programming interface without our written consent;
      • Probe, scan or test the vulnerability of our Services or any system or network
      • Encourage, promote, or agree to engage in any activity that violates these Terms
      • Display any personal contact or banking information, whether in relation to you or any other person (e.g., names, home addresses or postcodes, telephone numbers, email addresses, URLs, credit/ debit card or other banking details). If you choose to reveal any personal information about yourself to other users, you do so at your own risk. We encourage you to use caution in disclosing any personal information online.
    • Be mindful of self-promotion.
      • No self-promotion except in the #promotional channel on Slack. 
      • Don’t mainly use our community to find potential customers. 
      • Don’t approach members in public or private messages with sales pitches. 
  8. Things you Recognize by Using our Platform. 

    • Neurodivergent Futures Co-op/ND Connect does not conduct criminal background or identity verification checks on its users. Use your best judgment when interacting with others. You recognize that you are responsible for the interactions you have on our platform and that we can’t 100% ensure people are who they say they are, have the right intentions, are being truthful etc. Although we try our best to make a good and safe experience, information you access through our platform is ultimately at your own risk including damage from security breaches, fraud, etc.  
    • You are solely responsible and liable for Your Content, and, therefore, you agree to indemnify, defend, release, and hold us harmless from any claims made in connection with Your Content.
    • Your individual profile will be visible to other people around the world, so be sure that you are comfortable sharing Your Content before you post. You acknowledge and agree that Your Content may be viewed by other users, and, notwithstanding these Terms, other users may share Your Content with third parties.
    • You do not have any rights in relation to Member Content, and, unless expressly authorized by Neurodivergent Futures Co-op, you may only use Member Content to the extent that your use is consistent with our Services’ purpose of allowing use to communicate with and meet one another. You may not copy the Member Content or use Member Content for commercial purposes, to spam, to harass, or to make unlawful threats. We reserve the right to terminate your account if you misuse Member Content.
    • Although we try to create a safe and respectful user experience, we’re not responsible for the conduct or behaviour of any user on or off the Service. You agree to use caution in all interactions with other users, particularly if you decide to communicate off the Service or meet in person.
  9. Slack and Messaging Guidelines.

    • If you are posting content, an event, or a resource in a channel, please do your best to explain why it’s relevant and worth sharing with the community (this can be as short as 1-2 sentences!). 
    • Do your best to use plain language (about a 5th grade reading level) so that messages are accessible to everyone. 
    • Try not to spam. Pick the most relevant channel to post in, and post one time. If you’re unsure of where to post something, you can reach out to one of our team members to ask. 
    • Ask before starting new channels - this will help us keep the space organized.
    • All job openings, volunteer opportunities, paid internships, and contract/freelance gigs must go through our #opportunities channel on Slack.
      Note: Our team might remove positions if we think they have the potential to cause harm. For example, things we believe to be MLMs or opportunities that we think may cause harm to oppressed communities such as applied behavioral analysis jobs.
  10. Giving and receiving support/advice. 

    When giving advice. 
    • Don’t be prescriptive and speak from your own experiences. 
      • Recognize that there is no one “right” or “normal” way to think, behave, and exist. Things like what “good” communication means can change from neurotype to neurotype and culture to culture. 
      • When giving advice, talk about what’s worked for you but don’t say things like “this is the one correct way to do this and you should do it this way too”. 
    • Don’t put individual blame on people for systemic problems. For example, some neurodivergent people struggle to make eye contact, which might be something that disadvantages them in many interview processes. It might be tempting to give advice like “practice making more eye contact”. But masking or acting in ways that are more “typical” has been shown to be harmful to people’s well-being. There is also nothing wrong with natural neurodivergent ways of existing, and neurodivergent people who don’t make eye contact have worse outcomes because of ableist and discriminatory systems. If you do think it’d be helpful for someone to try something, be clear that you’re acknowledging how things are and not how things should be. 
    • Be patient, curious, and open-minded. Remember that what might be the best/fastest/most effective approach for you might not be the same for someone else with a different body/mind/circumstance. 
    • Know when you can and can’t give advice. Sometimes, people might ask you questions that you cannot answer. For example, if someone is talking to you about a health struggle that you relate to, you might want to share some things that have helped you. But, you should not try to take the role of a doctor or a therapist, or give specific treatment recommendations. If you don’t know how to respond to a situation, let them know that you are not the best person to give advice on the topic. If you need additional support or have more questions, reach out to our admin team - we are here to help!
    • Ask before giving advice. Sometimes people might want to just talk about their feelings and experiences, but not necessarily get advice. Don't give someone advice unless they clearly ask for it or they say it would be helpful. 
    When asking for or receiving support/advice
    • Recognize that you are in control of what you do. Mentors/peers are here to help and give advice, but might not fully understand your situation or what you need. You are responsible for the decisions you make and the outcome of any advice you follow. 
    • Respect mentors’ and peers’ capacities to help. We are all neurodivergent here. Sometimes, we might have low energy levels, feel overwhelmed, or not be able to help as much as we would like to. If someone tells you they can only meet with you for a certain amount of time or can’t help with something - try not to take it personally and respect their decisions. 
    • Recognize that everyone here is giving advice as a peer, not as a trained professional. Even if someone is a therapist, doctor, or a trained professional outside of this space, they are not that in our community. Take all advice as if it’s being given informally by a more experienced person who wants to support your personal or professional growth. 
  11. Other General Guidelines. 

    • Be curious and compassionate. Approach conflicts, disagreements, and misunderstandings with curiosity, seeing them as opportunities to learn, grow, and collaborate.
    • Be generous while respecting your capacity. We believe that everyone has something to contribute. Think about how to give back and participate in our community, while also honoring your spoons, energy levels, and resources. We want our community to be active and supportive, while also being sustainable and joyful for everyone involved. 
    • Consent matters. Answering any and all questions and participating in activities is optional. While your participation is important, please only participate in what you are comfortable with and/or have the energy/time/resources for. 
    • Be as patient, kind, and understanding as you can be. We all… 
      • Make mistakes
      • Sometimes are reactive instead of responsive
      • Sometimes have trouble communicating or understanding thoughts, ideas, and feelings
      As much as possible, give people space to be human and learn. 
  12. Reporting Violations.

    • If you’re being harassed or harmed by a member of ND-Connect, notice that someone else is being harassed, or would like to report any other violation of the Community Guidelines, you can report your experience by sending an email to support@ndconnect.app with “Reporting a Violation” or using the “Feedback and Help” button and then clicking “Report a problem” and filling it out with your concern. 
      • Note: this email goes to all admin; if you need to report a member of the ND Connect team, you can send an email to eliana@ndconnect.app, david@ndconnect.app, jacob@ndconnect.app, or peter@ndconnect.app personally with your concern using the subject “Re: an ND Connect team member” . 
    • You can also let us know your thoughts and suggestions anonymously using this form: https://forms.gle/BuDaZZzXNKCCQZT99
  13. Feedback and Suggestions.

    • At ND Connect, we really believe in meaningful co-creation with our community and take feedback seriously. If you feel unsafe in our space, if there are ways we can improve, or if there are ways we can be more just, equitable, and inclusive, we want to hear from you, so we can improve. Our team welcomes all feedback, ideas, comments, suggestions and questions you might have. Share your thoughts with us at support@ndconnect.app 
  14. Thank You!

    • Thank you for helping us make our community awesome. Because of you, we will have a safer community that uplifts and creates opportunities for more neurodivergent people. 
  15. Credit/Attribution.

    These community guidelines were last updated on July 23, 2023. In addition to our own thinking, parts of these guidelines were adapted from: