AREA 9 INFORMATION

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Special Needs Committee


Purpose:
While there are no special A.A. members, many members have special needs. For the purpose of those Guidelines, we define A.A.s with special needs as persons who are blind or visually impaired; deaf or hard of hearing; chronically ill or homebound, and those who are developmentally disabled.

Special Needs Committees: Some A.A. entities are attempting to meet such needs by forming Special Needs Committees. Since the goal is to make A.A. accessible, some committees refer to themselves as Accessibility's Committees. In some localities committees name themselves according to the specific need addressed, such as “Hearing Impaired Committee.” When one or more members of a group have special needs (such as the need for an American Sign Language interpreter or wheelchair accessibility, or have an illness which prevents them from getting to the meeting room), A.A. members from that group will attempt to see that those needs are met. The members of a Special Needs Committee explore, develop and offer resources to make the A.A. message and participation in our program available to everyone who reaches out for it. A G.S.O. staff member who serves on the Special Needs assignment, is available as a resource and communicates with local Special Needs Committees.

In the interests of good communication and working together, Special Needs Committees are encouraged to keep their area committees and local central/intergroup offices informed of their activities. It is also helpful to work closely with committees handling Public Information and Cooperation With the Professional Community in terms of keeping the public and appropriate agencies informed about A.A. being accessible to alcoholics with special needs.

-- Taken from the A.A. Guidelines on Special Needs from N.Y