Somehow, I Think It Is About Control, Not Civil Rights

Under the current Administration, it is considered to be a civil rights violation for a handful of universities to study whether using e-book readers, such as teh Kindle, would be more convenient and less costly than having students buy traditional textbooks.  That is because, when the programs first started, e-book readers could convert text to speech, but their menus could not. 

While the Kindle’s text-to-speech feature could read a book aloud, its menu functions required sight to operate. “If you could get a sighted person to fire up the device and start reading the book to you, that’s fine,” says Chris Danielsen, a spokesman for the [National Federation of the Blind]. “But other than that, there was really no way to use it.”

The horror.  We might as well be lynching blind students.

I have the same problem with spanish-language books.  All I need is a spanish-speaker to read them for me.  We must therefore ban their use at universities.

But it gets worse:

Now, [Obama Administration civil rights chief] Perez is at work on a far bigger project, one that could eventually declare the Internet a “public accommodation” under the ADA. That could result in a raft of new Justice Department regulations for disabled access to all sorts of Web sites.

Everything is a reason for more government control.  And we will sacrifice the interests of the vast majority for the convenience of a small group.  I am sure that it sucks to have a major handicap, but do we really want or need government regulations requiring the blind be able to hear websites about birdwatching, or the deaf to be able to hear every youtube video?  The inevitable result is diminished content and/or increased costs for everyone else.

Published in: on August 3, 2010 at 9:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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