This method of calculating costs is flawed, because it fails to recognise that proposed legislation calls for gradual and reasonable accommodation of disabled people's requirements; no one is interested in placing an undue burden on businesses, or creating a backlash.
More importantly, there has not been analysis of the benefit to the economy of ending the exclusion of millions of disabled people. For example, when the US Attorney Robert Mather visited Britain to lecture on the Americans with Disabilities Act, he described it as 'pro-business'. In the US, small businesses have discovered that installing a text-telephone for deaf people can lead to increased orders and business because their services or products are accessible to that segment of the market. There has not been an undue burden on business, and nor has there been a rash of litigation under the Act.
The opponents of comparable legislation in Britain base their objections on inflated costs of achieving total access for disabled people overnight. Surely it is better to begin the process slowly and surely, rather than put it off indefinitely.
Royal National Institute
for Deaf People
31 AugustReuse content