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.
On February 12, 2013 a New York Times editorial noted that one in five consumers have confirmed errors in their credit reports. The news came from a detailed report issued in December, 2012 by the United States Federal Trade Commission and is a timely reminder about the need for everyone to check their credit reports. As a result of Structured Negotiations, free credit reports are available in Braille, Large Print, Audio CD and online in an accessible format. An accessible credit report is only a click or a phone call away. Here is the information you need to order one today.
Tactile keypads are a crucial element of accessibility for people who are blind and visually impaired. Apple has shown that a touchscreen can be made accessible, but in the absence of tactile keypads, significant swaths of today’s technology and electronics are off limits to persons who cannot see, and to others with disabilities as well. As with many ubiquitous elements of the built environment, we often fail to appreciate the origins — or the originator– of the technology we rely on. This is certainly true for tactile keypads, or it was true until a fascinating obituary of John E. Karlin published in the New York Times earlier this month. Mr. Karlin deserves to be called the father of today’s tactile keypad.
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.
In the Spring of 2013, Lainey Feingold will be presenting at both the CSUN International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, and Knowbility’s John Slatin AccessU, two of the country’s most well-regarded disability technology conferences. Read about her presentations in this post.
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.”