A hearing person who hates the Pawtucket, RI law on requiring
captions to be turned on, posted his comment in a newspaper.
Here it goes:
Kallman’s law unfair
Pawtucket City Councilor Meghan Kallman’s proposed law forcing
businesses to turn on their closed captions for the hearing impaired
steals freedom and gives it to a small minority of citizens. Creating new
rights for a special group of people should not be done as flippantly and
thoughtlessly as this Council does. It is not fair or American to threaten
business owners punishment by law because a tiny fraction of the
population wants to see what a TV is saying. Also, where is this oppressed
group of people? I have never met a person who complained about not having
cc’s on a public TV.
Hearing impairment is one of the unfair things in life that can happen to
a person. I do not see this as a significant enough impairment to quality
of life to have to create new rights for a people group at the expense of
so many others. Also I doubt the actual demand for this from the hearing
impaired community; it seems to be coming from Kallman’s attempts to
appear righteous – unthinkingly followed by the Council. If supporters
organized and put the pressure on I estimate they could come up with
approximately 90 Pawtucket residents would say they cannot live without
this law. In reality I estimate there are less than 10 hearing impaired
people who really think they cannot live without it.
Unfortunately, I think the solution for everyone is to rely on human
decency. In other words if someone is in an establishment and wants to see
the cc’s they should respectfully ask and hopefully the proprietor would
respectfully accommodate. This city has enough laws for us to follow and
our City Council has blindly endorsed enough bad ideas before. Hopefully
they will err on the side of well thought-out freedom on this one.
Is the hearing person just being anti-deaf? Very much so, yes!