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AT&T Kills iPhone Plans For Deaf Thanks To Non-Deaf Douchebags

Illustration for article titled ATT Kills iPhone Plans For Deaf Thanks To Non-Deaf Douchebags

We wouldn't usually call people douchebags lightly (ok we would), but when you complain that deaf people are getting special treatment when they're offered a $27.99 non-voice, data-only plan for their iPhone, you're one huge douchebag. A Colorado AT&T store was offering said plan for the hearing-impaired—since they get very little use out of a voice plan—but got slapped down by AT&T Corporate Marketing because people were complaining. The upshot? No more data-only plan for the deaf community. If you think there's a problem here, call up AT&T tell them you really think there should be a data-only plan. [Deafmac via Deafmac via TUAW via Crunchgear]

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Update: AT&T's officially bringing an iPhone data-only plan for the hearing-impaired. see here for details.

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DISCUSSION

deejayqueue
DeeJayQueue

@s8ist:

1. The argument is whether or not a data/txt only plan should be made universally available to anyone that wants it, or restricted only to deaf people.

You compared that to qualifying for a scooter for free due to a disability.

I stated that those scooters are indeed NOT free, they are covered by insurance or subsidized by medicare or the company that makes them, but someone is paying for the scooter, just maybe not the person using it. They are also not restricted to the disabled. A regularly-abled person is just as qualified to spend the money and buy the same scooter for the same price as it costs anyone else. Whether the disabled person has made special arrangements with their insurance or medicare is a different deal altogether.

2. We can agree to disagree on this one. I think the system the amusement parks come up with is a fair and equitable one.

3. Service animals are by definition highly trained, and that's not only demonstrable, common sense, and pretty obvious, it's also certifiable. Just the fact that they are a service animal is proof that they are trained enough to behave in public settings on their own. Your dog on the other hand, has nothing to set him/her apart from any of the other dogs on the street that may or may not be trained to any varying degree. Your dog did not go through years of training to be docile and reliable in unpredictable situations. Even if it did, you've no immediately obvious way to prove it. Here's an analogy: Would you pick the man in the Pilot's uniform or the guy in jeans and a t-shirt to fly the plane? How do you know that the jeans guy doesn't fly f-16s for a living? It doesn't matter because he's not the Pilot for your flight, and he doesn't get to fly the plane.

"Disabled people deserve equal treatment. Not better or worse, but equal. We should accomodate their needs if our world is inadequate"

Ok: People in wheelchairs can't get up steps, so there should be a ramp for them. However, it shouldn't be only for them. If anyone wants to use it, they should be (and are) allowed. The buttons that open the doors automatically shouldn't have the wheelchair icon on them, they should just be automatic doors, and that's the button that operates them. Fully abled people can still use the handles if they choose, but the button is there if they don't want to. AND, mobile device companies should offer plans that are data/txt only to all users, regardless of their level of ability. They happen to be a big benefit for deaf people, and that's great, but they should be offered to everyone the same.