[mountainstate] Fw: [announce] FW: End of Year Structured Negotiations (and otheractivities) Message
dandmbrown at atlanticbb.net
Thu Dec 23 10:07:54 GMT 2010
Lainey and Linda are two of the greatest friends ACB has. Read below to see what they're doing on behalf of every blind and visually impaired person.
From: Lainey Feingold [mailto:LF at LFLegal.com]
Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 5:29 PM
To: Lainey Feingold
Subject: End of Year Structured Negotiations (and other activities) Message
Dear friends and colleagues in the blind community:
Below is our 2010 end of the year Structured Negotiations (and other activities) message. 2010 marked the 15th year since we began working with the California Council of the Blind and members of the blind community. In 1995, when there were no Talking ATMs in the United States, we wrote to Bank of America, Citibank, and Wells Fargo about accessibility issues. Those letters lead to the first agreements in the country on Talking ATMs, accessible websites, and banking information in Braille, Large Print and audio formats.
Since then, it has been our great honor and privilege to work with ACB, CCB, BSCB, affiliates in Florida, Iowa, Utah, North Carolina and elsewhere, AFB, the San Francisco LightHouse and countless blind individuals across the country. Below is information about what we worked on in 2010. We wish you and your families a joyous, peaceful, and accessible holiday season, and look forward to many more years of working together to make information and technology more accessible to people with visual impairments. Lainey and Linda
2010 Structured Negotiations (and other acvities) Update
1. Major League Baseball websites: On February 11, 2010, ACB, and the Bay State and California Councils of the Blind issued a joint press release with Major League Baseball announcing MLB's commitment to make its main website and the sites of all thirty major league teams accessible to persons with visual impairments. MLB worked with us throughout the 2010 season on its accessibility initiative. In 2010, the All Star ballot was accessible with an audio CAPTCHA, both MLB-tv and Game Day audio could be accessed on accessible players, and the MLB AtBat applications for the iPhone and iPad were made accessible. Congratulations to blind baseball fans around the country who contributed to this historic effort, and especially to the Red Sox fans in the Bay State Council of the Blind who began the initiative several years ago. You can read the posts about the MLB settlement, including the Boston Globe's coverage featuring Brian Charlson, at: http://lflegal.com/category/major-league-baseball-mlbcom-accessibility/.
2. Other web and alternative format accessibility efforts: AFB, ACB, and its state affiliates have continued in 2010 to take a leadership role in advancing website accessibility in the United States. In addition to the Major League Baseball effort, we were involved in the following web related activities in 2010:
(1) we continue to monitor the agreement with the country's three major credit reporting agencies to provide credit reports in Braille, Large Print, Audio and on-line accessible formats. You can learn about how to obtain an accessible credit report at http://lflegal.com/2010/11/credit-access/;
(ii) we monitored web accessibility agreements with CVS, RadioShack, Staples, and Bank of America;
(iii) We made good progress in our negotiations with the American Cancer Society on issues of web accessibility and alternative formats, and hope to have something to announce publicly in early 2011;
(iv) A new Structured Negotiations was started with Charles Schwab about the accessibility of its website.
(iv) we filed a lawsuit against JetBlue Airways - discussed below -- on the issue of web accessibility.
Apart from our Structured Negotiations efforts on web accessibility, we spent a significant amount of time this year preparing comments to the U.S. Department of Justice's ANPRM on web accessibility. After bringing together significant stake holders in the advocacy community, we drafted a complete set of comments to the 19 questions included in the DOJ ANPRM. Central to our comments is the fact that blind community advocacy has proven that large commercial entities are able to build and maintain accessible websites. You can read the post summarizing the web access results of Structured Negotiations at http://lflegal.com/2010/09/doj-anprm-web/.
We have made our web accessibility comments available to the advocacy community. If you would like a copy, please let us know.
3. Airline kiosks and websites: In August 2010, after JetBlue determined it did not want to participate in Structured Negotiations, we filed a lawsuit against JetBlue Airways on behalf of CCB and several blind individuals about the inaccessibility of the company's airline check-in kiosks and website . Since we filed the case, however, the company has expressed a sincere willingness to try to work out the issues without litigation. We had a very productive meeting in December, and hope to continue working with, instead of fighting with, JetBlue in the coming year.
