Clarence Whaley died on June 14 at the too young age of 60. He was an unsung hero of Structured Negotiations. Simplified Summary of this Document
Along with blind advocate Paul Parravano, Clarence was a Claimant in the negotiations with American Express about Braille and Large Print statements. Clarence’s calm yet forceful presence was crucial to the outcome: a binding settlement agreement with American Express in which the company agreed to provide Braille and Large Print statements to all visually impaired account holders in the United States.
After the American Express agreement was signed in 2005, and American Express ran into problems during implementation, Clarence played a critical role in making sure that the agreement did what it was supposed to. He had patience while the company worked through technical issues, yet he never once forgot that accessible financial information is a civil right. I know that Clarence and Paul’s approach made the success of the American Express Braille agreement possible.
As a result of Clarence and Paul’s effort, and the company’s willingness to engage in the Structured Negotiations process, American Express Braille statements now frequently arrive before the print statements.
In countless phone calls with American Express personnel, Clarence represented blind American Express account holders with consistency, humor, and good spirit. In countless emails with Paul, co-counsel Linda Dardarian, and myself, Clarence kept us smiling, and never wavered in his commitment to follow this project through to the end. He did it with kindness and friendship that I will personally miss.
At the time of his death, Clarence was the Sales and Training Manager at GW Micro, and the GW Micro blog is soliciting remembrances. Memorial contributions may be made to The Seeing Eye Inc., P.O. Box 375, Morristown, NJ 07963.