This work could not have been completed without the remarkable assistance of many individuals to whom I am extremely indebted. Great appreciation goes to all of the people (too numerous to list) who so generously gave of their time by sending me information and providing feedback on the manuscript. In addition, the following individuals deserve special mention.
I am deeply grateful to Al Sonnenstrahl, TDI’s executive director between 1987 and 1996, whose energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge have both inspired and guided me for the twenty years that we have worked together, and whose ongoing willingness to step into unchartered waters (sometimes despite their unpopularity) contributed to so many of the victories described in this book. I am equally indebted to Judy Harkins, Gallaudet University researcher and professor, whose friendship, direction, and technical expertise I and so many others working to achieve telecommunications equality have come to depend upon, and whose encouragement motivated me to write this manuscript.
My special gratitude also goes to the many individuals who took time out of their active schedules to read and provide feedback on significant portions of the book: my husband, whose willingness to spend hours and hours patiently reading and expertly editing every line of this manuscript went far beyond any promises made in our marital vows; Dan Bart of TIA who never tired of meticulously combing through any of the drafts I sent his way; Larry R. Goldberg of NCAM, who answered my incessant questions over the past four years, and Elaine Hatcher and Ron Hatley of the former AT&T, who created bonds with disability advocates long before it was popular to do so. Special thanks also go to Claude Stout, current TDI executive director, for lending overall support and allowing me to comb through TDI’s files for pictures and other archives.
In addition to the above individuals, my eternal gratitude goes to various other partners in advocacy, who provided generous assistance and advice over the years and help whenever I needed it for this book: Paul Taylor, Cheryl Heppner, Brenda Battat, Sheri Farinha, Pam Ransom; Nancy Bloch, Kelby Brick, Larry Brick, and others at the NAD; Ben Soukup, Mark Seeger, Pat Reiter, and others at CSD; Pam Holmes, Rob Engelke, Kevin Colwell, and others at Ultratec; and Gregg Vanderheiden, Donna Sorkin, Jim Tobias, Frank Bowe, Paul Singleton, Pam Gregory, Judy Viera, Harvey Goodstein, Toni Dunne, Linda DuBroof, Jenifer Simpson, Paul Schroeder, and Alan Dinsmore.
My heartfelt thanks also go to my former NCLD colleagues—Sheila Conlon Mentkowsi (who was always there to answer “just one more question”), Sy DuBow, Elaine Gardner, Marc Charmatz, and Sarah Geer—hopefully this book will shed some light on all of your amazing accomplishments; to Larry J. Goldberg (yes, there are two Larry Goldbergs in this history) for digging out NCLD’s archives; to Phil Bravin, Jo Ann McCann, Jeff Hutchins, and Phil Collyer for your assistance on the captioning chapters; to Brenda Kelly-Frey, Pam Stewart, Ed Bosson, and Bob Segalman for guidance on portions of the relay history; to Peter Bennett, formerly of EIA, for providing extensive background material and reviewing my drafts on the early HAC years; to Paula Tucker, for providing technical support where it was needed; to my industry colleagues—Susan Mazrui, Laura Ruby, Rich Ellis, Ellen Blackler, Mary Brooner, Andrea Williams, and so many others too numerous to mention—we may not always agree on how to get there, but I believe in the end we all share a common goal; and to Spiegel and McDiormid (Jeff Berns) and Sprint (Mike Fingerhut), for the generous use of your law library in the preparation of this manuscript.
Special gratitude goes to former FCC Chairman William E. Kennard for having faith in me and for enabling this community to make such extraordinary strides under your tenure, as well as to Senators Tom Harkin and John McCain, Congressman Edward Markey, and former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt for using your leadership positions to advance the cause of telecommunications access.
I would also like to express great thanks to Ivey Pittle Wallace and Deirdre Mullervy, my Gallaudet Press editors, for their patience and assistance in turning this book into a reality.
My last words of appreciation go to my mother and departed father for instilling in me your strong sense of social justice and enabling me to realize my dreams, to my sister for always being my best friend, and to the rest of my family for never complaining when manuscript duties kept me hunched over my computer keyboard—as promised, gourmet cooking is now yours for the asking.