Thursday, September 06, 2007

Apple store sued over ADA issues

Wow, I wonder why sue Apple in particular? Because most of these same things have happened to me in ... well... pretty much every single store or public place I've been in.

ON the other hand I was unusually ticked off at the Apple Store in Palo Alto a few weeks ago. A "genius" was trying to fix my computer and I was insisting on trying to watch (as, if not using a wheelchair, I would normally do.) Another employee came by and told him he could pull out a little stand from the side of the counter. He complained.. .and they argued about it in front of me without talking to me. She showed him how to pull out the counter, and I started helping her do it and set it up. The dude acted put out. Then, at some point, he needed to plug into an ethernet cable because part of the problem was that my wireless software wasn't working. And he couldn't manage to find a cable long enough to reach to the little pull-out desk extension that I could see from my wheelchair. So we fought about that for a while, I went behind the counter and craned my neck and was rudely kicked out by a manager who said it was against store policy. When I tried during the *next* problem to come up that day to get him to pull the wheelchair accessible desk out again, he refused because it was inconvenient for him and blocked the way.

I am routinely in elevators with inaccessible buttons, or have to put up with someone else's humiliating fussing over their wires or chairs or boxes stacked in a hallway to the bathroom... and so is every other disabled person I've ever talked with.

This bit made me laugh, "they were unable to reach products or service desks at the retail shop". This is also true nearly everywhere. I accept that part and will just ask for help if I need it.

This part made me happy:

"The women said they are more interested in changing the store to better accommodate their disabilities than punishing the Cupertino-based company"

Well, yeah. And sometimes you have to push it, and sue, or bring down the law in any way possible, or change doesn't happen. That's how we got the ADA and equal-access laws in the first place.

Politely talking to a manager doesn't always work. Picketing doesn't either. Using the law might. It is legitimate activism.

So I respect their lawsuit and wish them luck.

But wait. Read the comments on the article. Check this one out:

"First, it seems unlikely that a company as astute as Apple typically is would miss something this important. They do have blinders, but not usually like that. " That's so annoying. Oh, well, it's impossible to imagine that some poor yobs in a retail store, even a nice new fancy one downtown for a slick computer company, might be rude and discriminatory. Or that there are flaws in the ADA compliance in the building or the store setup, such as the wheelchair buttons or inevitable boxes in the hallway to the bathroom.

Bah. Screw them... no, sue them. Until they shape up. The disabled protesters who occupied the SF Federal Building 20 years ago didn't do it just for fun... they did it so we can use the law to change things.

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zo said...

Oh those damn Apple geniuses. Write to The Steve, inexcusable ... but you can understand how they'd get so full of themselves. Humble training, that's what they need, along with the t-shirts. Hope you reported this "Genius" to the manager.

Robin said...

Expert prick!

Polilla Cubana said...

Lizi, lei tu comentario en uno de mis blogs
"Saludos Rosa! Espero que un día visitaré a Cuba... y sus bibliotecas! Traduzco muchas poemas escrito por poetas cubanas... Emilia Bernal, Nieves Xenes, M. Villar Buceta, M. Luisa Milanés...

un abrazo,

- Liz

Aunque ya no trabajo en bibliotecas, siempre las amo... te recomiendos 2 poetas cubanas: Carilda Oliver Labra y Reina Maria Rodriguez

mi mail es

Debo actualizar mis perfiles en blogs!

y que bueno que traduces tan bien por que mi inglés es pésimo (me gusta mucho tu pelo, me hiciste recordar una foto que vi de Susana Tanmaro una escritora italiana!!)
Ojala leas esto y me escribas!1

Un beso cariñoso