4. Tactile Point of Sale Devices: In March, 2010, ACB, AFB and CCB joined Best Buy in issuing a press release announcing a nationwide initiative to install tactile keypads in all Best Buy stores across the country. You can read the Best Buy press release at http://lflegal.com/2010/03/best-buy-press/. Best Buy was the 11th retail chain to sign a Structured Negotiations agreement on the issue of tactile keypads. While we always follow-up with any complaints about any agreement we have negotiated, in 2010 we were actively involved in monitoring tactile point of sale settlements with the following companies in addition to Best Buy: Staples, CVS, Target, and Rite Aid. We have also been in conversation with Raley's and Whole Foods in an effort to ensure effective tactile keypads in stores operated by those chains.
5. Talking ATMs: In March, 2010, Bank of America issued a press release announcing that all 18,000 ATMs owned by the Bank were Talking ATMs. Bank of America has been a willing partner in Structured Negotiations for many years, and this year's press release was one of several the bank has issued over the years with CCB and other blind advocacy organizations. You can read the B of A press release at: http://lflegal.com/2010/03/bank-of-america-atms/. In 2010 Talking ATM monitoring also continued with TCF Bank in the midwest, spearheaded by Amy Peterson of Equip for Equality in Chicago. In other Talking ATM news, this year the Department of Justice issued the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design which, for the first time, include detailed requirements for Talking ATMs. You can read the post about the new regulations, which includes links to Department of Justice materials, at http://lflegal.com/2010/11/talking-atm-reg/.
6. Audio Description in Movie Theaters: In 2010 we had three major initiatives on the issue of audio description. First, In January, 2010, we attended the federal appeals court argument in an Arizona case involving audio description and captioning. On behalf of ACB, AFB and others, we had written an amicus (friend-of-the court) brief urging the court to rule that audio description is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. After a lively hearing in a court room packed with people with disabilities, the court ruled as the disability community requested. You can read about the 9th Circuit opinion here: http://lflegal.com/2010/05/harkins-opinion/.
Second, this year, working with the CCB and several blind movie-goers, we began Structured Negotiations with Cinemark on the issue of audio description in its Northern California theaters and elsewhere. The company is working with us in good faith and we hope to have something specific to report in the coming year.
Finally, we drafted comments on the Department of Justice's Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking about audio description in movie theaters. We have made those available to advocates wishing to file their own comments, so please contact us if you would like a copy.
7. Accessible prescription information: In 2010 we continued our negotiations with Wal-Mart, and began negotiations with CVS and Target on accessible prescription information. We have or are in the process of contacting other retailers as well, and invite feedback about experiences with the retailers listed here and other national chains.
8. Accessible Pedestrian Signals: In March, 2010, the City and County of San Francisco issued a press release announcing that it had received federal stimulus funds to expand its accessible pedestrian signal program. That program was the result of a Structured Negotiations with the San Francisco LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the California Council of the Blind, and the San Francisco Independent Living Resource Center. As of the date the press release was issued, the City had installed over 1,000 APS devices at 116 intersections across the city. You can read the March, 2010 APS press release at http://lflegal.com/2010/03/sf-aps/.
9. Electronic kiosks: We had two opportunities this year to help shape future regulations on the issue of electronic kiosks. In July of 2010 we prepared comments for the U.S. Access Board urging that agency to adopt stringent accessibility standards for a wide range of kiosks. During that process we learned, for example, that there are now machines, similar to ATMs, that dispense not cash, but prescription information. You can read our comments on this important issue at: http://lflegal.com/2010/07/self-service/.
The Department of Justice has also asked about electronic kiosks in its July ANPRMs, and we have prepared comments for that process as well. Those comments, which must be filed by January 24, 2011, have been made available to advocates and organizations wishing to file comments. Please contact us if you would like a copy.
10. Accessible Health Care and Medical Equipment: In 2010 we continued monitoring the cross-disability settlements with UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco and Sutter Health in Northern California. Melissa Kasnitz of Disability Rights Advocates was co-counsel with Linda in the Sutter settlement. In other health care news, we continued our leadership role in the resource website of the Barrier Free Health Care Initiative (http://thebarrierfreehealthcareinitiative.org/) In July, Lainey testified at the Access Board's public hearing on accessible diagnostic medical equipment, urging the Board to include issues of importance to the blind community in this regulatory effort. You can read about the hearing at: http://lflegal.com/2010/07/med-equip-meeting/
11. What's next: Everyone reading this message can help determine what our end of the year message will be in 2011. If you encounter significant accessibility barriers obtaining information on or off the web or using technology provided by commercial entities that have gone unresolved despite advocacy efforts, please contact us. Remember, everything on this year's list is a result of advocacy efforts begun by individuals and organizations in the blind community. And individual and organizational advocacy, both before and after agreements are signed, has always been fundamental to the success of the everything you've read in this message.
Law Office of Lainey Feingold
LF at LFLegal.com
Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen & Dardarian
LDardarian at gdblegal.com
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