Refund for .@awpwriter membership thanks to #AWP16 disability exclusion

This morning, I demanded a refund for my AWP membership thanks to the treatment of writers with disabilities. I received the refund almost immediately with zero outreach.

receipt for refund of AWP membership fees

Later, after I complained on Twitter about the lack of outreach or response, I received the following email:

"I’m so sorry you never received professional and personal response from anyone here. I am sorry. I want you to know that your blog posts and Tweets were not ignored by the staff here at AWP. Many of us deeply took to heart the issues you and Stephen Kuusisto wrote about about. Your words led to some very difficult discussions here. I’m not a part of the conference department, but I can tell you that as an organization, we’ve made a start, and those conversations are still happening. We are usually asked not to respond on social media without the go-ahead of our board of directors. They ask for the time to meet and craft a thoughtful response, and sometimes that takes a maddeningly long time. We feel it too. And the staff desperately want the messages that are given to the public to reflect how we feel. We are all so emotionally invested by the things our members say; everyone here cares so much about these issues. But I know you don’t feel that, and I can understand why. I’ve gone ahead and refunded your two-year membership per your request. You should have already received a notice that the refund was for the full amount of $115.00. I want you to know that I am sorry to lose your voice in our membership because I feel like we can’t improve without hearing from people like you, who are willing to ask more of us. And we do want to do better."
screen shot of email received from an AWP representative

Too little, too late, and when you think about it, no kind of “excuse,” especially since, as I pointed out in a previous post, AWP employees were responding in (apparently) unofficial capacities in ways that should embarrass the organization and that in no way indicated anyone there was taking the issue seriously.

I’m done.

2 thoughts on “Refund for .@awpwriter membership thanks to #AWP16 disability exclusion

  1. Even though they were jackholes this person seems very sincere. Too little too late. As someone with an invisible disability your experience has definitely kept me far away from awp.

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