Sunday, May 20, 2012

Advocating for Change

I've been struggling along with advocating for change with two large (hundreds of employees, multi-milions of dollars budget) organizations. One is a for-profit, the other a non-profit. Both provide their "goods and services" via webinars.

Have you ever taken a webinar? Then you know there are several aspects:

> content
> dialogue
> Q&A
and depending on the platform,
> opportunities for professional networking.

I use seminars for professional and personal development. Call me naive, but I have always assumed that being deaf should not exclude me from gaining new skills, exploring content, or participation in professional dialogue alongside my webinar co-participants who are not (yet) people with disabilities.

Sadly, in spite of the ADA being well over 20 years old, these two large, well-funded, and well-marketed organizations have (so far) elected to deny people who are deaf equal access to their goods and services.

I am working now with attorneys to determine how Title III of the ADA applies to entities providing goods and services to the public using the ever-more common technology called "webinars."

Although I don't have to, in nearly 42 years of disability rights advocacy,  I have consistently tried to go by the policy "Teach before Tort." And except for two Fair Housing complaints (which we won), teaching has worked and created change.

In these two situations,  I have been unable to participate in three webinars offered by one, and two offered by the other because of the accessibility issues. I have been advocating for change with the large non-profit since September 2011!! I guess it's time to do more. What do you think?

Stay tuned!
[And, as soon as the attorneys indicate it's okay to post the names of the two companies, I will do so! You as consumers of their services have a right to know!]

2 comments:

  1. jellybeanandloveMay 21, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    YOU GO GIRL! WHIP THEIR BUTTS! IT"S TIME FOR CHANGE AND WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Please name the companies. I won't use their products and I will tell everyone else too. That's really wrong.

    ReplyDelete