Welcome to issue 10 of the Riot! It’s the October Silly Rules issue.
The front page contains the newsletter title and subtitles, a left column listing the table
of contents called ―What's Inside,‖ and two articles.
Newsletter title: The Riot!
Issue 10, October 2006
A National E-Newsletter from the Self-Advocate Leadership Network at HSRI
Page 2: Julie’s Jive and Dayna Says…
Page 3: Silly Rules Everywhere
Page 4 & 5: Interviews on Silly Rules
Page 6: Fall ―Horrorscope‖ and Ask Cubby
Page 7: People First Takes Action and a Word Puzzle
Page 8: Craig Says, a cartoon by Jazzy and answer to the Word Puzzle.
Page 9: The Riot! Action Page and other intormation.
Page 10: Bonus page
Do you want to order a Riot! T-shirt? Call Jennifer at 503-924-3783, extension 10.
Subscribe to The Riot! It’s Free! Go to www.theriotrocks.org
Page 1 Front Page News
Rules, Rules, Rules!
Self-advocates put up with Silly Rules that control their lives.
Time to get REAL!
You won’t believe the Silly Rules that control people’s lives! What will you do about it?
Read more inside.
This paragraph is followed by a cartoon of a self-advocate sitting on the couch eating a
sandwich. All of the sudden, two security officers appear out of nowhere. One is
shining a flashlight on the self-advocate. He says: ―Hey! No eating in the TV room!
The other officer is writing him a ticket.
About Silly Rules…
Rules tell us what we can do or what we can’t do. Some rules are good. Other rules
are just plain ―silly.‖
Good rules help us to get through the day safely, keep us out of trouble, or tell us how
to do things the right way.
One good rule is ―to look both ways before you cross a street to make sure it’s safe.‖
Another good rule is to ―treat other people the way you want to be treated.‖ Laws are
rules too! Don’t break these rules!
Other rules are just plain silly because they make no sense at all! These are Silly
Rules. You wonder why people have these rules.
Believe it or not, there are many Silly Rules that tell self-advocates what to do or not to
do. These rules control self-advocates. WHY is that?
With all the talk about ―self-determination,‖ why are there so many Silly Rules telling
self-advocates what to do?
Page 2 Riot! Opinion
Left Column: About The Riot!
The Riot! is produced by the Self-Advocate Leadership Network at the Human Services
Research Institute. We work together with self-advocates to come up with ideas and
write the stories. Here’s who ―we‖ are:
Contributors & Advisors:
Ricky Broussard - Texas
Dayna Davis - Oregon
Rebecca Hare – Washington DC
Cindy Helvington - Oregon
Joe Meadours - Alabama
Eric Matthes - Utah
Teresa Moore - Arizona
Julie Petty – Arkansas
Nancy Ward - Oklahoma
Marion West - New Hampshire
Erick Yeary - Idaho
Cartoonist: Jazmyne Johnston - Oregon
At HSRI: John Agosta, Reena Wagle, Kerri Melda and Jaime Johnston Daignault
Julie’s Jive by Julie Petty of SABE
Self-advocates have told me that providers around the nation have many Silly Rules.
Some have told me that if you live in a group home you can’t have a phone in your
room, go on a date alone, can’t even choose where you shop, and you have to go
where the van goes.
A couple years ago, some guys who lived in a group home in Arkansas called and said
from now on they must cook all their meals from scratch. How silly is that? No one
cooks from scratch anymore. Silly Rules are hard to live by.
These Silly Rules make it hard to be a self-advocate or have a self-determined life.
When people tell you what to do all the time, how can you make choices?
I think it all comes down to making mistakes. Some people think people with disabilities
shouldn’t make mistakes because they don’t want us to get hurt. Everybody makes
mistakes and everybody hurts sometimes. It’s a part of life.
If you live in a place that has Silly Rules, what can you do? Try these three things.
First, get educated about your rights and responsibilities and how to make informed
choices. You may still make mistakes. I have. But at least you can gather information
before making a decision.
