From the September 2010 magazine.


When the editorial staff here at Grapevine tried to develop a concept for the cover of this Special Needs issue, we were completely stumped. How would we find a cover that could visually embrace all the many different members with Special Needs in our Fellowship without portraying some as more important than others? And how would we portray those Special Needs that aren't even visible? In the end, we settled on the universal communication of sign language and the word "Acceptance" to convey our Special Needs theme because so many of the stories circulated around the concept of acceptance and taking the next right action. In "Speak Up!" the writer talks about dealing with a major hearing loss and getting others to hear his need for accommodation. His challenge is more obvious, and he makes clear what he ideally would like to experience in a meeting. A young man with a learning disability faces challenges not so clearly visible, but learns to stay sober with service and the Steps, despite his frustrations. In each of these stories, acceptance provides the path to peace and serenity. As the Big Book says, "Unless I can accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy."

We would love to hear your feedback on the Special Needs cover, and your thoughts on this issue and acceptance. But more than anything, we would love to hear your story. For more information on upcoming themes and contributing, visit


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