Are you one of the many people affected by a MacBook keyboard failure? If so, you now have the slightest hint of what it’s like to live with a disability. You can’t use a product like everyone else and it’s preventing you from achieving your goals. Maybe you say “screw it” and write an article for the Wall Street Journal without those keys. Or maybe you hang on desperately to an old laptop (these words are coming from a MacBook purchased in 2013.) An external keyboard might be a temporary workaround. But there is a clear distinction here: you have a course of remedy. You can take the laptop in for service or choose a different model. And while a failing keyboard is definitely a problem, it pales in comparison to someone’s permanent disability.
Craig makes a great point here on this matter and I think that it is something many of us don’t think about regularly, including myself. Apple has done great work for accessibility for those with disabilities and I hope they continue to do so. That said, the burden also falls on the developers, and I hope they are paying attention.