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American Council of the Blind & Affiliates
Posted here is a press release announcing Bank of America’s most recent accessibility initiative — its commitment to ensure the accessibility of security features on its website and iOS mobile applications.
Bank of America Continues its Leadership Role in Accessibility for People with Visual Impairments
New Accessibility Commitments for Online and Mobile Application Security Features
March 19, 2013 - Charlotte, NC and Watertown, MA - As part of its long-standing commitment to customers with visual impairments, Bank of America announced today that it is enhancing the accessibility of its award-winning Online and Mobile Banking security features.
Bank of America’s security features allow customers to safely access their accounts from home computers and mobile devices. The accessibility enhancements announced today will apply to both Online and Mobile Banking on Apple products with iOS operating systems.
Since its early commitment to Talking ATMs and web accessibility in 2000, Bank of America has had a leadership role in providing accessible services to customers who are blind and visually impaired. Posted here is the Bank’s most recent settlement agreement with the blind community, addressing the accessibility of security features on the bank website and mobile iOS applications Bank of America worked on this initiative in Structured Negotiations with the Bay State Council of the Blind and bank customers Carl Richardson of Massachusetts and Shen Kuan of California. They were represented by the Law Office of Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian, of the Oakland, California civil rights firm Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho.
The Walmart press release posted here announces a pilot program in which Talking Prescription Containers will be available for blind Walmart customers across the country through Walmart mail order, and also for blind customers at three Walmart stores. This is the first time in the United States that a national pharmacy retailer has piloted talking prescription technology on a national basis. Wal-Mart is working with En-Vision America, maker of the ScripTalk talking prescription program.
The Plaintiffs in the accessibility lawsuit against JetBlue Airways have filed a Notice of Appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Notice is the first step in their effort to reverse the District Court’s August 3, 2011 order that threw the case out of court.
The lawsuit is about JetBlue’s website and airport kiosks that are not accessible to people with visual impairments. The lower court ruled that California state law protecting the civil rights of persons with disabilities does not apply to airline websites and kiosks. The court’s ruling only applies to airline web sites and kiosks, and does not affect legal advocacy efforts seeking access to other websites or kiosks.
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.
At 9:30 in the morning on July 22, a courtroom in the federal building in San Francisco was filled with blind and visually impaired individuals. They had gathered to hear arguments about whether the accessibility case against JetBlue Airways should be thrown out of court. Judge Joseph Spero asked thoughtful questions and listened carefully to arguments on both sides of the case. He is expected to issue his ruling within the next ninety days. The lawsuit alleges that JetBlue has violated California law by maintaining a website and operating airport check-in kiosks that are inaccessible to individuals with visual impairments.