Second, you could get involved in your local self-advocacy group. Talk with others
about ways to change or get rid of Silly Rules. The group could write a letter to address
the rules or call a meeting with the provider.
Third, stand up for yourself. Don’t let others control your life. I know it takes courage,
so rely on fellow self-advocates for support. We have to show people that we have
dreams like everyone else.
Teresa Says Silly Voting Rules Must Go
Election Day is November 7th. You can vote for the people you want to represent you.
But even when we vote there are Silly Rules that stand in the way!
Here’s one: In many places, when you register to vote you have to check a box to label
yourself as a person with a disability.
You have to check a box to tell the world that you have a disability! ―Incapacitated‖ and
―incompetent‖ are two examples of the labels. There are uglier ones.
It makes me think… ―Wow! Who are they talking about? Me?‖
I shiver to think that some people in our government still think these cruel words help to
Yes, we can use some assistance. But why do we need to identify ourselves with labels
just to vote?
This is a Silly Rule!
Is a Silly Rule keeping you from voting? If so, ask your self-advocacy group to work
with others to get rid of the words and rules that get in the way of YOU being a self-
advocate and speaking up with your opinion— your vote.
Teresa works at the Arizona Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities
Page 3 Riot! Special Report
Silly Rules Everywhere You Go!
Self-advocates everywhere are beginning to see the Silly Rules in their life. Silly Rules
are rules that don’t seem to make any sense or that other people don’t have in their
lives. All Silly Rules do is keep people down and keep them from living the life they
The Riot! wanted to know more about Silly Rules in people’s lives. So, we asked self-
advocates about it.
We heard from self-advocates in many states. Some of the states are Alabama,
Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah,
Washington, and Virginia.
The people who spoke with us live in different places, like with their families or in group
homes. Some live on their own and others even live in an institution.
These people also do different things during the day. Some go to a day program or a
sheltered workshop. Others have a regular job and some don’t do much at all during
Here is what self-advocates told us about the Silly Rules in their life. You can decide
what you think about these rules.
About Personal Time and Preferences...
We have to be in bed by 9 pm.
I can’t sleep in on weekends.
I can’t go out after dark.
If I want to go somewhere, everyone in the house has to want to go there too.
You can only smoke when staff will go outside with you even if it is your lunch time.
They won’t let us wear make-up.
About Dating and Friendships...
I have to get permission from staff to date.
I can’t give my girlfriend a present at the workshop.
I know two married couples. They have to sleep in their own beds. They can’t share
I can’t have time with friends or family when I want because staff have to go with me.
I want to date this girl but wherever the girl goes, staff goes. I want to take her to a
ball game, but the staff doesn’t want to go to the game so I can’t take her.
About My Own Home…
No eating or sleeping in the living room.
No sleeping in the TV room.
I have to eat meals at a certain time.
We have to share a room with someone even when we don’t want to.
About Work and Day Programs...
If I have something in my lunch that I don’t like, I can’t give it away.
I have to get permission to go to the bathroom.
I can’t use the telephone at the workshop without written permission from my staff.
Even if I want to call for a pizza.
I work at a sheltered workshop and I can’t go anywhere for lunch.
About the Service System...
You have to work your way out of the group home by proving that you can live like
they want you to.
I can’t go out to eat with my case manager.
There’s a chart where we have to sign in and out of our home.
I cannot buy pop or anything for my direct care staff.
I have to stay in a group home—I can’t move out. That is the worst rule of all.
But this may be the silliest rule of all… This is from a self-advocate in New York:
“We don’t have a say in making the rules!”
Self-determination? Self-direction? Choice? These are words self-advocates always
hear. It makes self-advocates wonder… “Why do we have to live with rules like this?”
