Court Rules in Favor of JetBlue – Airline Websites and Kiosks Not Covered by State Law

In a blow to the rights of people with disabilities in California and across the country, a second United States federal judge has ruled that state anti-discrimination laws do not apply to airline websites and kiosks. In a closely watched case against JetBlue Airways, Judge Joseph Spero ruled on August 3, 2011 that regulations issued by the United States Department of Transportation — no matter how weak and ineffective — strip away the rights California residents with visual impairments to access and use JetBlue’s website and airport kiosks. The Judge threw the case out of court on the airline’s motion to dismiss. In doing so, he followed in the footsteps of another federal District Court Judge in California who ruled in April that because of the federal Department of Transportation’s actions, United Airlines was free to have airline check-in kiosks that cannot be used by people with disabilities. Read more…

DOJ Delays Web Accessibility Regulations

Earlier this month the United States Department of Justice admitted what many of us have suspected: we will not be seeing web accessibility regulations in the United States for commercial and public entities any time soon. Some time in 2013 at the earliest. In July, 2010, the Department issued what is called an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making indicating that it was planning to issue regulations about web accessibility. The step after an “Advanced Notice” is a “Notice of Proposed Rule Making” (NPRM). After that is the rule itself. In its semi-annual regulatory agenda for Spring 2011, however, the DOJ called the NPRM for Web Accessibility a “Long Term Item” not expected until December, 2012. That’s well over a year from now. And it is close to two years after the public comment period on the Advanced Notice closed, and almost two and one half years after the DOJ announced the possible regulations in July, 2010. Read more…

CVS Accessible Web Site and Point of Sale Press Release

CVS/pharmacy Enhancing Accessibility for the Visually Impaired To Its Web Site and Store Point of Sales Devices Initiative Announced In Collaboration with State and National Organizations for the Blind Woonsocket, Rhode Island (July 30, 2009)– CVS/pharmacy, the nation’s largest retail pharmacy, announced today that it is implementing functional improvements to benefit its customers with visual impairments and other disabilities. The Company has installed tactile keypads in all CVS stores and it will enhance its website in 2009. Read more…

Staples Point of Sale Press Release

The Staples Accessible Web Site and Point of Sale Settlement Agreement below was negotiated by Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian using Structured Negotiations on behalf of the American Council of the Blind (ACB), the American Foundation for the Blind, and the California Council of the Blind (CCB). In the Agreement, Staples agreed to install tactile point of sale devices in every Staples store in the United States and to upgrade its website to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) promulgated by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium. Read more…

Staples Accessible Web Site and Point of Sale Press Release

Blind Community Leaders Applaud Staples’ Initiative to Enhance Staples.com and Store Point of Sale Equipment Framingham, MA (April 23, 2009)– Major advocacy groups for the visually impaired applaud Staples’ new initiatives designed to improve service to its customers with visual impairments. Staples will be improving its payment service terminals at the in-store point-of-sale with tactile keypads to protect the privacy and security of shoppers with visual impairments. The company will also make improvements to Staples.com that will benefit customers with visual impairments and other disabilities. Read more…

New Web Accessibility Standards (WCAG 2.0) Finalized

On December 11, 2008, the World Wide Web Consortium announced new standards for accessible web content. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 were finalized after years of development and input from web designers, site owners, members of the disability community, WAI staff and volunteers, and countless others with a commitment to making the internet available to all users. Resources about the revised guidelines are provided at the end of this post. Read more…

Accessible Credit Reports Press Release

National Credit Reporting Companies, Blind Community, Announce Landmark Initiative to Provide Accessible Online Credit Reports Braille and Other Formats also to be Made Available Washington, D.C. (April 23, 2008) – The nation’s three major consumer credit reporting companies today unveiled a comprehensive program to provide improved access to important credit information for people who are blind or visually impaired. The initiative, crafted with the American Council of the Blind, its California affiliate and several individual members of the blind community, will help protect the credit information of individuals who cannot read a standard print credit report. Read more…

Accessible Credit Reports Agreement

The accessible credit reports agreement was negotiated by Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian on behalf of the American Council of the Blind, the California Council of the Blind and blind individuals Paul Parravano, Lucy Greco and Lori Gray. In the Agreement, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion agreed to provide credit reports that are accessible to people who are blind and visually impaired. On-line reports will meet standards established by the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium, and credit reports will be made available in Braille, Large Print, and on audio CD. Read more…