2008 Structured Negotiations Highlights

2008 was the 14th year that Structured Negotiations were used to resolve class-wide disability access claims without litigation. This year, the Law Office of Lainey Feingold and co-counsel Linda Dardarian negotiated five new agreements using the Structured Negotiations process, and Lainey and co-counsel Amy Peterson of Equip for Equality in Illinois negotiated one new agreement. Linda and Lainey continued monitoring agreements signed in previous years, and were also involved in other Structured Negotiations that we hope will result in settlement agreements in 2009. Read more…

Credit Reports Now Accessible

Effective December 17, 2008, people who are blind or visually impaired can obtain their free annual credit reports in accessible formats. As a result of an agreement signed earlier this year by the American Council of the Blind, the California Council of the Blind, and others, credit reports are now available in an accessible format… Read more…

Amy Vaughn: Bank of America Leader in Web Accessibility

In 2000, Bank of America was the first bank in the United States to sign an agreement to make its web site and on-line banking accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. In the almost eight years that have passed since the bank signed the first of three agreements with the blind community, significant work has been done both by members of the blind community and by countless Bank of America employees to make sure the agreements work as they are supposed to. Recently, we learned that one of those bank employees — Amy Vaughn — had died. Read more…

Dollar General Settlement Agreement

The Dollar General Point of Sale (POS) Agreement was negotiated by Lainey Feingold and co-counsel Linda Dardarian using Structured Negotiations on behalf of the American Council of the Blind (ACB), the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), and blind Dollar General shopper Lela Behee. In this agreement, Dollar General has agreed that all of its more than 8,000 stores across the United States will have tactile point of sale devices so that blind and visually impaired customers can independently enter their PIN and other confidential information. The devices will be installed in all stores over the next fifteen months. Read more…

Dollar General Point of Sale Press Release

Dollar General’s New Point of Sale Equipment Praised by Blind Community Tactile devices will protect financial privacy Goodlettsville, TN (December 10, 2008)– Dollar General, one of the nation’s largest discount retailers, today announced that it has begun installing new point of sale equipment that will protect the privacy of Dollar General shoppers with visual impairments. The new devices have tactile keys arranged like a standard telephone keypad. They will allow Dollar General shoppers who have difficulty reading information on a touchscreen to privately and independently enter their PIN and other confidential information. Read more…

TCF Bank Talking ATM Press Release

TCF BANK TO INSTALL TALKING ATMs AND ENHANCE OTHER SERVICES FOR CUSTOMERS WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS Bank Announces Collaboration with the Illinois Council of the Blind and Equip for Equality Wayzata, MN, (December 3, 2008)– TCF Bank (TCF), a subsidiary of TCF Financial Corporation (NYSE: TCB), the Illinois Council of the Blind, an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind, and Equip for Equality announced today that TCF has launched a major initiative intended to provide easier access to its banking services for individuals with visual impairments. Read more…

TCF Bank Talking ATM and Alternative Formats Settlement

The TCF Bank Settlement Agreement was negotiated by Lainey Feingold and co-counsel Amy Peterson of the Chicago-based Equip for Equality using Structured Negotiations on behalf of the Illinois Council of the Blind, an affiliate of the American Council of the Blind and a blind TCF customer. In the Agreement, TCF began a Talking ATM and alternative format program in all states in which it does business. The bank will install over 300 Talking ATMs by the end of 2009. Read more…

Web Accessibility Report includes Lainey Feingold’s Law Office Web Site

The Law Office of Lainey Feingold is pleased to announce that this web site has been included in the web accessibility implementation report issued as part of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 implementation process. The process is an international, multi-year effort to revise the accessibility standards for web sites. Details of the current status of the implementation process are at the end of this post. Read more…

Court Injunction Requires Access to Paper Currency

On Friday, October 3, 2008, U.S. District Court Judge James Robertson issued an historic injunction against the United States Treasury. In a case brought by the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and blind advocates, Judge Robertson held that the Treasury “violated Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act by failing to provide meaningful access to United States currency for blind and other visually impaired persons.” The Treasury was ordered to take steps to make United States currency accessible to people who are blind. Washington, D.C. lawyer Jeff Lovitky handled the case for ACB. Read more…

California Council of the Blind President Honored by State Bar

Congratulations are in order for friend and colleague, Jeff Thom. Jeff, the president of the California Council of the Blind, has been chosen as the “2008 Public Lawyer of the Year” by the State Bar of California. Jeff is a 1978 graduate of Stanford Law School and a lawyer in the Office of Legislative Counsel in Sacramento, California. According to the State Bar website, Jeff was selected for this honor because of his “distinguished record of professional service to the public, both as an attorney and as a civic leader.” Read more…