“I am responsible…when anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.”
“Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a greater whole. AA must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterwards.” (Tradition 1, Long Form)
The purpose of the Access Committee is to increase awareness of all issues that prevent access to AA meetings and to offer and develop resources that Oregon Area 58 groups and districts can use to make the AA message and participation in our program of recovery available to everyone who reaches out for it.
Access issues apply to all alcoholics who have difficulties participating in AA, whether those barriers are mental, physical, geographic, cultural, ethnic, spiritual or emotional:
- Blindness or visual impairment;
- Deafness or difficulty hearing;
- Reading disabilities;
- Physical challenges and chronic illnesses;
- Elders or others who are homebound or in hospitals/care facilities and have difficulty getting to meetings;
- Parents without childcare and other caregivers;
- Underserved and remote communities.
Issues related to safety and inclusiveness also affects access to our meetings:
- Violent, inappropriate, disruptive, bullying, predatory and illegal behaviors;
- Sexual harassment or stalking;
- Financial coercion;
- Racial, sexual orientation or gender identification intolerance;
- Pressuring AA members into a particular point of view or belief relating to medical treatments and/or medications, politics, religion, or other outside issues;
- Behaviors that go on outside of typical meeting times that affect whether someone feels safe to return to the group.
Want to Get Involved?
Would you like to join others who have passion and interest in service that increases awareness of these access issues? The Oregon Area 58 Access Committee needs you! Please fill out the form with your contact information and how you would like to be involved.
Access Committee Chair
The Access Committee Chair serves as a resource in Oregon Area 58 for gathering and sharing information and experience from Districts, Groups, GSO, other AA areas on access issues and needs. This position is a 2-year commitment, rotating in even-numbered years.
Current Chair: Theron B. – firstname.lastname@example.org
District Access Committee Chairs
If you are a District Access Committee Chair, the General Service Office (GSO) will provide you with the Accessibilities Workbook, Guidelines and pamphlet literature, but not the complete Accessibilities Kit. To be listed as the Access Chair and receive these materials from GSO, send the following information via e-mail to email@example.com:
- Full Name
- Phone Number
- Name of the entity where you serve as committee chair (Area 58, District XX)
Also, please cc your message to the Oregon Area Access Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oregon Area 58 Access Resources
The following resources provide helpful information on the wide range of Access issues that can be barriers to AA members and newcomers attending meetings and receiving the AA message through our literature.
Portland Deaf Access Committee (PDAC)
The Portland Deaf Access Committee (PDAC) is a group of AA members who work together to help make AA in the Portland Metro Area accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing alcoholics by hiring professional sign language interpreters for meetings or events. A calendar of interpreted meetings is available on the web site at http://www.pdacaa.org, and the committee can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com. PDAC relies on donations to pay for interpreting services and accepts either cash or checks made payable to the Portland Deaf Access Committee mailed to Portland Deaf Access Committee, PO Box 68173, Portland, OR, 97268.
Video of Panel on “Inclusivity in AA” Interpreted in ASL
District 9 held a panel in August 2018 on issues of inclusivity in AA, and made the discussion available to non-hearing AA members by asking the interpreter for the panel to provide the ASL version. The video can be viewed via this link:
Safety, Inclusivity and Diversity Panel
Hosted by District 16, Oregon Area 58 – June 27, 2020
District 16 hosted an excellent virtual panel highlighting personal struggles, challenges and solutions concerning safety, inclusivity and diversity in AA. You can listen to the workshop presentations and download the event resource guide at:
AA In A Changing World
Hosted by District 26, Oregon Area 58 – July 18, 2020
Listen to this informative event in an “Ask It Basket” format that includes an experienced panel discussing and answering questions about many of the access issues we face today: