Careful what you wish for
An AP report says the Washington Redskins football team has been ordered by a federal judge to make sure that deaf and hard-of-hearing fans receive "equal access to aural content" in the teams's stadium. That includes music lyrics, advertisements and announcements on the public address system. Judge Alexander Williams noted that since three fans filed suit, the team has captioned such things as play-by-play of the game and emergency information. One would think that would be sufficient, but Williams determined that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the team must provide "full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations available at FedEx Field." In a statement, the Redskins said, "No one had ever before asked the Redskins to caption music. But now that the court has addressed it, we are exploring alternatives to provide the words to the songs played during cheerleader dance routines." Thank heavens. I would hate to think that deaf people were being deprived of such inalienable rights. This is a case that trivializes the true issues facing the deaf. Why not focus on important concerns for making life better for deaf Americans, rather than demanding that they get to read the lyrics to "Crazy Train" or the text from a "Gatorade" commercial? This would be comparable to black Americans, during the 1960s, targeting the racial inequities of the "Little Rascals" films rather than working to secure voting rights. Pick your spots, deaf people. I've been subjected to the dance-routine music and ads at stadiums. You're not missing anything.