Page 4 Riot! Special Report
Interviews on Silly Rules: National Leaders Say What They Think
Self-advocates from all over the country tell us about the Silly Rules in their life. When
we heard about these rules, we wondered if national
leaders know about them. We also wondered what they would say about them. To find
out, we called up and spoke with several national leaders. Riot! editors spoke with:
Robert Gettings, head of The National
Association of State Directors of Developmental Disability Services). Directors who
belong to NASDDDS run state service systems. They pay for services that have Silly
Renee Pietrangelo, head of the American
Network of Community Options and Resources. A lot of service providers belong to
ANCOR. Many times it is the providers and staff who make up the Silly Rules.
Jim Gardner, head of the Council on Quality and Leadership in Supports for People with
Disabilities. CQL checks on service
providers across the country to see if they are doing a good job. They try to help them
Brian Boon, head of the Commission on
Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. CARF also checks on service providers
country to see if they are doing a good job and to help them do better.
Here’s what they told us.
National leaders are not in favor of Silly Rules.
These national leaders say that Silly Rules are
are unfair, go against basic rights and take away
opportunities from self-advocates.
Bob Gettings believes "we should do whatever we can to get [rid of] them. I think they
are unfair to people who [get] publiclyfunded dollars. The tax paying public does not
want their dollars spent this way. We say that we set out to provide services in the most
caring way we can. These policies just make a lie of this
Jim Gardner says that “You can’t stop people from talking to each other or using the
phone, or keep
them from going to church if they want to.“
Some say that service
providers are asked to keep people safe and healthy. And that rules are needed. “But
it’s important that they
balance those requirements with integrity, respect, and support of the individual,” says
She adds that people need opportunities to “lead self-directed lives, [take informed]
risks, and build relationships within their community. They should have many
opportunities to make informed choices and safely express themselves including
expressing their own sexuality.”
Silly Rules can exist to make it easier for staff.
One problem is that service providers may make up Silly Rules to make their jobs
easier. When everyone is in bed by 9pm then that sure makes night times easier! No
food in the TV room means it will be easier to clean.
It’s much easier for providers to make lots of rules and limit choices than to allow self-
advocates to make many different choices. Jim Gardner says, ―Silly Rules have helped
us manage group situations. When we have large groups of people,
Page 5 Riot! Romance
Article one: Summer Horoscope
A horoscope predicts the future based on the position of the planets and your birth date.
Find the sign that fits with your birthday. Then read on to discover what love’s got to do
Summer Love Forecast
Aries (March 21-April 19): You’d better carry a fire extinguisher. Sparks will fly when
you meet the boy or girl or your dreams in summer’s hottest month!
Taurus (April 20-May 20): Keep your calendar open. You’ll be kissing a cutie at least
twice a week in July and August!
Gemini (May 21-June 20): Hey hot stuff! Your future sweetie is trying to get your digits!
Cancer (June 21-July 22): Try new things this summer. You’ll meet your new boyfriend
or girlfriend while doing something unusual.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Your forecast calls for lots of sunshine and a ―love storm‖ in
August. High winds could knock your socks off!
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Shift into high speed this summer. You will have at least
three dates each month in August and September!
Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): You will be drawn to a very cute friend-of-a-friend in
sunglasses and a baseball cap. This could be true love!
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The summer sun won’t be the only one kissing your cheeks
this summer! You will be popular with the cuties!
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Your forecast calls of lots of luck at love this summer.
So find a cutie and ask him or her out!
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Having a hard time getting a second date? Read Cubby’s
dating do’s and don’ts and follow his advice!
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Keep those breath mints handy. Sparks will fly when you
―get fresh‖ with a close friend!
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): Are you getting tired of all those dates? Your love life will
slow down in July. But it will pick up again in August!
Article two: Need Romance Advice? Ask Cubby!
Dear Cubby: I got caught kissing a cute girl at the SABE conference by my roommate
at the group home. I’m afraid he’ll tell staff. If staff find out, I could get in trouble. What
should I do?
Dear Hot Lips: Put your lips on ice and talk to your roommate as soon as you can! If he
has not told staff yet, ask him not to. You can tell him that you’d like to keep your
private. If he has told your staff, be prepared to stand up for your right to have a
girlfriend just like anyone else!
