So Sorry, Business World, That People With Special Needs Aren’t Profitable
Last week, a judge ruled that Neflix and other web providers that serve the public are subject to federal disability law. What this means: TV shows and movies streamed online could have to include captions for the hearing impaired.
A complaint had been filed by two associations for the deaf and a staffer at a center for people with disabilities. Netflix had argued that it was exempt from the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Actually, it isn’t, said US District Judge Michael Ponsor. Neflix and similar providers would have to add captioning, and might even someday mean providing a soundtrack to describe what’s happening in a program or movie for the sight-impaired.
Even more mind-boggling to me than the above was the think tank staffer who noted the cost all this would incur. “This forces Netflix to serve markets that it currently doesn’t find profitable,” says Walter Olson, senior fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, in a Boston Globe article.
Actually, this forces Netflix to conform to the law. One that gave equal rights to people with disabilities in 1990. Captioning online material is an adaptation for technology that didn’t exist back then.
I am so sick and tired of hearing people like Olson talk about the high cost of adapting technology, buildings, pools, whatever to people with disabilities. Let’s forget, for a second, that this is the law. It’s the human thing to do; those like my son who have disabilities have the right to live life with access to everything people who aren’t handicapped do.
I tend to think that the Walter Olsons of the world who make such statements don’t have anyone with a disability in their lives. That’s what it often takes for people to understand the idea of equality for all in this country includes people with disabilities.
From my other blog:
Image of man in wheelchair against a flag via Shutterstock