Why We Won’t Produce a Digital Template for MAPS and PATH. No Digital Plan [PDF]

John O’Brien & Jack Pearpoint

Oct. 1998

As an inventory of the power adapters in our carry-on luggage attests, we yield second place to no one when it comes to delight in the capacities offered by digital media. In- deed, some who know and love us might use the word “obsessed”. We make regular use of digital photographs and video to record and enhance our work, state-of-the art interfaces add value to our DVD’s, we argue over ways to make www.inclusion.com more useful and interesting, and we compulsively upgrade our publishing software. As well, our mission is to produce materials that make the work of advocates for inclusion more effective, easier, and more fun –and, thanks to many users of our books and DVD’s, we make part of our living by following our users suggestions about how to fulfill this mission. Yet, despite repeated requests, we have chosen not to produce a digital template for MAPS and PATH.

To understand why we would say no to the combined appeal of employing media we love to use for a purpose that would probably earn us some money, it’s important to know that we both love having guests for dinner. We each have different customs and preferences –Jack and Lynda often host a “the more the merrier” table while John and Connie usually compose a dinner party according to Australian poet Les Murray’s sen- timent: “Whenever two or three are gathered together, that is about enough.” But all of us like thinking about what tonight’s particular guests will enjoy and we like making some time to prepare the food, the space, and the service. Indeed, we think that making the time to bring thoughtful intention to preparing the occasion is necessary to its suc- cess, even if this is no more than a few moments of selecting the right bowls to hold the Chinese take-out and brewing green tea for guests invited impromptu after a meeting. In short, we think that good dinners call for a thoughtful, intentional, personal welcome, hospitality that bears the mark of the hosts’ hands, and time for the enjoyment of food, company, and conversation.