Dear Cubby: I’m a member of the
Developmental Disabilities Council in my state. I’ve been dating the daughter of the
Council Chair for the past 6 months. But, he doesn’t know we’re seeing each other!
—Playing with Fire
Dear Playing with Fire: Why is your relationship a secret? Talk to your girlfriend about
telling her Dad that you’re dating each other. If you’re both adults, there shouldn’t be a
problem. In the meantime, be careful about public displays of affection. Her Dad may
be happier about your relationship if he hears it from you two first!
Cubby’s Dating Do’s and Don’ts
Don’t invite your sweetie to a fast food joint like McDonalds, Burger King or Taco Bell on
your first date. Your date will not be impressed!
Do invite your sweetie to a place that you both like. You can talk about it first!
Do you want advice from Cubby? Send Cubby your question. Send him a letter (see
page 8 for our address) or go to our website and follow the links.
Page 6 Riot! Fun
Article one: Summer Fashion Do’s and Don’ts
Fashion is… a style or way of doing things that is popular in our community or with the
people we hang out with. It can be the way we dress or act. We don’t all want to look
and act the same. But most of us do want to fit in and be cool. We like to be
fashionable. Here are some Riot! Fashion Tips!!
Tips for Gals
From… Teresa Moore of Arizona and Dayna Davis of Oregon
Summer tips for the sista’s. Staying cool with a little style!
Do wear cotton. Whether you like dresses, shorts, skirts or skorts, cotton will keep you
cool. It’s a must.
Don’t go grunge. It’s out. Dump the baggy pants.
Do look classy and dress for the occasion. Suits, dresses and tight fitting jeans are
Don’t wear socks with sandals. They’ve gotta go.
Do have fun with colors that you feel good about. Start with colors that people say you
look good in and go from there.
Don’t wear too much jewelry. Remember that too much gold or silver isn’t a good thing.
Do get a good hair-do. Updo’s are sexy, short is cute. Long and sweaty hair just will not
Don’t forget to wear that smile, if you want that boy to stay a while.
Do know that you are beautiful. Make-up? Keep it light. You don’t need too much of
Above all...if you feel good you look good.
Tips for Guys
From… Erick Yeary of Idaho and Ricky Broussard of Texas
It’s summer time. Us dudes want to stay cool and be cool. But first you have to look
cool. Here are some tips about looking cool.
Do get a cool hair-do. Make it look nice. You have lots of choices. Long. Short. Bald.
Don’t get a Mohawk hair-do. That is not the style.
Do get clothes that match. Get yourself some stuff that looks good on you. Match your
top, with your shorts and shoes.
Don’t go with pink anything unless it’s a dress shirt. Lose the pink, bro!
Do wear some bling bling, if you want. You know, gold chains and rings. Not too much
Don’t wear white socks with dress pants and good shoes.
Do wear sandals or flip-flops with those shorts.
Don’t wear socks with sandals or flip-flops!
Do wear boxers because they are cool and rock!
Don’t go with briefs. Lose the briefs, dude!
Above all…. Do be cool! Peace and out!
Popeye and Spinach banner
Picture of Popeye the Sailor Man eating Spinach
Spinach… the official food of self-advocates everywhere.
Which person is best dressed for a summer time date? Isit the person marked 1 or 2 or
Picture One: Man smoking a cigar in overalls
Picture two: Witch with a green face and black hat
Picture three: Circus clown
Page 7 Riot! Sauce
Article one: Craig Says, “Dressing Up Right Stinks!”
I hate getting all dressed up. You know… having to wear a stiff ironed shirt with a
collar, a tie and nice slacks… And I hate
having to wear nice shoes that always fit too tight and make my feet hurt on a hot day. If
you’re a guy, I bet you hate all that too. Well, OK… maybe it’s alright to get dressed up
nice once a week to go to church. But that’s all! That’s plenty!
Don’t you just hate it too when your mom or
girlfriend, wife or staff want you to iron
everything? Even T-shirts! And how about when they always want stuff to match?
