Re: The Technical Communicator as Lobbyist

Subject: Re: The Technical Communicator as Lobbyist
From: Beverly Parks <bparks -at- HUACHUCA-EMH1 -dot- ARMY -dot- MIL>
Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 11:34:35 MST

What of the foreign visitor who purchases one of those toasters
but can't read the English-only instruction manual. Or the
illiterate consumer. How do you communicate in pictures not to
use the appliance for anything other than toasting? Are you
going to have pages and pages of little pictures showing all the
things one should not do with their toaster?

The Devil's Advocate. =:)

=*= Beverly Parks =*= bparks -at- huachuca-emh1 -dot- army -dot- mil =*=
=*= "Unless otherwise stated, all comments are my own. =*=
=*= I am not representing my employer in any way." =*=

===================================
> From: Steven Jong <JONG -at- CREDTECH -dot- COM>

> Here's a letter I sent to my U.S. Senator. You might want to send yours
> something similar...
> ***********************************
> Dear Senator ...,


> I recently read about a proposed law to help protect small-aircraft
> manufacturers from unreasonable lawsuits. I thought the proposed legislation
> sounded like a good idea, and in considering the current mood in Washington to
> overhaul product-liability legislation I saw an opportunity to address the
> problem of frivolous lawsuits.

> I propose legislation limiting the liability of a manufacturer whose
> product was not used in substantial accordance with instruction. For example,
> a toaster manufacturer that produced an instruction booklet warning against
any
> use other than toasting could not then be sued by someone who used it to stir
> water. To give a less frivolous example, a ladder manufacturer who affixed a
> warning sticker not to climb above a certain rung could not then be sued by
> someone who climbed above it and then fell off. I feel this is a reasonable
> law that would protect manufacturers without limiting the rights of consumers
> to seek redress for injury due to defective products.

> In suggesting this idea I confess to acting out of naked
self-interest.
> I am a senior member of the Society for Technical Communication, the world's
> largest professional association for technical writers, editors, and
> illustrators. My profession would benefit from emphasis of the importance of
> product documentation, and if enacted the legislation would encourage
> manufacturers to devote more resources to product documentation. However, the
> resulting improvement in product documentation quality would be of benefit to
> everyone.


> Sincerely,

> Steven Jong
> ***********************************


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