Accessibilities Committee (formerly Special Needs)
This committee tries to ensure that members and groups recognize the needs of those with special needs, such as hearing impaired, sight impaired, wheelchair bound and other unique needs. Efforts are made to ensure that meetings are available to those or to even bring meetings to shut-ins if necessary. An example of this would be arranging for signers (sign language interpreters) for the hearing impaired at a meeting or conference.

  There are no special A.A. Groups, only individuals with special needs.
Reprinted with permission from "Serving Alcoholics With Special Needs" 2001 A.A. World Services, Inc.

"Experience suggests that most groups will agree to having a non-A.A. attend it's closed meetings to act as interpreters for the deaf alcoholic. Professional interpreters adhere to a strict code of ethics which assures the confidentiality of the A.A. meeting." 
Reprinted with permission "Serving Alcoholics With Special Needs" 2001 A.A. World Services, Inc.

Shut-ins
Mobile Groups; These are volunteers who take a regular A.A. meeting to those members who will be home bound or hospitalized for a long period of time. These members of our fellowship may consist of our old-timers, and we should not let them disappear because they can no longer attend meetings. It may be a member who has a chronic illness or is bed ridden due to an accident. What ever the reason may be, they can no longer attend A.A. meetings for the love and fellowship they need. It would be ideal if we had Mobile Groups in each district. It could prove to be such rewarding 12 Step work.

Blind or Visually Impaired
This group of A.A. members primarily need volunteers who are willing to provide transportation to and from meetings and other A.A. events. It is also important that we be aware of the special needs the blind have in attending our meeting. The meeting should be set up exactly the same each week if at all possible. If anything has been moved, someone needs to guide him or her to their seats, restrooms, etc. If it is their first meeting, they should be informed of the literature that is available to them in braille or large print. It is also good to keep in mind, that some Alcoholics are embarrassed by the fact that they can't read or write. In order to be of help to them without singling them out, we can have the chair person point out that most of the A.A. literature is available on audio cassettes and cd.

Physical Disabilities
Some physically challenged A.A.'s can get to meetings. If your meeting is wheelchair accessible, make sure the room is arranged so that there is ample space for wheelchairs and walkers. They may need volunteers to drive them to and from meetings. Also, check that near by parking is available. If your meeting is wheelchair accessible, make sure that it is coded as such on your local meetings list.

        The goal is to enable every alcoholic to be an active participant in the group, without
        emphasizing differences.

Reprinted with permission from "Serving Alcoholics With Special Needs" 2001 A.A. World Services, Inc.

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Copyright 2003-2017 Area 54 NE Ohio General Service of Alcoholics Anonymous. All Rights Reserved.
Portions of this website are reprinted with permission from A.A. World Services, Inc., The A.A. Grapevine, Inc.

Web site inception date February 6, 1997