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considered getting internet access or devices, most stated they believed this simply was not an option. As one individual said, “that just wouldn’t fly.” When DRW discussed the lack of internet technology with providers, many cited cost of devices and services as the main barrier, pointing to clients’ limited incomes and resources.29 However, in the cases where clients had devices, staff worked with them to budget or find someone who would donate a computer. Internet equipment and services can be expensive, but simply assuming internet is unaffordable without exploring low-cost options30 or costsharing and budgeting strategies can deprive individuals of the choice to decide whether internet access is important or preferable to other goods or services. DRW also heard paternalistic and prejudicial doubts about whether individuals with disabilities could or should use the internet technology. For instance, one staff person agreed that a tablet could be useful for one client who does not use verbal communication, but stated that he would “probably just end up breaking it.” Another staff discouraged his client from trying to obtain private internet access at home, stating the only time he had ever seen the client use the internet at the library was to look up information about video games, a use that the staff did not personally find justifiable. It was said for another adult that a computer was off limits because of “possible sexual content.” The biases expressed in these comments result in limited access to information for people with disabilities. The internet is now a critical feature of modern life that has empowered billions31 of people around the world with information they had previously been unable to access. The internet as we know it today did not exist in 1988 when the Residential Services Guidelines were written. The Guidelines acknowledge only that people should have private access to telephone and mail. A quarter of a century later, information

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Empowering choice from pizza to politics  
Empowering choice from pizza to politics  
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