Public Participation & Comments

Policy & Procedures

INSILC recognizes the value and importance of public input from its community members. For that reason, and in compliance with federal regulation and state statute, INSILC establishes a Public Comment Policy and its corresponding Procedures to inform the Council about substantial Independent Living and Disability-Related issues impacting individuals with disabilities in Indiana. The Council permits fair and orderly public participation at its public hearings/forums, regularly scheduled public meetings and also in written format. INSILC Public Comment is not designed or intended to address personal grievances or provide a remedy to individuals in dispute with INSILC and/or any Indiana Center for Independent Living and/or any Indiana State Department, Division, Bureau, etc. All comments made during any INSILC opportunity to provide public input shall be subject to the following rules/procedures for which public participation is permitted. The INSILC Chair or Presiding Officer shall administer this policy and procedures and be guided by the following rules:

A. Public participation at INSILC public hearings/forums/meetings shall be permitted only as indicated on the order of business AND at the discretion of the INSILC Chair or Presiding Officer.

B. Any member of the public having a legitimate interest in the actions of the Council may participate during the public portion of any INSILC public hearing/forum/meeting and must register on the public comment sign-up sheet available before the start of the hearing/forum/meeting. Individuals must provide their name, physical address or an email address, residing county, and group affiliation (if applicable) on this sign-up sheet to be eligible to participate.

C. Participants providing public comment at any INSILC hearings/forums/meetings must be recognized by the INSILC Chair or Presiding Officer before providing comments and must preface their comments by an announcement of their name, residing county and group affiliation (if applicable).

D. Comments made by a public participant at any INSILC public hearing/forum/hearing shall be limited to five (5) minutes in duration.

E. All comments shall be directed to the Council as a whole; no individual shall address or question Council or staff members individually.

F. Public Comment is not intended, nor is the Council or its staff required, to provide any answer or response to any participant.

G. Any action on items (including responses to comments and/or questions) brought forth during Public Comment will be at the discretion of the Council and most likely will require additional time for the Council to fully investigate and gather complete information. Participants requesting access to INSILC documents/records must comply with the INSILC Access to Public Records Request Policy and Procedures and Indiana Code §5-14-3-2.

H. Disruptive discussions between public comment participants and members of the audience at any INSILC public hearing/forum/meeting will not be allowed.

I. Participants providing public comment will be courteous and respectful in their language, presentation, and behavior exhibiting high levels of professionalism and integrity. Use of language intended to humiliate, disgrace, demean or mock INSILC or its members or staff will not be tolerated.

J. Following the completion of an individual’s public comments at any INSILC public hearing/forum/meeting, he/she will be seated with no further debate, dialogue, or comment.

K. At any INSILC public hearing/forum/meeting, the INSILC Chair or Presiding Officer may:

a. Interrupt, warn, or terminate a person’s comments when his/her statement exceeds the five (5) minute public comment duration of time, is personally directed at an individual, is abusive, obscene, or irrelevant or disregards any part of this policy/procedures;

b. Request any individual to leave the hearing/forum/meeting when that person disregards (a.) or refuses to practice reasonable decorum when requested to do so, or disregards any part of this policy/procedures;

c. Request the assistance of security or law enforcement officers in escorting an individual back to his/her seat or in the removal of an individual from the hearing/forum/meeting space when that person’s conduct interferes with the orderly progress of the hearing/forum/meeting or disregards any part of this policy/procedures;

d. Call for a recess or an adjournment of the hearing/forum/meeting to another time when the lack of public decorum so interferes with the orderly conduct of the hearing/forum/meeting as to warrant such action;

e. Waive any of the rules/procedures within this policy with the approval of the Council when necessary for the protection of privacy or the administration of the Council’s business.

L. Violation of any part of this policy and its rules/procedures at any INSILC public hearing/forum/meeting may result in the enforcement of the following by the INSILC Chair or Presiding Officer:

  1. 1st violation – Verbal warning

  2. 2nd violation – Verbal warning

  3. 3rd violation – Written warning

  4. 4th violation – One (1) month suspension of INSILC public comment privilege

  5. 5th violation – Six (6) month suspension of INSILC Public Comment privilege

  6. 6th violation – One (1) year suspension of Public Comment privilege

  7. 7th violation – Five (5) year suspension of INSILC Public Comment privilege

  8. 8th violation – Lifetime ban of INSILC Public Comment privilege

All violations will be documented in writing for INSILC records/files and a written copy of the warning will be provided to the individual following receipt of said warning. Any of the above documented violations a.–h. shall be accrued and remain valid for period of four years from the date of the most recent violation.

