Safeway Web Accessibility Settlement Agreement

This is the settlement agreement about the accessibility of Safeway’s online grocery delivery website. The company worked on this initiative in Structured Negotiations with individual customers with visual impairments in California and Washington State. The Safeway shoppers were represented by the Law Office of Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian of the Oakland, California civil rights firm. Safeway will be using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA as its web standard. When its grocery delivery site meets this standard, Safeway will remove a legacy separate site known as the “Access Site” that it had maintained. Read more…

Safeway Announces Website Accessibility Initiative

Safeway Announces Website Accessibility and Usability Enhancements to its On-line Grocery Delivery Website Benefiting Shoppers with Visual Impairments Customers Applaud Safeway’s Commitment Pleasanton, California (December 13, 2013) — Safeway (NYSE:SWY) today announced a comprehensive initiative to make its online grocery shopping website more accessible and usable for Safeway shoppers with visual impairments. The site enhancements are the result of collaboration between Safeway and several visually impaired customers. Safeway has adopted the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0 level AA as its accessibility standard and has already made significant enhancements to its online shopping website to meet this standard and will continue to do so over the next year. Read more…

ABA Journal Highlights Structured Negotiation

Catching flies with honey is not the default strategy most attorneys use to resolve disputes. But Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian, both longtime California advocacy lawyers, have worked out a method that avoids conflict, costly litigation and protracted time in court—while still yielding beneficial results for their clients. The process they call “structured negotiations” has been used mainly to achieve improved access for the blind, including ATM machines that talk, websites embedded with code to decipher text and photos, and tactile point-of-sale devices in grocery stores. Read more…

It’s Hard to be Optimistic About the New DOT Web and Kiosks Regulations

On November 5, 2013 the United States Department of Transportation issued regulations governing the accessibility for people with disabilities to websites and kiosks of domestic and foreign airlines that sell air travel to U.S. consumers. While there are positive aspects of the new regulations, the government missed an enormous opportunity to advance and protect the rights of travelers with disabilities. Read more…

SuperFest 2013: Disability Stereotypes in Movie History

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area on the evening of Saturday, October 12 you are in for a treat. That night at 7:00 pm, two venerable San Francisco disability institutions will be hosting the Superfest International Disability Film Festival. It promises to be a great event for film buffs, disability activists and pretty much anyone who is ready for a fun evening of stereotype-busting. The Law Office of Lainey Feingold is proud to be a community sponsor of this important cultural evening. Read more…

The Digital Divide and People with Disabilities

On August 23, 2013, the New York Times published my letter to the editor about the digital divide and people with disabilities. The letter was in response to an an extensive article published by the Times on August 19, 2013, titled “Most of U.S. Is Wired, but Millions Aren’t Plugged In.” The article, based on a recent report by the U.S. Commerce Department, noted that “tens of millions of people are still on the sidelines of the digital revolution” and it went on to discuss the digital divide caused by various demographics including age, race, geography, education and class. Missing entirely from the Times’ article – disability and the digital divide. Read more…

Weight Watchers Print and Digital Accessibility Settlement Agreement

Posted here is the settlement agreement between Weight Watchers, the American Council of the Blind, and blind Weight Watchers members Alice Ritchhart and Lillian Scaife. The agreement demonstrates Weight Watchers’ strong commitment to digital accessibility for its members and subscribers who are blind and visually impaired. Weight Watchers will be using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA as the standard for its online and mobile application content, and will be providing print material in accessible formats for persons with visual impairments who cannot read standard print. The agreement, reached using Structured Negotiations, also includes training, monitoring and implementation provisions. Linda Dardarian of the Oakland civil rights firm Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho was co-counsel with the Law Office of Lainey Feingold in representing the blind community. Read more…

Weight Watchers Announces Comprehensive Accessibility Initiative

Congratulations Weight Watchers! Posted here is a press release announcing Weight Watcher’s commitment to digital accessibility for its members and subscribers who are blind and visually impaired. Weight Watchers will use the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA as the standard for its online and mobile application content, and will be providing print material in accessible formats for persons with visual impairments who cannot read standard print. Weight Watchers worked on this initiative in Structured Negotiations with the American Council of the Blind and individual blind Weight Watchers members. They were represented by the Law Office of Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian of the Oakland, California civil rights firm Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho. Read more…

Historic Copyright Victory for Blind Readers

Congratulations copyright activists around the globe! What some are calling the “Marakesh Miracle” happened on June 25, 2013 as negotiators ironed out the final details of an historic treaty protecting the reading rights of people who are blind and have other print disabilities. After five years of activism, organizing and hard work, The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) concluded negotiations on the treaty which contains limitations and exceptions to copyright for blind and visually impaired persons and others with print disabilities. Copyright changes are critical for blind people to obtain reading materials in formats they can use, such as Braille, electronic formats, and audio books. The treaty, once ratified and adopted, will create improved access to books around the globe. The draft document now goes to the full United Nations plenary for adoption and review and, ultimately, ratification and implementation. Read more…

Can’t Someone Read that to You? Dissolving Stereotypes of Blindness

On June 25, 2013, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an agency of the United Nations, reached agreement on an historic document designed to provide access to reading materials for people who are blind or have other print disabilities. The draft WIPO treaty changes copyright law to reflect that blind people need formats other than standard print in order to read. These alternative formats, or accessible formats, include Braille, audio, Large Print, accessible web content and other accessible electronic documents. The lack of accessible, available formats, and not blindness, is why blind people cannot read huge swaths of information available in standard print format. The need for accessible information has been at the core of many of the settlement agreements reached as a result of Structured Negotiations. Many of those negotiations began with stereotypes about blind people and their right, desire, and need to read independently. Read more…