Fireside Posting Reminders

Important Posting Notes 
The priorities of the ODSP Fireside group are to:
       Create a positive experience 
       Learn and share how to get the most of what ODSP has to offer  
       Learn how to a leverage ODSP to provide the best assistance we are entitled to
Quick Reminder List:
      If you change topic ensure the subject line is changed to reflect the new topic
      Posts that do not meet group guidelines will be rejected / deleted
      Images cannot be distributed on this group - See Blank Posts
      Flaming / Bullying in any fashion will not be posted
      Fireside is an OPEN group and anyone may read your posts
      Foul or vulgar language (or inferences) will prevent a post from being approved! (see Language Usage)
      Before posting a new topic please search old posts to see if your question has already been addressed.
      This group is for information on  issues relevant to living on ODSP
      Keep New Subject Posts on Topic
      When sending a reply delete all unnecessary text from previous posts! 
      Only quote relevant sections of previous posts
      Check your email signatures for improper text  
      Ontario Law and Regulations prohibit the giving of Legal advice without license!! 
      Posting of published material is a violation of copyright laws and will not be approved.
      Please reference the full text of an abbreviated item somewhere in the post thread.
      Search, Read, Promote Fireside 
      Sending unsolicited email to other members may result in being banned from group! 

Problems.  If you are having problems / conflict with another ODSP Fireside member please remember to contact a moderator first before trying to rectify any problem with another member.   For problems with your Google ODSP Fireside group membership please visit the "Edit my membership" page by clicking on the link on the right hand side of this page.  You can change your email address and method of post delivery on the membership edit page as well.

Bullying.  I'd like to remind everyone that the purpose of this group is to support, inform and encourage ODSP recipients. It's one thing to object, argue or debate an idea but to personally insult a member is emotional / psychological abuse that causes bodily harm. There was a thread that demonstrated how one bully can incite others to join in forming a peer group of bullies to gang up on a member. Insults directed at the member were posted without any debate over the ideas they actually agree with in other posts.  That one of one's own peer group would practice such banter, that has nothing whatsoever to do with ODSP or issues relating to ODSP recipients is ... unacceptable.

Blank Posts.  Posts submitted with no text in the message body and only links to graphics will be deleted.  I am not sure how this is happening but we as moderators cannot view these images and are left with the option to delete the post.  If anyone has an answer to why this is happening please let us know.

Flaming.  A situation arose in the past where mild flaming was present.  Fortunately Flaming has not been a big problem with Fireside and most members are maintaining courtesy with other members.  Please write as though you were writing to yourself and give others the same courtesy and considerations you would give yourself.

Language Usage. The amount of restraint members are exercising in regard to language has been admiral and we wish to thank all for their creativity when expressing their feelings about a bad situation. It only takes a bit longer to come up with a non-vulgar phraseology than a vulgar one and it is a great mental exercise to boot. Please remember that substituting characters for actual letters is the same as using the actual letter and this practice will not circumvent our Language Usage policy

Moderation Limitations. Posts to Google groups are not editable by moderators.  Moderators can only approve or delete posts and as such posts that contain inappropriate entries cannot be made acceptable and must be deleted in full. 

  Current Membership Code:  Maggie's Abbie

New changes to ODSP Fireside on Google.   Since the group was founded we have limited the discussion topics to ODSP issues only! We tried opening the group to include other topics but it did not work out unfortunately.  So many issues that deal directly with ODSP have been covered and discussed that there is now a wealth of good information available to search through.     As always political rhetoric will not be posted as this is not a political forum (tag lines will be moderated so please ensure that your email submissions do not contain political tags).  We cannot edit posts and may not be able to respond to each rejected post and we are relying on members to post appropriately.

It is very disheartening to deny good posts because original text was not edited!!
Please remember to delete or edit the original text when you reply to a post.  We have been receiving too many posts where the previous posts are being repeated in full.  This wastes space and download time for other members.  It can also become confusing and frustrating for members who receive digests.  If you need to quote a section of the original post then only leave that text.  Putting your response at the beginning or your email is essential during our moderation process and a great benefit for those reading posts online.
Further on this topic:
If you are trying to reply to something specific -- don't answer it unless:
(a) you know the answer and can quote the source or have direct knowledge otherwise; or
(b) just want to share similar experience, such as starting off by saying, "I know -- this happened to me ... I handled it in such and such a way and it worked."
(thank you Angela for this advice)
(c) limit previous text to 10 lines -- posts that exceed 10 lines of previous text may be rejected

Abbreviations are causing confusion.  We forget that others are not aware of the many abbreviations used in this thread.  Please ensure that the full text of an abbreviation is given somewhere (preferably the first time it is used) in the post thread. We do realize that disabilities make typing difficult for some members so this is a request not a requirement.

Abbreviations commonly used on Fireside:
      MSN Benefits - Mandatory Special Needs Benefits
      SBT - Social Benefits Tribunal 
      RRAP - Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program
      IR - Internal Review
      CSUMB  - Community Start Up & Maintenance Benefits

Your additions to the Abbreviations Used list are welcomed and appreciated

Legal Issues have been raised.  .......
Apparently according to our fine Legal System in Ontario it is a crime to 'give Legal Advice unless you are licensed by the Legal Professionals of Ontairo'.  That said please keep this in mind when you write your responses. 
Only members so licensed to provide Legal Advice can safely provide "Advice on Legal Issues".  We can provide experiences we have had and things we have done but please refrain from attempting to interpret the law when answering posts.  I do believe that general members may provide their experiences and where to go for (where to find) the proper information.  Please refrain from using vague verbal references... eg: my worker told me, or my friend said.  These references do not provide any solid information as most often the information given is misleading.  If you are answering a post please provide a solid lead for others to follow.  If you are referencing a Directive please list the directive and if possible include a link to the web page.  If you reference a piece of legislation then include the legislative reference so others may do their own interpreting.  I realize that this request will mean more work for some but it will help avoid anyone from finding themselves in the 'sights of the Ontario Legal Profession'.

Posts are still drifting off topic. 
Replies to posts that run off topic will be given reasonable latitude but new topic posts must meet the criteria of the group to be approved!   Please also feel free to use the 'Reply to Author' button on the web site message listing to follow-up or expand a conversation that would take the group posts too far afield.

If your post does not appear on the group double check that it met the criteria for the group.  We are not always able to answer queries about posts not being authourized.  If you wish to discuss other topics with fellow ODSP recipients please join ODSP Fireside Chat on Yahoo.  Fireside Chat is a private, un-moderated group with no topic restrictions.  You will be required to provide some identity  information that will be held in strict confidence.

Please remember that Fireside is an OPEN group and anyone may read your posts.  We have noticed members are including personal information in their posts.  Do not post anything to this group that you would not want the general public reading!  If you need to correspond with another member about a private subject please contact them directly.

More Legal Issues ...
Due to copyright infringement legalities if you wish to share a published article please include a summary of the article and a link to the original work.  We will no longer post full reprints of published articles without authourization from the authour or copyright holder. If you have a published article to share that is not available online and require assistance in obtaining reprint permission please contact Maggie or Malcolm for assitance.

Search, Read, Promote - This is the best way to get the most out of Fireside.
Please remember to search previous posts for answers before posting a new question.  Many times there are previous discussions of your question available.
Maggie and I continue to thank all Fireside members for this groups continuing success.  There continue to be many great ideas shared,
Excellent advice given, solid answers to tough questions and strong shoulders for leaning on.  Please continue to focus on the goals and
Purpose of this group though.
Please share Fireside with everyone you know. Currently there are over 1,500 members in Fireside and were still growing.  More members means more information to share, more experiences to draw from.  If you know someone who is not a member and is on ODSP please invite them to join. 
Thank you for your co-operation

Malcolm Dilts