Online Schedule for DODA groups and the Deaf Alcoholic 

Online ASL Meetings for the Deaf Alcoholic

Click above for details of the meetings. Please email the Accessibilities Committee at if you still have questions. Thank you.


The purpose of the Accessibilities Committee is to carry the message of Alcoholics Anonymous to those who are blind or visually impaired; deaf or hard of hearing; chronically ill or home bound, and those who are developmentally disabled. 

If you are interested in becoming an active member of the Accessibilities Committee or are interested in information about what we do, please feel free to email us at specialneeds@aadistrict5.orgThe Accessibilities Committee meets monthly at 5:30pm on the 4th Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. on Zoom.  The Zoom ID is 867 4592 6436 and the passcode is Access 

Who We Are

The District 5 Accessibilities Committee is a volunteer committee dedicated to providing materials and resources to members of Alcoholics Anonymous with accessibility issues in our area of SW Florida. We work in cooperation with Area 15 General Service Committee and other Accessibilities Committees throughout the area.

Who does the Accessibilities Committee reach out to?

While there are no special AA members, some members need special help to receive the AA message. 

We define AA’s with Special Needs as persons who are blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, chronically ill or homebound, those who are developmentally disabled, and many others who may have less visible challenges.

Difficulties with Disabilities

“A person with a disability is already stigmatized and may be afraid of meeting strangers; they have been told they are different,” says Michael N., an A.A. member who is blind.   A director of a state agency in the Midwest that serves people who are blind, he says, “there is evidence that those with disabilities are more likely than able-bodied people to suffer from alcoholism, and we need to do what we can in A.A. to help these people find us.”

Shane K., an A.A. member and director of an addiction studies program at a university in Illinois, says, “We have a long way to go, but people are getting energized by this issue. The good-news piece is that in the disability community we are recognizing the need to get people into recovery. A.A. is finding a way to be there for those with disabilities.”

Sobering Facts – District 5

Based on national averages, in similar demographic areas, approximately….

  • 3% of the population is either legally blind or are visually impaired,
  • 15% report some hearing trouble,
  • 18.9% have some developmental disability.

Based on the numbers above, how many of our fellowship may need special help to access the program? Let’s not take our ability to attend meetings, events, and even the meeting after the meeting for granted. 

Let’s be the hand of AA reaching out….

Alcoholics in Nursing Homes and ALFs

Stop, and think…. If alcoholics represent roughly 10% of the population, how many in our fellowship are within reach, but beyond our sight?  What if you resided in a nursing home or ALF…would you no longer be an alcoholic?  Of course, you would!  Let’s not forget our brothers and sisters living here…. Volunteer to carry the message in or pick up a new ‘friend’ to attend an outside meeting. 

In District 5 there are…

  • 80+ Nursing Homes
  • 60+ Assistant Living facilities

Let’s be the hand of AA reaching out….

How the Accessibilities Committee Seeks to Serve:

  • Provide ASL interpreters for meetings and events.
  • Provide A.A. literature in a variety of formats:  American Sign Language DVDs, audio cassettes, CDs, large print, and illustrated pamphlets and brochures
  • Assist the physically disabled at events.
  • Provide rides to meetings and events.
  • Encourage wheelchair-accessible meetings and events.
  • Update accessibility information on Meeting Lists
  • Bring meetings into the home, hospital, or long-term care facilities.
  • Provide literature and hold workshops.
  • Explore other accessibility issues; work with GSO and other districts & areas.

Testimonial of a Quadriplegic

Gary P. of Long Beach, Calif., who is 17 years sober in A.A. and a quadriplegic as a result of an accident in 1975, got sober in a Veterans Administration alcohol treatment facility for the disabled. “The good thing is they treated us like any other alcoholic; they were in your face about your disease,” says Gary.

 After getting sober, he and others with disabilities would travel together to A.A. meetings. “We went to meetings for years, a bunch of guys in wheelchairs. People loved having us there,” says Gary. “If one meeting wasn’t accessible, 10 were. People are sometimes timid about how to approach those with a disability, but when I reach out my hand to someone, it really breaks that barrier down.”

Links to more information:

Online Intergroup

Informational Resources

Accessibilities Checklist for Meetings and Groups  

Accessibility for all Alcoholics

Sharing the AA Message with the Alcoholic who is Deaf  

If you are interested in becoming an active member of the Accessibilities Committee, or have questions and/or concerns, please call us at 941.888.4403, email us at, or join us at the Intergroup Office the 4th Wednesday of the month – we hold our regular meetings there at 5:30. 

Together, we’re the hand of AA reaching out.