In Response to Member Feedback, AWP Releases Revised ADA Report
September 28, 2018
Dear members and friends of AWP,
We recently posted a copy of an accessibility consultant’s report, which evaluated AWP’s responsiveness to the concerns and needs of AWP conference attendees who are persons with disabilities. The report specifically reviewed the experiences from the most recent AWP Conference this March in Tampa, Florida. It also provided very helpful information regarding the many requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that pertain to conference venues, as well as offering a review of the AWP staff’s performance in preparing for accessibility concerns at that conference and bookfair.
The original version of the consultant’s report contained a few references that some readers found problematic or even offensive in content and/or tone. We are sorry that this was their reaction; it was never the intent nor in the interest of AWP or the consultant to cause such a reaction among some of our readers. Once their concerns were made known to us, we withdrew that version of the consultant’s report from our website. We then met with leadership within AWP’s Disabled and D/deaf Writers Caucus to further explore how best to be sensitive and responsive to these concerns, while still raising the important ADA considerations and related content in the consultant’s report. We also engaged with the consultant further to agree on appropriate final revisions to the report.
AWP, with the consultant’s approval, has now revised the report in such a way as not to diminish the very valuable, informative, and pertinent work carried out by this respected expert. Still, AWP has attempted in this revision to be more considerate about the issues of tone and sensitivity that were raised by concerned persons. We very much appreciate the constructive feedback that we have received, and we take this opportunity to reiterate our continuing commitment to make our conferences and bookfairs, and all AWP-sponsored events, as accessible as possible to all persons.
We welcome any new feedback on this revised report, which I ask you to direct to our Director of Conferences, Cynthia Sherman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chloe Schwenke, Ph.D.
Interim Executive Director