W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ua@w3.org > October to December 1999

RE: Issues: Part 2 - #16 through #43

From: jon gunderson <jongund@ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 08:47:07 -0600 (CST)
To: Denis Anson <danson@miseri.edu>
cc: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>, Bryan Campbell <bryany@pathcom.com>, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.10.9911300846270.13267-100000@staff1.cso.uiuc.edu>
I concur with Denis, we are trying to avoid disabling environments.
Jon


On Tue, 30 Nov 1999, Denis Anson wrote:

> Ian,
> 
> You are quite right.  You cannot properly say that the person has a
> disability.  They may have an impairment or a functional limitation, but
> they have disabilities only in certain environments.  And, in fact, that is
> what the accessibility project is about: defining the environment in which
> various functional limitations and impairments do *not* lead to
> disabilities.
> 
> I would say that we should be very careful in the use of this terminology,
> because it actually allows a much better understanding of the issues of
> disability and impairment than just throwing the terms around at random.
> 
> Denis Anson, MS, OTR
> Assistant Professor
> College Misericordia
> 301 Lake St.
> Dallas, PA 18612
> 
> Member since 1989:
> RESNA: An International Association of Assistive Techology Professionals
> Website: http://www.resna.org
> RESNA ANNUAL CONFERENCE -- "RESNA 2000"
> ORLANDO, FL, JUNE 28 -- July 2, 2000
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org]On Behalf
> Of Ian Jacobs
> Sent: Monday, November 29, 1999 10:21 PM
> To: Denis Anson
> Cc: Bryan Campbell; w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Issues: Part 2 - #16 through #43
> 
> Denis Anson wrote:
> >
> > Under the WHO/NIDRR model of disability, impairments and disabilities are
> > two different things.  An impairment is caused by pathophysiology, and
> > describes the inability to contract the muscles of the lens of the eye, to
> > contract a muscle, and similar types of difficulties.  A "functional
> > limitation" is the inability to perform an action because of an
> impairment.
> > A person who is unable to discriminate text below 14 pt. has a functional
> > limitation.  A disability is the inability to perform a task in the
> > environment under consideration.  The inability to read a web page that is
> > displayed in a small font is a disability.
> >
> > Note that these are medical terminology, and have specific meanings.
> Hence,
> > the term "visual impairment" is exactly the right term for us to use when
> > talking about accommodating to a persons abilities so that they have
> access.
> > If we do not accommodate, then the person has a disability.
> 
> This suggests to me that it is incorrect to say that someone
> "has a disability period". You may say that a person "has a visual
> impairment period" or that the person "has a disability in this
> particular
> context", but you would not be able to discuss a disability out of
> context.
> 
> Does this mean we should adopt very careful language to respect
> this distinction? Or does this mean that we can more casually exchange
> the terms and not offend nor cause misunderstanding?
> 
>  - Ian
> 
Received on Tuesday, 30 November 1999 09:48:07 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 7 January 2015 14:49:25 UTC