Digital Accessibility Legal Update (December 2014)

This post is about recent legal developments in the United States impacting technology and information access for people with disabilities. It contains developments ocurring between July 16 and December 15, 2014 and is part of an occasional series. The series is illustrated by a toolbox — because law has proven an effective tool in improving the accessibility and usability of digital content, print information and technology for everyone. There are many ways to use the law, reflected by the many tools in the toolbox. Read more…

Accessibility Matters in the Battle of Mobile Payment Systems

This is a post about mobile payment systems and the need for them to be accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. Apple pay, CurrentC, Square and the rest work with mobile applications. Those applications must be developed and implemented with accessibility features. If not, developers and retailers run afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal and state laws. Read more…

GAAD Gratitude

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) presents a good opportunity for gratitude. We have a long way to go towards full digital inclusion, but there’s a lot to be grateful for. Here’s my list. Read more…

Separate is Not Equal: Good News for Grocery Delivery

On February 26, 2014, Safeway took an important step in meeting its goal of a fully usable digital experience for all customers. In a banner posted on its grocery delivery site, Safeway announced it was eliminating the separate text-only website it had maintained for many years. Eliminating the text-only site is part of Safeway’s commitment to making its main site accessible to all users. 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…

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…

Accessibility Information Pages Show Commitment to all Site Users

Last updated May 2018. An important component of any Structured Negotiations settlement agreement involving web accessibility is a company’s commitment to maintain an Accessibility Information Page, or AIP. The ideal page has details about the company’s web accessibility policy, details about other accessibility services, and a phone and web-based method for the public to forward accessibility concerns, both positive and negative. The page should be easy to find on the site, preferably linked from the home page and all page footers, and searchable through the site search engine. Pages of some of the largest entities in the United States are included in this post. Read more…

Global Accessibility Awareness Day Highlights Digital Inclusion

May 9, 2012 marks the first Global Accessibility Awareness Day. On this day designed to raise awareness of the need for digital inclusion, the Law Office of Lainey Feingold recognizes the large United States institutions that have committed to accessibility through the Structured Negotiations process. The entities have worked with the blind community to improve accessibility to their websites and other technologies. They have recognized the importance of inclusion and have done so in a collaborative and solution-driven way. 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…