Yellow socks don’t go with green shorts? Who says?
Most of us guys don’t care about any of that. Take it from me. Who are you going to
listen to? Craig or your girlfriend?
Most of us just want to walk around and do things in our regular clothes. We just want
to be comfortable. It’s like this…
Us guys don’t care if our clothes are
wrinkled. Wrinkles can look good on a shirt.
We don’t like to spend too much money on clothes. If a shirt costs more than $20 we
probably won’t buy it.
We don’t care if our clothes match perfectly or not. If they sort of match, that’s enough.
We wear socks to keep our feet warm. So socks with sandals work just fine.
We like clothes that remind us of our
favorite sports teams.
We like clothes that we can move around in. We like them not too baggy though.
If we have a shirt we really like, we want to wear it again and again until it falls apart.
Even then we want to keep it around.
Fashion? You can have it! Craig says just dress the way you want to be comfortable.
It’s your choice. Now, THAT’S freedom! Happy July 4!
Cartoon by Jazzy
This cartoon picture three pairs of feet.
First pair is a man waling along with sandals. He is wearing socks with the sandals and
his feet say ―socks with sandals are so comfy.‖
To the side are two other pairs of feet. These are two girls. One pair of feet say‖He’s
cute.‖ The other pair of feet say ―But did you see the socks?‖
Jazzy is pictured at the bottom. She says, ―If he wants a date, the socks have to go.‖
Answer to the Fashion Quiz
Which person on page 6 is best dressed for a
summer time date? Is it the person marked 1 or 2 or 3? What was you answer?
This was a TRICK question because the answer is...
None of the people pictured are dressed up for a good time summer date!
They each sure need some help with what to wear! If you follow the fashion tips we
gave you on page 6… the only person ready right now for a summer time date is….
Page 8, The Riot! Action Page
Article one: Self-Advocates Speak Up! And Speak Out!
It’s summer time. Everyone likes to look good and have fun outside. Don’t you?
But what does ―looking good‖ mean? Can a person look bad? Maybe have a bad hair-
do? Or wear the wrong make-up? Or maybe wear some clothes that just aren’t cool?
What do you think?
At your next self-advocacy meeting, talk about summer fashion. What is cool to do and
what is not? Ask yourselves these questions for guys and gals…
First, what hairstyles are in and what styles are out?
Second, do some colors go better with others? Which color combinations just don’t
Third, can you wear socks with sandals?
Fourth, when should you get all dressed up and when is it OK to dress down?
Fifth, for girls, what about make-up? Should girls wear make up? Can a girl wear too
Six, should you tell someone if they are making a ―fashion mistake?‖ If you think so,
how should you tell the person?
Talk it up… Have your selves a regular riot!
Donate to The Riot! with PayPal. Would you like to support The Riot!? You’re in luck!
You can contribute online by using Pay Pal at: www.theriotrocks.org Or you can write a
check payable to HSRI and mail it to: The Riot! c/o HSRI, 7420 SW Bridgeport Rd #210,
Portland, OR 97224.
Available Now!!! Only $15
Thinking about having a girlfriend or boyfriend? Dreamed of falling in love? Wondered
about sex? If so, then you’ll want a copy of the...
Healthy Relationships and Safe Sex Handbook
by Joe Meadours. To order a copy call 503-924-3783 ext. 10 or visit us at
www.theriotrocks.org and follow the links.
Subscribe to The Riot!
Would you like to have The Riot! delivered to your email inbox? If you said, ―Yes!‖ visit
our website: www.theriotrocks.org. Click ―Subscribe to The Riot!‖ enter your email
address, and click ―Submit.‖
You’ll receive an email announcing each publication of The Riot! with a link to our latest
The Riot! Contact Information
Phone: 503-924-3783, extension 18. Ask for Jaime.
Mail: The Riot!, 7420 SW Bridgeport Rd #210, Portland OR 97224
Email: You can email us from our website at www.theriotrocks.org.