"Newsletter – January 2012" table of contents
NEWSLETTER UPDATE – JANUARY, 2012
FROM PHYLLIS F. RESNICK, PRESIDENT
HELLO AGAIN, EVERYBODY! July of 2010 marked the 20th anniversary of the passing into law of the Americans with Disabilities Act, “the A.D.A”. It is difficult to believe and sad to contemplate that, even after all this time, we still receive pleas daily from people who are being denied their rights under this civil rights law. Therefore, it is a gratifying and encouraging delight to receive a donation with kudos (although far more of the latter than we deserve; more about that below). As a perfect case in point, we would like to share with you the following moving letter, dated December 31, 2011, which we received from one of our members (the letter contained a small check):
Dear Access Now, Inc.
Thanks for making a better nation and a better world with your work.
I’m a blind guy, and like 70% of my fellow blind people, I am unemployed. Most of us receive SSI, which is less than a thousand dollars a month; my disability income does not even cover the rent of one room in the house, which I share with 6 other sentient beings. So this could be considered to be blood money. Use it wisely.
It may not be enough to buy good polish for your halos. Since the donation is so small, a wise use might be to keep some worthy volunteers in cheese and crackers. Maybe it won’t even cover the tip to the cab driver who carries your superstars to the airport. But people who have to live out of a suitcase in order to spread the gospel of goodness, kindness, and compassion, deserve recognition from the heart also.
Or maybe a person who goes way above and beyond for sacrificing time, money, and energy to advance the wonderfulness of Access Now, Inc. In my experience, the secretary of the board of directors and the newsletter editor do a disproportionate amount of unheralded work.
I am enclosing my address, but please don’t send me continued solicitations, keep me off your mailing list. I have to pay someone to read the mail, which is already too much every week. Keep me on an email list.
The deposited check is sufficient recognition of the donation; no mail confirmation is required.
May all of us live better lives with peace, joy, health and security in the coming years and have all of our hearts beating throughout 2012.
Thanks once again for doing great work.
(Note from Newsletter Editor: Name and Address withheld herein. )
(Additional Note): For the purposes of clarification to our readers, please let us say here what we replied, in part, to the letter writer above:
“First of all, no donation is too small. Yours is even more generous than many larger ones we might possibly receive from those who are more easily able to make a donation. Secondly, we do not wear or deserve halos. Although we do have our Board of Directors and our Executive Committee, we do not have any working volunteers, save for my assistant and myself, and believe me, neither one of us needs any more cheese and crackers! (We are both Weight Watchers grads!) We CERTAINLY don’t have any superstars coming from or going to airports. (May I assume that you were merely being humorous?) Of course, we do have the dedicated work of a small number of attorneys and consultants who, although they receive compensation for their efforts when a case is finally concluded, nevertheless are working on contingency, so in the rare instance where we might not prevail in any given court case, they are assuming some level of financial risk. We are merely people who have either suffered accessibility discrimination because of disability or who have been close to someone who has. In short, we are people who FEEL beyond our own individual experiences and who are therefore compelled to do something about the world beyond our own noses.
And so, Dear Reader, to continue:
As you may know, we have never required a membership fee for joining with us in our mission and we are NOT going to change that now. However, we have always stated that voluntary donations are welcomed and deeply appreciated, although we have never actually solicited them. This year, however, is different, as it is for so many people. THEREFORE, WE ARE NOW ASKING FOR VOLUNTARY DONATIONS IN ORDER TO KEEP OUR EFFORTS MOVING FORWARD. (Please remember that all donations to us are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.) Any donation of any amount will, you may be certain, be put to good use as we pursue as much accessibility as possible for as many members of the disabled community as possible. To that end, we will now begin to send our twice-yearly newsletter by EMAIL TO THOSE WHO HAVE FURNISHED US WITH EMAIL ADDRESSES, thereby saving costs as well as trees. (Of course, for those who have not sent us an email “addy”, we will be mailing this newsletter via postal mail, as we have done in the past.) If you wish to receive this newsletter via email, please update us as to your current email addy. We look forward to hearing from you at any level of financial assistance which you feel able to provide. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!
My heartfelt thanks to our Board of Directors and Executive Committee, our 1st Vice President, my indefatigable assistant, our computer gurus and the attorneys and consultants with whom we work! I would like to thank all our members, worldwide, for their continued support and, in an abundance of optimism, our prospective members as well!