W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > October to December 1998

Re: Washington Post editoral: Claims Against Common Sense

From: Charles F. Munat <coder@acnet.net>
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 16:43:53 -0600
Message-ID: <003801be127b$c2f276e0$2b1172a7@acnet.net>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
A few years ago I took a class in ethics. One day the professor arrived with
a puzzled look on his face. On his way to class, he explained, he had been
listening to Andy Rooney on NPR. The topic was health care, the hot topic at
that time. Rooney made the statement (to the best of my recollection): "But
if we extend healthcare to everyone, then the quality of our healthcare will
decline."

This confused my professor, a philosophically-oriented gentleman. How, he
asked, can extending healthcare to people who haven't got it equal a decline
in the quality of healthcare? Being a bit more politically-minded, I
explained it to him.

Rooney had two standards. When he said "extend healthcare to EVERYONE," he
meant it literally: all human beings. But when he said the "quality of OUR
healthcare will decline," he was referring to people like himself: people
who count.

William Raspberry is part of the group currently in power. People with
disabilities are not. And if we extend accessibility to EVERYONE, then the
quality of OUR access will decline.

Of course, this need not be true (even in it's sickening double-standard
form), but even if it were true, that making the site accessible to all
people using non-visual means of access meant a decline in the
"user-friendliness" of the site for others, the real issue here is: who has
the power, and who should enjoy the benefits of it. In Raspberry's view, he
has the power (us), and people with disabilities (them) don't. So they
should just shut up and be thankful that WE are letting them play at all
(and what a pain in the ass that is). The nerve of those ungrateful whiners!

Raspberry should be ashamed, and doubly ashamed since he has benefited
greatly from previous efforts to extend accessibility to power to the
disenfranchised.
Received on Tuesday, 17 November 1998 17:48:02 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 19 July 2011 18:13:40 GMT