Quoting Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian, U.S.-based disability and civil rights lawyers:
“Dear members of the blind community:
As we approach the end of the year, we are asking for your help in making sure the settlement agreements negotiated by ACB and its affiliates are working well. Feedback from individuals about Talking ATMs, accessible credit reports, tactile Point of Sale devices, accessible pedestrian signals, and accessible websites is critical to the success of Structured negotiations. Please take a minute to read this email and send us feedback on any of the issues raised here. We can be reached through Lainey’s email at: LF@LFLegal.com or by calling toll-free to Linda’s office at 1-800-822-5000. Thanks in advance for your help, and wishing everyone a peaceful holiday season.
Feedback needed about the following:
(1) Accessible Credit Reports: Credit reports are available in Braille, Large Print, Audio CD, and on-line in an accessible format. Each person is entitled to three free credit reports per year, one from each national credit reporting company. If you haven’t received your free reports for this year, you can go on-line to www.annualcreditreport.com, or call toll free 877-322-8228 (you will be offered the chance to choose your format towards the end of the phone tree. More information available at: http://lflegal.com/2008/12/credit-announce/
(2) Tactile Keypads: Ten national retailers have signed agreements with ACB, CCB, AFB and BSCB to install and maintain tactile keypads so that customers with visual impairments can privately enter their PIN and other confidential information. The stores have trained staff on these issues, but if blind shoppers don’t use the devices, this training is often forgotten. If you are able in the next month or so to shop at any of the following retailers and can use a debit or other PIN-based card, we’d appreciate hearing from you: 7-Eleven, CVS, Target, Rite-Aid, RadioShack, Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Wal-Mart, Staples and Dollar General. (Please recognize that the full roll-out has not yet been completed at all these chains.)
When blind customers use a PIN-based card at these retailers it helps all of us to monitor the settlements reached as a result of Structured Negotiations and lets the companies know that these changes are important. A short summary of all the POS settlement agreements with links to the full agreement is available on Lainey’s website at http://lflegal.com/category/settlements/point-of-sale-settlements/. You can read all the press releases issued about these settlements at: http://lflegal.com/category/articles/settlement-agreement-press-releases/press-releases-point-of-sale/
(3) Accessible Websites: Blind community advocacy has been instrumental in making the internet more accessible to people with visual impairments. We are currently monitoring the following websites as a result of Structured Negotiations settlements, and would welcome feedback: Staples (www.staples.com); CVS (www.cvs.com); Bank of America (www.bankofamerica.com); Rite-Aid (www.riteaid.com) and RadioShack (www.radioshack.com). We are also interested in hearing about other websites, particularly health-care and health insurance related, with accessibility barriers.
(4) Talking ATMs: Ten years after the first Talking ATM was installed in the United States we continue to monitor Talking ATM progress. In particular, Bank of America, with the most Talking ATMs of any bank in the country has Talking ATMs at over 90% of its locations nationwide. Please let us know if you encounter any issues at any Bank of America Talking ATM, or with Talking ATMs at other institutions around the country.
(3) Accessible Pedestrian Signals in San Francisco As a result of the settlement with CCB, the LightHouse and the Independent Living Resource Center, San Francisco has installed Accessible Pedestrian Signals at close to 80 intersections throughout the City. Feedback on the devices is critical to ensuring effective implementation of the agreement.
Thanks for everyone’s continuing advocacy on these issues. Of course, if you have new issues about accessible information and technology you would like to bring to our attention, we’re always happy to hear about those too.
Lainey and Linda
Law Office of Lainey Feingold
Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen & Dardarian
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