Attitude of ignorance and prejudice deep rooted it seems

Discussion in 'Diversity at work' started by royston, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. royston

    royston Administrator Staff Member

    Stephanie,

    I read your post with interest and just to emphasise your argument here is a series of posts on the web that I think speaks volumns of some peoples attitude to those with disadvantages: (I did disguise the names as the one guy should be ashamed and in my view if that happened here that sort of user should be banned)

    Ranger
    Does anyone know if this web browser will have an audio function for people with reading disabilities? It would be so great if web pages can be read to you through an audio voice.

    Chang
    Do you mean if they have an application to read the whole page for you out loud? I highly doubt this will ever be possible...and what would a disabled (particularly blind) person be doing using the internet?

    Webmaster
    chang, lets not be ignorant please.
    While there is no audio plug-in for Google Chrome, there is a great browser which does the same. It's called WebbIE and it's the free web browser for blind people with little or no sight. Check this free WebbIE web browser for blind and visually-impaired people at http://www.webbie.org.uk

    Excerpt from their website:
    WebbIE is a web browser for blind and visually-impaired people, especially those using screen readers, used since 2001 all over the world. It comes with the Accessible programs, letting you access news and audio on the Internet in a simple and accessible way, allowing you to use podcasts, listen to the radio and read RSS and news with your screen reader or other access solution. Together they provide a way to access websites and other great things online - and they are all free! Learn more about WebbIE.

    Chang
    Please excuse my ignorance, I was just trying to think logically. Shouldn't disabled people focus on getting better?

    Then Chang got (in my view a mild) rebuke from another member:

    Kyra
    Chang: As a disabled criminal defense attorney, I am deeply disturbed by your idea that persons who are blind or have severe visual issues should just "focus on getting better". What a ridiculously biggoted thing to say. Disabled people are not and should never be pariahs. When reasonable accommodation is requested, it should be given without hesitation. A disabled individual has just as much a right as you in using the internet without undue hindrance. Everyday disabled persons face discrimination. Your incredibly short-sighted post shows the ignorance of those who believe disabled persons cannot make positive contributions to our society and should, therefore, be discarded as useless. Make no mistake, the physically and mentally challenged person is written off as useless and promptly forgotten. This mindset is extremely inhumane and invites incorrect snap judgment that disabled persons are worthless and, therefore, any effort to help them is a waste of time. Let me tell you something . . . everyone, at some point in their life, will either become disabled or have a loved one or friend become disabled. What will you tell them when they come asking for help, or will you just slam the door in their face and walk away. Disabled persons, like myself, have the same right as you do to enjoy the web and all it has to offer. Why would you begrudge them this opportunity? Disabled persons can, with some minor accommodations, be fully productive in their job and active in their community. Put simply, we are not throw away commodities; we are your sister, brother, mother, father, grandmother and grandfather. As an excellent example of what one disabled man can do with a little assistance, look at Steven Hawking - a brilliant mind and incredible intellectual. Your views on the disabled miss the mark on an additional level. When someone is "recuperating" the best medicine is to stay busy (especially so when trying to manage severe pain). The internet is a wonderful tool that allows them to stay occupied, imparts knowledge they may not have been aware of and acclimates them to what life is like in the "real world". Personally, as a disabled woman who practices criminal defense trial work in CA, I am offended by your suggestion and think that you owe the entire disabled community a big apology.
     
  2. Stephanie

    Stephanie Business Psychologist

    Absolutely!

    I could not have said better myself. The assumptions some people make are what make life even harder for people who can not only make very positive contributions to society but also have every flippin right to access all the things the rest of us do. (I will try not to boil over with anger right now).

    Here for example is a link to a colleague of mine who has been blind from birth, is running his own company supporting organisations who have the sense to at least want to comply with the law - and who by the way is a brilliant speaker (and yes he uses the Internet all the time!)

    The Disability Resource Team, Transcription, Training and Information Services
     
  3. Stephen Brookes MBE

    Stephen Brookes MBE New Member

    I am so disappointed that this topic has actually been raised. It is clear that there is still so much stupid ignorance about disability, and this reflects in some of the niaive comments posted on this issue.
    I was appalled that Chang felt that 1) Disabled people can't use the internet -Voice recognition has been around for a long time. Expanded text is also available. 2) That disabled people should concentrate on getting better - I would love to get better from a double fracture of the spine and severe arthritis. However I am a key member of the Crown Prosecution Service Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel, Chair of the NUJ Disabled Members Council, member of the TUC Disability Committee and consultant to various government departments.
    My only life barrier is the appalling attitudes of people who act 'for us' not 'with us'.
     

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