Although we were pleased to see our actions reported in The Times (Oct. 7), we must protest both the tone of George Stein's article and the incomplete and biased picture it gives of the civil rights demonstration on Oct. 6, in which more than 240 persons with disabilities and their supporters participated. Many of the participants are members of the California Assn. of the Physically Handicapped (CAPH), a co-sponsor of the demonstration.
The use of words such as "halt" and "withered" is not only obsolete, (fortunately), but is disparaging, and connotes a picture of stumbling and inept people. We are neither. We believe that we have made great progress in encouraging non-disabled people to see us and speak of us as peers; the descriptive words used by Stein are a setback to this progress.
And although Stein may have counted wheelchairs, he did not count the many people who walked in the demonstration, including people who use braces, crutches, canes and other assistive devices, as well as a number of blind people and a group of non-disabled people who support our efforts. We count people, not chairs; there were 216 people participating in the march; another 30 people joined us at the Bonaventure Hotel.