"Newsletter – February 2005" table of contents
NEWSLETTER UPDATE – FEBRUARY 2005
FROM PHYLLIS F. RESNICK, PRESIDENT
HELLO, AGAIN, EVERYBODY!!!!!
It has been a long time since we last published a newsletter. In that time much has happened in the life of “Access Now”. To begin with, as most of you probably know, our Founder and President (and my beloved husband) Edward S. Resnick, passed away. (See” Edward S. Resnick, Founde”r on our home page.) Edward was our inspiration, our guiding force and our Rock of Gibraltar. He was memorialized in the Fall 2004 edition of the Florida Bar’s Public Interest Law Section (PILS) Reporter, Volume XII, No. 1. To say that his passing is an incalculable loss, not only to our family and friends, but also to our civic and social community and, of course, to “Access Now”, is to understate the obvious.
I would like to take the opportunity at this time to issue a belated, but nonetheless heartfelt, thank you to all who, upon Edward’s passing, sent us emails, letters, guest book entries in the obituary section of the Miami Herald and donations. The donations were all put to use to further our goals and I have all the written materials printed and saved and I shall cherish each and every one of them!
However, as we all know, life somehow does go on. I pledged to myself and to all involved with “Access Now” that I would continue to carry forward our work, in tribute to Edward. I feel that it is his most lasting legacy and it is also personally gratifying to me to remain involved in that which was so dear to both of us.
Following Edward’s passing I moved our residence and office, which Edward and I had been planning to do together. Soon after settling in, I became very ill and the entirety of last winter and spring was involved with my recovery, which, I am happy to say, has been complete. It has taken me until now to sufficiently catch up on all my personal matters as well as on “Access Now” so as to enable me to pull everything together and finally get out this newsletter. During this time, however, thanks to the dedicated work of our wonderful attorneys, our mission of bringing about as much accessibility as possible to as many members of the disabled community as possible has continued unabated and we have many marvelous results to show for everyone’s efforts!
AS AN INTRODUCTION TO OUR WORK, FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE NEW TO US, WE WOULD LIKE TO BEGIN WITH THE FOLLOWING LETTER FROM A MEMBER:
This letter moved us deeply, speaking as eloquently as it does about our goals and mission. We want to share it with all of you. It is activism and perseverance such as demonstrated by Mr. Lawson that helps make our work possible and the results so gratifying! Thank you, James!!!
Dear Mrs. Resnick, I hope this email finds you well and enjoying life.
I want to thank you for your help and support in making Oklahoma accessible. I was so fortunate to have been able to talk with you and your husband several years ago when I was totally frustrated with the lack of accessibility in Oklahoma. Since that time I have been able to make great advances in accessibility in Oklahoma.
I would like to share a story with you about the impact we are having.
On Thursday, February 3, Linda and I decided to go to Oklahoma City to get some staples that we normally buy at Sam’s Club. Because I had been in the State Capitol building the previous week and found it very impressive I decided to take Linda to see it before we went to Sam’s Club.
While we were touring the building a woman came up to me and asked if I was the person she had seen on TV who was trying to make things accessible. While I was preparing myself for a negative conversation about my law suits she spoke up again. She said she was touring the State Capitol building with a class of special needs children and would like for me to meet them. Linda and I followed her around the corner and there was a class of 10-12 children with many different special needs. Several were using wheelchairs, one student was blind.
What really touched me was how she introduced me. She said “This Mr. Lawson, he is fighting for our rights. He is trying to make things accessible where we can use our wheelchairs to go places.” She asked me if she could take my picture with the students.
This made all my struggles worth while. Knowing that I may be helping those children enjoy a better life is one reason I am fighting this battle.
Although separated by many miles You and Access Now are an important part of this struggle. Many of us will remember that Mr. Resnick made the reality of the ADA promise of inclusion possible.
Again thanks for your help.
The ADA became law 15 years ago and time is up. Back of the bus treatment is no longer acceptable.