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Re: WAI materials for aging/ageing population

From: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 04:00:39 -0700
Message-ID: <42EA0C57.8040801@gorge.net>
To: Chuck Letourneau <cpl@starlingweb.com>
CC: EOWG <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>

Chuck Letourneau wrote:
> Alan hit the nail on the head (a North Americanism meaning "exactly 
> correct") in stating that "... elderly people are often reluctant to 
> consider themselves disabled."

Quite a few "disabled" people strongly resist being considered as 
disabled. Quite a few "old" people are also in denial ("age is just a 

In fact the conventional wisdom about all PWD is mirrored in societal 
attitudes towards "the elderly" since we tend to take it as gospel that 
"they" have more trouble learning new stuff, etc.

In sum, the same labeling/marginalization/excluding that goes on in 
relation to people with physical/mental disabilities applies to "senior 
citizens" and this is why we must accept that from a cultural point of 
view those of us who cannot fail to notice attitude shifts with age (not 
all pejorative or hurtful) experience "disability."

In the DRM (Disability Rights Movement) a popular slogan is "same 
struggle - different difference", usually in comparisons with 
gender/ethnic discrimination. Disability is not merely a medical 
condition so it is well within our scope to include growing old as a 

We will encounter resistance similar to that found when people with the 
usual conditions that already fit under the disability umbrella were/are 
loath to include learning disabilities in the "club" because "after all, 
they can't read."

Received on Friday, 29 July 2005 11:00:47 UTC

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