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February 5, 2004

Re: Open letter to Greg Perry

From: Greg Perry - Feb 5, 2004

In response to letter from Dan McClintock sent earlier:

Dan, thank you for your letter.

If you work in a café, you cannot see, no matter how acute your vision is (unless you're Matt Murdoch) behind you when someone is coming with an arm full of dishes yelling, "Watch Out, I'm about to drop these!!!"

If you are a lifeguard, your peripheral vision is not good enough (unless you're Matt Murdoch) to hear screams for help when you're pointing to the beach changing area behind you in response to someone's question (perhaps signed) as to where the changing area is.

The safety or life of someone is more important than your keeping a job that you do not have the proper senses to manage. It would be as ludicrous as me demanding that to be put on a fireman crew even though I have a total of three fingers and one leg. That would not only be selfish of me, that selfishness would endanger the lives of others. I am not saying YOU are like them but I have heard so many activists who care far much more about disabling the rest of the world than they care about what they're doing to endanger the lives of others or destroy small businesses.

Political correctness is not bad because it's kind of a cute way of manipulating people. No, political correctness is bad because it harms others in very real ways.

If the NFL wanted to broadcast in LATIN without translation, they have the right to do so because they are a privately-owned organization that pays for their air time. It is wrong to use the courts to steal from our neighbors to try to equalize our own situations.

You said this: "There is nothing truly more disabled than the mind of a narrow-minded, prejudiced and poorly educated person."

So much of your thinly-veiled attempt to insult me is truly interesting:

1. Am I poorly educated because I have written more books and articles, published internationally, about computer technology than anybody on earth? Or is it my Masters Degree in Corporate Finance that makes me poorly educated? Or perhaps that I speak English and Italian?
2. Am I prejudiced against the deaf because I married a lady who was trained in sign language and taught deaf students for eight years leading up to our marriage?
3. Who is more narrow-minded: (a) a deaf person who insists on the world catering to him or (b) a man with 3 fingers and 1 leg who insists on my own abilities to find ways to work within the world I find myself?

If you think my article is an attack on deaf folks, or anyone who is handicapped, you do not understand the irony of what you say. If I wanted to harm the handicapped, the first thing I would do is go to Washington, DC to fight to strengthen the ADA.

Greg Perry

- - - - -

Dear Mr. Perry:

I have a few bones to pick with your article, "ADA: Abuses Do Abound." While I understand your points and agree that the ADA should not be abused by those who are not truly handicapped, I strongly disagree with your view of us deaf people. It appears to me that you do not truly know us deaf people or what we are capable of. Despite the fact that you are handicapped like us, your comments towards the deaf are very misjudged and disparaging.

You wrote that a deaf waitress cannot hear a waitress coming with a hot pot of coffee or a deaf lifeguard cannot hear yells or distress signals. That may be true, but has it ever occurred to you that the deaf waitress and the deaf lifeguard can SEE? Has it ever occurred to you that in absence of one sense, the other sense gets stronger? In your case, your arms would be very strong from pushing around the wheelchair all the times. In our case, it is a very well known fact that a deaf person's vision generally is sharper than that of a hearing person. The deaf lifeguard is less likely to be distracted by surrounding noises at the beach than the hearing lifeguard. And for your information, deaf lifeguards take the issue of safety very, very seriously!

The same goes for deaf waitresses. I have worked at restaurants before, and have never had a problem. If someone came in my way, my eyes were very quick to catch this person's movement and I'd move out of the way. No problem. Besides, did you know that among deaf drivers the rate of accidents in general is lower than other drivers?

As for the Cleveland deaf group suing NFL, do you realize that they didn't have the advantage of listening to radio like you hearing football fans would have? How could they know about the scores of the game? Should they wait until next day to read all about it in the newspapers?

There is nothing truly more disabled than the mind of a narrow-minded, prejudiced and poorly educated person.

Dan McClintock writer

cc: Signews (the community newspapers of the deaf)
cc: National Association of the Deaf
cc: DeafToday (online news)

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