The Cities Project: Building Free Accessible WordPress Themes

The Law Office of Lainey Feingold’s website is a WordPress site designed and maintained to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 AAA Success Criteria. Yet according to Joseph Karr O’Connor, an accessibility advocate and consultant and a WordPress expert, only a handful of themes in the WordPress Theme Directory are accessible to all users. Just four of of 1,747 themes as of April, 2013 designed to be inclusive? Karr O’Connor is out to change those numbers with the Cities Project, an international effort to increase the number of free accessible WordPress themes. Karr O’Connor will be bringing his message to the University of California Berkeley on June 11, and the public is invited to learn more about the collaborative creative effort that is the Cities Project. Read more…

Remembering Harriet McBryde Johnson

Five years ago today, on June 4, 2008, disability rights activist Harriet McBryde Johnson died unexpectedly at her home in South Carolina at age 50. With today’s 24/7 news cycle and a deluge of information each morning when we turn on our computers, is it easy to forget to stop and remember people no longer with us. Harriet McBryde Johnson is worth remembering. Five years after her untimely death, her activism and writings, her commitment to social justice, and her willingness to confront bigotry wherever she found it serves as a continuing reminder of the core values and goals of today’s disability civil rights movement. Read more…

Landmark Victory for Blind Advocates in Hungary: CRPD means Talking ATMs

Szilvia Nyusti and Péter Takács are blind advocates in Hungary who wanted their bank (the largest bank in their country) to install Talking ATMs. After all, they paid the same fees as sighted customers, why shouldn’t they have the same access to services and technology? After a five year legal battle in Hungary, they took their claims to the United Nations. On May 16, 2013, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities issued an historic ruling finding that Hungary violated the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) by failing to ensure that Hungarian banks had Talking ATMs. Congratulations to Szilvia and Peter. Congratulations to the United Nations. Congratulations to the CRPD for working as it should in protecting the rights of people with disabilities. Shame on the United States for failing to ratify the treaty. Read more…

Digital Accessibility Laws Around the Globe

[[Last updated on May 2, 2018 –Originally posted on May 9, 2013 (Global Accessibility Awareness Day). The list of digital accessibility laws and policies around the globe in this post is intended to serve as a resource only. It is not legal advice and it is not exhaustive. While frequently updated, it may not be current as of the date you are visiting this page. Please use the Contact Page on this website to let us know what is missing, what should be changed or included. This list is updated as new information becomes available. Laws related to digital accessibility support and protect the civil rights of people with disabilities. Core components of life in the 21st century exist in the digital space, and without accessibility, basic human rights are diminished or completely denied. These include the right to education, employment, public services, health care, community, travel and more. Laws protecting the rights of people with disabilities to access digital content — whether found on the web, in a mobile application, through electronic kiosks or elsewhere — are an important piece of the puzzle that makes digital accessibility a reality. Read more…

G is for Global: Tribute to Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2013

On May 9, 2013 people around the world will be gathering for workshops, seminars and other events to celebrate and recognize the second annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day, or GAAD. As explained on the GAAD Facebook page, the day is a community-driven effort whose goal is to focus one day to raise the profile of digital (web, software, mobile app/device, touch screen kiosk, etc.) accessibility and people with different disabilities. The Law Office of Lainey Feingold’s legal practice is entirely focused on digital accessibility, and this post is my tribute to the wonderful idea that is Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Congratulations to the grassroots community that is growing GAAD and especially to accessibility activist extraordinaire Jennison Asuncion whose enthusiasm and commitment is significantly responsible for the tremendous growth of this day of awareness. Read more…

Cynthia Waddell: Early Leader in Web Accessibility Legal Theory and Advocacy

Cynthia Waddell, a pioneer in developing and advocating for legal theories to support website accessibility for people with disabilities, died on April 2, 2013. In 1998, two years before the first Structured Negotiations web accessibility settlement, eight years before the Target web litigation was filed, and long before the U.S. Department of Justice stated its intention to issue web accessibility regulations, Cynthia wrote articles and gave speeches explaining the legal basis for universal design in the development of webpages. Before Twitter and its ubiquitous #a11y and #ux hashtags, Cynthia was an international advocate for an inclusive web, open to all. Read more…

Walmart Expands Program to Provide Talking Prescription Containers

Need information about how to order Talking Prescription Containers for prescription medications obtained from Walmart? You’ll find everything you need in this post. In June, 2012, Walmart became the first national pharmacy retailer to offer Talking Prescription Containers free of charge to persons with visual impairments. The ScripTalk Talking Prescription program is being offered to customers across the country through Walmart mail order. In addition to the national mail order program, Walmart recently began offering ScripTalk at 33 stores around the country. A list of stores where ScripTalk is available, as well as instructions for ordering, appear in this post. Read more…

Bank of America Online and Mobile Security Solutions Settlement Agreement

Since its early commitment to Talking ATMs and web accessibility in 2000, Bank of America has had a leadership role in providing accessible services to customers who are blind and visually impaired. Posted here is the Bank’s most recent settlement agreement with the blind community, addressing the accessibility of security features on the bank website and mobile iOS applications. Bank of America worked on this initiative in Structured Negotiations with the Bay State Council of the Blind and bank customers Carl Richardson of Massachusetts and Shen Kuan of California. 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…

Bank of America Commits to Enhanced Mobile and Web Accessibility

Posted here is a press release announcing Bank of America’s most recent accessibility initiative — its commitment to ensure the accessibility of security features on its website and iOS mobile applications. With this release Bank of America continues its leadership role in providing digital access and usability for people with visual impairments. Read more…

Walmart Accessible Prescription Information Settlement Agreement

Posted here is the settlement agreement between Walmart, the American Council of the Blind, the American Foundation for the Blind, and the California Council of the Blind. The agreement is the first in the country in which a national pharmacy retailer has agreed to providing talking prescription containers to pharmacy customers with visual impairments. Walmart worked on this initiative in Structured Negotiations with the three organizations, who 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…