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Frequently Asked Questions

Intro: The answers to Frequently Asked Questions in connection with Structured Negotiations and Lainey’s work appear below. These questions and answers are divided into the following topics:

There is also a section in these FAQs about finding information on this web site. Please contact us if there is information that you think would be helpful on this page.

Finding information on this web site

How Can I find Settlement Agreements on this web site?
This web site offers a list of all settlement agreements in alphabetical order. You may also search for settlement agreements by category. For example, there are nine settlement agreements in the Web Accessibility Settlements category, and twenty settlement agreements in the Talking ATM Settlements category.

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Structured Negotiations Questions

What are Structured Negotiations?
Structured Negotiations are both an advocacy method and a dispute resolution method. The method is collaborative, focuses on solution and seeks a win-win resolution to issues of accessibility. Structured Negotiations occur without litigation. They have been used by the Law Office of Lainey Feingold for almost twenty years to increase access to technology and information. Companies such as Walmart, CVS, Bank of America and Major League Baseball have participated in the process. Visit the Structured Negotiations Page to find a list of all agreements reached as a result of Structured Negotiations. Read the Fifteenth Anniversary post about the use of Structured Negotiations.
How do Structured Negotiations begin?
Structured Negotiations begin with advocates seeking access to information, technology or services. When access is not forthcoming, a lawyer sends a letter introducing the advocates, describing the accessibility problem and explaining the legal reasons why accessibility is required. The letter also discusses the importance of accessibility to the disability community and potential solutions to the identified issue. If the entity to whom the letter is sent is willing to engage in the process, a “Structured Negotiations Agreement,” or ground rules document is signed to protect the interests of all parties during the negotiations.
What are the results of Structured Negotiations?
Structured Negotiations are collaborative. If all parties agree, a legally binding written settlement agreement is negotiated and signed. These agreements are similar to those reached when a lawsuit settles, and typically include training and maintenance requirements in addition to obligations to fix the access issue that started the discussions. A current list of all Settlement Agreements reached as a result of Structured Negotiations is available on this site. You can also find a list of all press releases issued to announce Structured Negotiations settlements.
What issues are best suited for Structured Negotiations?
Structured Negotiations has been used to achieve Talking ATMs, accessible websites, accessible mobile applications, braille, large print, electronic and audio financial and health information, tactile point of sale devices, video description equipment in movie theaters, and accessible pedestrian signals. Recently Structured Negotiations have brought talking prescription information to Walmart, CVS and Walgreens. The method has also been successfully used in several cross-disability hospital access cases around the country. The method has the potential to be effective with a wide range of other issues.
How can individual advocates and advocacy organizations become involved in Structured Negotiations?
If you have an issue you think might be appropriate for Structured Negotiations that involves a national, state or regional institution, and have been unable to resolve it on your own, please contact us.
How can you learn more about Structured Negotiations?
Lainey Feingold was featured as part of the podcast series conducted by Sarah Horton and Whitney Quesenbery, the authors of A Web for Everyone. You can read a transcript or listen to the April 2014 Web for Everyone podcast about Structured Negotiations. Structured Negotiations was also the topic on the February 2014 Eyes on Success program. You can listen to or review a transcript of a February, 2014 Eyes on Success podcast about structured negotiations

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Accessible Credit Reports Questions

How can I get my free annual credit report on-line?
Accessible on-line credit reports can be found by going to the free annual credit report web site sponsored by the major United States credit reporting agencies. This site and the reports themselves have been designed to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines issued by the World Wide Web Consortium (w3c).
How can I get my free annual credit reports in Braille, large print, or audio formats?
People who are blind or visually impaired within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act may order Braille, Large Print or Audio credit reports from any of the three credit reporting agencies by calling, toll free 877-322-8228.
Where can I obtain more information about accessible credit reports?
Additional information is available on this web site in the post about accessible credit reports. You can also read the full accessible credit reports settlement agreement and the accessible credit reports press release that was issued by the American Council of the Blind and others.

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Talking ATMs Questions

What is a Talking ATM?
A Talking ATM is an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) that delivers all information and instructions necessary to use the machine audibly and privately through earphones plugged into a headphone jack on the face of the unit. A Talking ATM has a tactile keypad so a user can independently and privately enter all required information and perform all transactions necessary to use the device. Read about legal requirements for Talking ATMs in the United States.
When was the first Talking ATM installed in the United States?
The first Talking ATM was installed in the U.S. on October 1, 1999 in San Francisco, California. Read more about the history of Talking ATMs by selecting the Talking ATM History link on the Categories page of this website.
How can I learn about Talking ATMs in countries other than the United States?
The same corporations that manufacture Talking ATMs in the U.S. make the machines for installation around the world. Visit the International Issues Category of this website for posts about global Talking ATM installations.
What companies manufacture Talking ATMs?
All major ATM manufacturers now produce Talking ATMs. In the United States, and around the world, these manufacturers include Triton, NCR, Wincor-Nixdorf, Diebold, and Fujitsu.
Which banks have Talking ATMs?
Among the banks in the United States that have installed Talking ATMs are the following: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Washington Mutual, Union Bank of California, BankNorth, Chase, Chevy Chase Bank, LaSalle Bank, Sovereign Bank, HSBC, Wachovia, San Francisco Federal Credit Union, and State Employees Credit Union (North Carolina). Please contact us if you know of other financial institutions that should be added to this list.
Are Talking ATMs located in places other than banks?
Yes. Talking ATMs can be found at retailers across the country. Cardtronics settled a lawsuit that resulted in installation of thousands of Talking ATMs in retail locations. Retailers such as 7-Eleven, Target and Wal-Mart all have Talking ATMs.
Where can I read press releases about Talking ATMs?
Twenty-two Talking ATM press releases issued as a result of Structured Negotiations are posted in the Talking ATM Press Release Category of this website.
How can I convince my bank or other local retailer to install Talking ATMs?
You can ask your bank or other retailer to install Talking ATMs and suggest that the bank review the Talking ATM Settlement Agreements on this website. You can also provide institutions with the names of other banks and retailers that have Talking ATMs and with the names of companies that make Talking ATMs. Reminding companies of legal requirements can also be helpful.

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Accessible Pedestrian Signals Questions

What is an accessible pedestrian signal?
An accessible pedestrian signal is a device that communicates information about pedestrian timing in nonvisual format such as audible tones, verbal messages, and/or vibrating surfaces. Working with the blind community and using Structured Negotiations, Lainey and co-counsel Linda Dardarian negotiated the first APS settlement agreement in the United States in which a city agreed to a comprehensive APS installation program. As part of that agreement, the parties negotiated Technical Specifications that provide more details about the features and functions of an APS.
Where can I learn more about Accessible Pedestrian Signals?
AccessWorld, a publication of the American Foundation for the Blind, published an article about APS in May, 2009 written by Lainey Feingold in Jessie Lorenz. Read about the AccessWorld article. A wealth of information can be found on the website of APS experts Beezy Bentzen and Janet Barlow. To see all posts on this web site about Accessible Pedestrian Signals, visit the Accessible Pedestrian Signal Category

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