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Re: Builder.Com article on HWG AWARE site

From: Richard Premack <richardp@akamail.com>
Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 09:34:56 -0400
Message-Id: <199905031332.JAA24424@screamer.cftnet.com>
To: <Lovey@aol.com>, <bbailey@clark.net>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
The first response you included below by a "Not Yet disAbled webmaster" is
most disturbing. I would go as far as to say that the individual who wrote
it seems quite  disturbed his/herself and therefore this is not a response
be taken seriously, although the job of educating people on these issues is
a most serious one.

The analogy of the carpenter in a wheelchair is ludicrous, and it just gets
more inane from there.  To continue further with this person's analogy: 
people with diabetes aren't able to regulate their blood sugar correctly,
we should just let them die; that goes for people with heart trouble, etc.,
etc.; we should quit making left-handed baseball mitts or helping people
have had car accidents because - hey, they just couldn't drive right?

What this person doesn't realize is that some disabled person who has been
able access the web more freely due to the work of the WAI, ADA, NFB and
others, whether it be biomedical researcher, physicist, poet, etc. will one
day enrich or even save this person's miserable little life or one of his

As a not yet disabled developer of accessible browsers, I am sickened and
saddened that this type of enmity towards the disabled community exists in
our society today.

Keep up the good work to enlighten us all.


Richard Premack
From: Lovey@aol.com
To: bbailey@clark.net
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Builder.Com article on HWG AWARE site
Date: Friday, April 30, 1999 6:51 PM

In a message dated 4/30/99 1:10:55 PM, bbailey@clark.net writes:
<< Your "Why Accessibility?" page at http://aware.hwg.org/why/
gets at your (a) and (e) points below, but what about (b) (c) (d) -- not to
mention (f) -- how much more prominently a page will list in the search
engines and portals? >>

Don't be discouraged, but the point is moot my dear.
When you read the comments of people opposing accessible design, it is 
obvious they didn't read past the first sentence of Schaffer's article. (
anyone's article regarding the same subject) 
They won't go to the ADA home page and read about what the law is about 
won't go to AWARE, or to the FCC's  Disabilities Issues Task Force Home
[http://www.fcc.gov/dtf/] or the Presidents Affirmative Action Homepage for

PWD's page [http://www50.pcepd.gov/pcepd/pubs/ek98/affirmat.htm]
or to the WAI homepage or anywhere else....and they believe Laura 
Schlessinger is a real doctor. 
All the information in the world at their fingertips..... POOF!!! What is
purpose of the internet in the first place?
We all might as well become beta testers for SETI:

My favorite comments from a "Not Yet disAbled webmasters": (don't ask me to

name names.)

"...As for ADA, I agree with it, but also disagree with it. Like it or not,

there are people who do not have the physical or mental ability to do
things. Just because they "MIGHT" be able to do a task, does not mean that 
they should be allowed to do the task or given access....Just because a guy

in a wheelchair can swing a hammer does not mean that he can go out to a
site and become a carpenter. He is not physically able to climb the
or lift heavy objects a certain height, etc. It is the same with the web
something that we have to get real about. ..."
"...I believe that accessibility is a privalage and not a right. Now
of ADA it is a law (not a right), but in my opinion it is a bad law which 
gives those who wish to abuse it a lot of power, when in the end we will
have to pay if it is taken to its fullest...this act is a very dangerous
that has been put into effect...Forcing ADA on the world and internet just 
kills choices, kills creativity...if ADA is forced, I forsee that websites 
will make you sign a waver preventing you to sue just to access their 
information. If ADA is enforced this is one way that I see the net fighting

back to combat bad law. Again because of this, your accessability will
restricted.. ..."
"...disabled means NOT ABLE.  It means there are certain things you are not

capable of doingin the capacity an ABLE person is.  On the same token, DIS 
ABLED always get the prime parking spots...."
"...One more law to yank the rights from the masses to serve the few...
to be a cancer running rampant in this country... lets just get it over
and legislate thought.... no more thinking creativly, no more thinking 
thoughts that someone else may object to.... no more thoughts that are not 
ADA compliant, or that may not be racialy exceptable, or socialy
or politicaly correct. I know this sounds off the wall....but so is this 
insane desire to heap more laws and regulations on ourselves. We are fast 
becoming Russia. Are more laws really the answer to this folks..???? I for 
one take offense to this. I have nothing against making my site fully ADA 
compliant..(whatever THAT is) I have done some things to move in that 
direction....and if a person who was handicapped needed my information...I 
would be very open to a kind request..but having it SHOVED down my 
throat...leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth..and I believe these silly 
laws..only further divide our nation into segregated camps...Can't people
happy with what they have? I don't see anything but a bunch of lawyers and
few people angry about their situation profiting from all this law. This is

my 1/2 cents worth... "

(Lovey's note: You may remember my post to this "obscure" list a few months

ago about the person who had posted on their website: "This site passed
and is ADA Compliant" - this is her 1/2 cents worth. She removed the Bobby 
claim because she *said* she was threatened with a lawsuit. (was that you
he he ) She also says she uses ALT tags "as a courtesy".)
And now for the "creme de la creme" 

In a message dated 4/28/99 9:15:41 AM, somedickleheadedshmuck writes:
<< ...Up until now, I've been assuming that making a site ADA compliant
require that the site could be "viewable" by the visually impaired.  Now, I
realize that maybe a quadraplegic would like to see certain sites.  At the
moment, I have no idea how a person would be able to navigate any site.  I
must assume that there are browsers and plug-ins that would allow that
person to surf the web.
My current plan of action concerning this is to create a site that is
exactly what the customer wants in the latest browser technology (right now
IE4 and Nav4)....>>>

Knowing Mr. Dickleheadedshmuck personally, I do not think ANYONE would want

to look at his websites anyway. LOL

I am not discouraged though. We are 54 Million plus strong in the US alone.

Keep positive and moving forward. 
These few webmasters will learn the hard way when their client's customers 
start demanding more from  WYSIWYG websites.
A quote from the same dickleheadedshmuck:
"...I do not nor do I ever intend to open up notepad and write HTML. That
the job of the tools I use..." 
Eventually these people will have to learn to write "real" html or go out
business. Then they will be making Accessible websites in spite of 
themselves. ha ha ha

There is some beautiful irony though - since the Apple II went on the
every disabled/handicapped child in US public and private schools has been 
learning to reading, math to write etc. on computers. 
(My child w/Down's started at one month old 13 years ago - he may have an
of 80 - but he can get around the computer and internet ike a pro. He has 
made our computers do things we didn't know they could do - thank God for 
Norton Dixk Doctor) 
There is a new generation of PWD's who know their rights and will demand 
This is our legacy and I think this group has been doing a DAMN good job. 
Keep it going.
Kindest regards,
Who's afraid of the ADA?
Received on Monday, 3 May 1999 09:36:19 UTC

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