[wisconsin] Copy of letter to Gary Shapiro president of Consumer Electronics Assn.
karyn1421 at wowway.com
Fri Jun 18 01:29:39 GMT 2010
First of all, please be careful with a reply to all as this has been posted
to several lists. It is a copy of my E-mail response to Mr. Gary Shapiro,
President of the Consumer Electronics Association. It is in response to his
op ed piece in the Washington Times on June 9 regarding H.R. 3101 and the
fact that it is not needed.
It is copied below.
Karyn Campbell, karyn1421 at wowway.com
Check out my blog at packerbackerkaryn.blogspot.com
Follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/packerbackerkar
---start of message to Shapiro
Dear Mr. Shapiro,
I am writing in response to your op ed of June 9 in the Washington Times.
This piece basically stated that H.R. 3101 is not needed. Well sir, I am
afraid you are wrong about that.
I will approach this from a couple of different angles; first of all as
someone who is blind and hard of hearing and also as an advocate for people
who are blind, including those with all types and degrees of combined vision
and hearing loss.
While what Apple has done is commendable, not everyone either wants or can
easily use a device with a touch screen. Some people, myself included, want
a device with a keyboard. We should have that choice. Because I made the
choice to use a cell phone with a keyboard, I had to pay $300 extra in order
to obtain full access to this phone. Having a choice of phone also means
having a choice of carrier. With the I phone you are limited to one
carrier, AT&T, and that's not the carrier I want to use. I am a Verizon
customer and happen to like their service. Why should I be denied a choice
of cell phone carrier just because I need an accessible phone.
For me, upgrading phones has been a challenge. I have to test the device in
the store to make sure I can use it with my hearing aids. I have direct
access without a loop and I'm not going back. While there has been some
improvement in this area, one should not have to worry about whether or not
the device will work with their hearing aids or not; and a person should not
have to take a hearing aidout in order to use the device. I know of a
relative who is in that position. Passage of H.R. 3101 will insure hearing
aid compatibility of cell phones and Internet-based equipment, thus
providing choice to those of us who use hearing aids.
If industry is doing so well, why can't people adjust the size of closed
captioning on their TV set. I recently saw questions about this on a tech
list I am on from a woman who is deaf and has low vision.
H.R. 3101 will also help people who are totally deaf and toally blind get
the equipment they need for basic communications access. This is a group
which is very isolated as it is and having access to basic communications
equipment will enable them to become more independent, feell less isolated
and become engaged in community life in a variety of ways. For example, I
know of a woman who was recently able to call via TTY relay and place an
order for a pizza in dependently for the first time in a very long time.
This was due to access to specialized equipment allowing her to accesss a
TTY. The funding for this will come from the Universal Service Fund ((USF),
a fund we all pay into when we pay our phone bill.
Mr.Shapiro, if the industry was doing so well at accessibility, we would
have more choices not the few we have now. Today's world is fast becoming
one where a computer and cellphone are essential. If we do not have
accessibility, then those of us with disabilities will be left further and
further behind. Is that what you want for you or a member of your family?
Remember that the community of people with disabilities is one that you can
join at any time, usually without warning.
Thank you for your time and what I hope will be a more enlightened view of
the issue of accessibility.
Karyn Campbell, Member of Board of Directors of the Illinois Council of the
Blind as wel as the American Association of the Deaf-Blind
Karyn1421 at wowway.com
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