M. Video recordings are permitted, however, the individual owning and/or operating the recorder must comply with the following conditions:

a. No obstructions are created between the Council and the audience.

b. No interviews are conducted during the Council meeting.

c. No commentary is made that would distract either the Council or members

of the audience.

d. Recordings shall in no way be used or edited to change the context of the recording or alter its nature.

N. Written Public Comments are accepted by individuals in addition to or in place of public comment at any INSILC public hearing/forum/meeting and pertain to this policy and its applicable rules/procedures. These comments may be submitted electronically or by U.S. mail to the INSILC Executive Director whom will acknowledge receipt of the comments and share them with the Council.

Access to Public Records/Documents and Requests for Policy/Procedures

INSILC is committed to providing access to public records/documents in accordance with its policy underlying the Indiana Access to Public Records Act (APRA). Therefore, INSILC has adopted the following to implement procedures in order to appropriately respond to public records/documents requests from members of the public. 

A.  All requests for INSILC public records/ documents must be submitted via U.S. mail or electronically to the INSILC executive Director at P.O. Box 801 Danville, IN 46122 or on the INSILC Access to Public Records/Documents Request Form (“Request Form”). All Request Forms must be thoroughly completed and not missing any required information. 

Click here to access the INSILC Access to public Records/Documents Request Form. 

B. Electronic requests must attach a PDF version of the Request Form with the requestor’s signature. Electronic requests without an attached PDF form with the requestor’s signature will not be processed.

C. All requests will be deemed “made” as of the date and time the Request Form is received by the INSILC Executive Director.

D. All requests must: (a) identify the record(s)/document(s) being requested with reasonable particularity; and (b) indicate which method of receipt is desired.

E. INSILC obtains the right to deny requests made for INSILC records/documents that:

             a. Do not conform to the INSILC request standards;

             b. Are not relevant to INSILC or are not official INSILC records/documents;

             c. Are considered confidential in nature according to Indiana Code §5-14-3-4.

Before denial of requests, INSILC will, when reasonably practicable, ask requestors to clarify or narrow their request or take other appropriate steps to comply with this policy/procedures. If requests for a particular record(s)/document(s) is not considered relevant to INSILC nor is an official INSILC record(s)/document(s), INSILC will do its best to refer the requestor to the appropriate agency to retain the record(s)/document(s). No requests will be denied because a requestor does not state the purpose of the request.

F. INSILC will act to respond and approve or deny each request within seven (7) business days of the “deemed” received date of the request. If the request conforms to the criteria set forth above, INSILC will approve the request unless it determines that one or more of the exemptions under Indiana Code §5-14-3-4 applies. Should there be any doubt concerning the proper application or interpretation of Indiana Code §5-14-3-4, INSILC shall seek the advice of the Indiana Public Access Counselor or its Legal Counsel before acting on the request.

G. If INSILC denies a request, in whole or in part, it will provide the pertinent denial information to the requestor.

H. No fee will be charged for records/documents sent electronically in PDF. However, if records are too voluminous to transmit via electronically in PDF or if the requestor requests the record(s)/document(s) to be in paper copy format, INSILC will charge a fee to copy the records/documents for a requestor at $0.10 per page. Fees will also be assessed and charged for costs associated to gather materials from other mediums such as information stored on a computer tape, computer disc, or a similar record system, etc. Records/documents requested and provided in an alternative format as a reasonable accommodation will not be charged a fee, however, requestors may still be charged fees for costs associated to gather the materials as indicated previously.

The following fees apply to all INSILC access to public records/documents requests. Any applicable fees must be paid in full to INSILC by the requestor prior to release of the records/documents. This includes the appropriate postage costs associated with mailings of records/documents.

Copy charges:

    Photocopy                                                                         $0.10 per page

    Electronic Mediums                                                       no charge

    Email with PDF attachments                                       no charge

I. INSILC will take all reasonable precautions to protect its records/documents from loss, mutilation, or destruction and to protect their contents from unauthorized access. Any Council or staff member who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly discloses or fails to protect confidential information may be subject to legal or disciplinary action.