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… DOJ Delays Web Accessibility Regulations

ADA Turns 21 – Still Work to be Done

July 26 marks the 21st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act – the comprehensive civil rights law designed to ensure the full integration of people with disabilities into all aspects of American life. Has the law fulfilled its promise to this country’s disabled citizens? Yes and No. Unfortunately, there are still many ways in which the promise of the ADA remains unfulfilled. Many of us will be writing ADA anniversary pieces today, and most of those pieces will have a list of things — too many things — that are still left to do. Here is my list of where the ADA has fallen short. But first, some ADA achievements to celebrate. Read more… ADA Turns 21 – Still Work to be Done

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

Comments Due January 9, 2012 on DOT Web and Kiosk Proposal

The United States Department of Transportation is currently seeking public comments to its proposed regulations about accessible airline websites and check-in kiosks. The Department is using a new “user friendly” on-line platform to encourage comments, which are due January 9, 2012. The DOT proposed regulations have many positive aspects. However, there are also significant parts of the proposal that need to be strengthened to ensure full equality for people with disabilities in air travel. (Certainly the regulations should not be “killed” as one commenter on the new platform has already suggested). This post contains information on key aspects of the DOT proposal and information about submitting comments. Read more… Comments Due January 9, 2012 on DOT Web and Kiosk Proposal

January 9, 2012 Deadline to Submit Comments on DOT Web and Kiosk Regulation: How to File

Alert: January 9, 2012 is the deadline to submit comments on the United States Department of Transportation’s pending airline web accessibility and kiosk regulations. In my earlier post about the positive and negative parts of the proposed regulations, I explained how comments could be filed on the “user-friendly” website called the Regulation Room. I recently discovered, however, that comments to the Regulation Room, while shared with the DOT, are not treated the same way by the DOT as comments submitted through the “official” Regulation.gov channel. And, because the official channel is not fully accessible, the federal government has an “optional submission form” that is more accessible. Optional? I thought federal government accessibility was mandatory? Read more… January 9, 2012 Deadline to Submit Comments on DOT Web and Kiosk Regulation: How to File

CSUN Technology and Persons with Disability Conference 2012

Lainey Feingold will be presenting two times at the 27th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference in San Diego in late February – early March, 2012. Commonly referred to as CSUN, the abbreviation for conference sponsor California State University Northridge, the conference is the largest conference of its kind on technology and people with disabilities. Read more… CSUN Technology and Persons with Disability Conference 2012

Finally: U.S. Talking ATM Regulations Fully in Force

On March 15, 2012, federal regulations with detailed Talking ATM requirements will finally be mandatory. The Talking ATM standards come at the end of a long (and continuing) road of grass-roots and legal advocacy in the U.S. and around the globe. March 15, 2012 is more than twelve years after the first Talking ATM was installed in the United States. Tens of thousands of ATMs now talk, but still too many do not. Read more… Finally: U.S. Talking ATM Regulations Fully in Force

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

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