Opinion: Letters to the Editor

Letters for May 16

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Opinion,Letters to the Editor

Disabled need access to jobs, services on Internet

Re: "Don't cripple the Internet with frivolous lawsuits," Editorial, May 11

The Washington Examiner's editorial opposing application of the Americans with Disabilities Act to the Internet misses the point. When the ADA was passed in 1990, the Internet was not a part of daily life for the vast majority of Americans. But now it provides many of the goods and services provided by entities defined as "public accommodations" in the ADA.

Many businesses exist only in cyberspace, with no physical locations or other ways for people with disabilities to get access. Furthermore, with increased reliance by educational institutions and businesses on online courseware and business products, access to the Internet is critical for disabled Americans to get an education or to acquire or maintain employment.

It is not in the best interests of our country for Americans with disabilities to be put out of work and forced to rely on public benefits, particularly in this difficult fiscal and economic environment. Estimates of the costs associated with accessibility are overblown. If a business or institution plans for accessibility when it starts to build a website, the cost is virtually nothing.

The ADA must apply to the Internet if our nation is ever to fulfill its promises of true equality and opportunity for the 55 million Americans with disabilities, including disabled veterans now returning from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. We strongly support the Justice Department's efforts to make full and equal access a reality and urge DOJ to continue this important work.

Marc Maurer

President,

National Federation of the Blind

Baltimore

Compete with food trucks by offering takeout

Re: "Save the D.C. food trucks," May 9

It has always seemed to me that sit-down restaurants and food trucks serve largely different clienteles. Those who have the time and the inclination to sit down at a table with a white damask tablecloth, napkin rings and silverware, and order a drink, appetizer, main course, dessert and perhaps an after-dinner liqueur will choose a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

But those whose lunchtime is curtailed, or who prefer quick, efficient and inexpensive service, will choose food trucks. Depending on my circumstances, I've patronized both.

If the restaurants want to "level the playing field," they can open carry-out windows and offer the same level of service as the food trucks.

The idea that the city government should purposely tilt the playing field in favor of some constituents and against others should be repugnant to any American who values free enterprise.This idea belongs in the same trash can as the Internet sales tax.

J.G. Huckenpohler

Washington

Planned Parenthood should be applauded, not condemned

Re: "Christians should condemn Planned Parenthood invocation," From Readers, May 13

Lawrence Marsh's letter attacking Planned Parenthood and President Obama was bizarre.

Doesn't he realize that Planned Parenthood's many decades of service to women's health has saved lives, reduced the number of unwanted/unintended pregnancies, enhanced religious freedomand actually prevented abortions?

Marsh represents only an extremist fringe. The vast majority of Christians support family planning and applaud the work of Planned Parenthood.

Dennis Middlebrooks

Brooklyn, N.Y.

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