More Talking ATMs Expected Across India

Twelve years after the first Talking ATM was installed in the United States, accessible banking technology continues to spread across the globe. This month the Reserve Bank of India urged all financial institutions in the country to make sure all new ATMs are Talking. Read more…

GAAD 2014: People are Different and We All Use Technology. Why Isn’t More of it Accessible?

May 15 2014 is the third annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day, or GAAD. The day was conceived by Los Angeles web developer Joe Devon and accessibility virtuoso Jennison Asuncion. Virtual and live events are being held around the globe to bring attention to a simple idea: People are different, and we use digital devices and consume digital content in different ways. 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…

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 July 5, 2017 –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…

GOP Paranoid Politics Defeat CRPD Disability Treaty in Senate 61 – 38

Senator Kerry was eloquent. 89-year old Bob Dole emailed from Walter Reid hospital and made it to the Senate floor to urge a yes vote. Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng wrote a supporting letter. Veterans, disability and civil rights group lobbied, tweeted, and organized. But it wasn’t enough. On December 4, at 9:29 a.m., thirty eight Republican Senators voted against the United Nations Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities (#CRPD). Thirty eight votes is all it took to deprive the majority of the 2/3 vote needed to ratify a basic human rights treaty already approved by over 120 countries around the world. Yesterday at 9:29 a.m. human rights lost. The victors, to quote the New York Times, were “purveyors of paranoid politics.” Read more…

Rick Santorum’s Most Recent Enemy? Millions of Disabled People Around the World

On Tuesday December 4th, the United States Senate can join over 120 other countries and ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Supporters of the treaty span almost the entire political spectrum – President Obama, Senate Democrats, the U.S. disability community, 21 faith organizations, 30 veteran organizations, movie critic Roger Ebert, and the U.S Chamber of Commerce and former president George HW Bush, to name just a few. Who’s missing? The Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. Led by Rick Santorum and Tea Party front group Patriot Voice, the far right threatens to derail years of work by human and civil rights activists around the world. The CRPD vote will be a showdown between Tea Party activists and those who believe people with disabilities around the world deserve education, employment, and basic human and civil rights. Read more…

NCR Installs Additional Talking ATMs in India (with solar power option too!)

The article posted here about NCR’s Talking ATMs in India first appeared in the Hindu Business Line. The Law Office of Lainey Feingold, and Linda Dardarian, first engaged with NCR in the mid-1990’s as the Talking ATM initiative was getting underway in the United States. This story about NCR’s Talking (and solar-powered!) ATMs demonstrates yet again that accessibility is an international issue. Accessible technology that starts in one country is bound to make its way around the world. The technology corporations are global, advocacy needs to be too. Blind advocates are not mentioned in the story below, but no doubt they played an important role in efforts to bring independent access to financial services to India. Read more…

Talking ATMs in India

The June 6, 2012 Google Alert for Talking ATMs included a news report, posted below, of the “first” Talking ATM in India. It was not the first time the Indian press covered accessible ATMs though. In September 2011 the Hindu Business Times reported on the experience of using a Talking ATM for the first time, but on closer read last Fall’s story may just have been describing temporary installations. Whether or not Union Bank of India has installed the first or second Talking ATM, congratulations go out to advocates in the Indian blind community and that country’s banking industry for recognizing the importance of accessible technology. Read more…