Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Government Says Blind People Have Gotten Along Fine So Far

Blind people can’t tell whether they’re handing over a five or a twenty when they pay for a bottle of Frederic Fekkai shampoo. Actually, they can’t be sure that’s Frederic Fekkai and not Suave. But U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit only addressed the money issue in its ruling today that says the U.S. discriminates against blind people with paper currency that offers no way for them to distinguish the bill’s value. The ruling in favor of the American Council for the Blind ended a nearly six-year battle for the rights of the visually, but not shopping impaired.

The U.S. government had argued that blind people have adapted and should simply continue to rely on the honesty of the store clerk or a fellow patron to tell them which bill to fork over. What a great idea. Because we all know that the guy selling Cheetos and Big-Gulps for eight hours a day, who then goes home to play GTA4 for the remaining sixteen, would never take advantage of a person who might inadvertently pull out a Benjamin when a single would suffice.

The government also praised the resourcefulness of blind people, many of whom have created their own systems for distinguishing bills, like folding or tearing the corners. I guess blind people should see it as an opportunity to sharpen their magic skills. Following that logic, why should we bother with all those accessibility rules? Just let those ingenuitive paraplegics figure out how to get up the steps on their own. It will toughen them up.

No comments: