[NFB-NM] Blind Californians and Advocates Sue Greyhound

Tonia Trapp tltrapp.7.467 at gmail.com
Tue Jun 13 23:34:14 UTC 2017



From: NFBNet-Members-List [mailto:nfbnet-members-list-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
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Subject: [Nfbnet-members-list] Blind Californians and Advocates Sue




Chris Danielsen

Director of Public Relations

National Federation of the Blind

(410) 659-9314, extension 2330

(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
cdanielsen at nfb.org

Blind Californians and Advocates Sue Greyhound

Lawsuit Alleges Blind People Cannot Use Greyhound Website or Mobile App

San Francisco (June 12, 2017): In February of 2015 Tina Thomas, who is
blind, was planning a trip from her home in Los Angeles to Las Vegas to
visit family and friends. She tried to book the trip on Greyhound.com, but
her text-to-speech software couldn't interpret Greyhound's website. She
called Greyhound to book her trip, explaining that she could not use the
website, but Greyhound still charged her a "convenience fee" for booking by
phone. She tried to use the website again earlier this year, but the
experience had not improved.

Ms. Thomas and four other blind Californians, along with the National
Federation of the Blind, have now sued Greyhound in federal district court.
The lawsuit alleges that Greyhound has designed its website and app so that
they cannot be used by the blind. This violates the Americans with
Disabilities Act and state laws, the lawsuit says.

Blind people use screen reader software that converts the content of
websites or apps into speech or Braille. This software can easily read text,
but it cannot interpret pictures, graphics, and elements like forms and
menus if they are not coded properly.

The Worldwide Web Consortium has published in-depth guidelines on how to
make websites compatible with screen readers, known as the Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0, Level AA). Apple and Google have also
published accessibility guidelines for apps designed for the iPhone and
Android smart phones, respectively. Other major transportation providers,
such as Southwest Airlines, Amtrak, and the ride-sharing services Uber and
Lyft, have websites or apps that blind people can use to book travel. But
Greyhound has not made the needed changes to its website or app, despite
several requests from blind people and advocates.

The lawsuit may be certified as a class action if the court approves. The
suit seeks an injunction requiring Greyhound to make the needed changes to
its website and mobile app. The case is National Federation of the Blind et
al v. Greyhound Lines, Inc. et al, case number 3:17-cv-03368. The plaintiffs
are represented by Timothy Elder of the TRE Legal Practice, www.trelegal.com
> , and by Lisa Ells and Michael Nunez of Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld,
> . Attorneys for the plaintiffs are interested in speaking with any blind
individuals who have been unable to use the Greyhound mobile app or website
with their screen-reader or who have been charged convenience fees for
booking tickets over the telephone.

 "Without the ability to drive, blind people need travel alternatives like
Greyhound," said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the
blind. "It's mystifying, not to mention unlawful, that Greyhound makes it
impossible for us to book trips in the same ways everyone else can. Worse
yet, Greyhound charges us extra for the convenience of using the only
booking methods that work for us, the phone or the ticket counter at the bus
station. Paying for Greyhound's discrimination against us is offensive and
this unequal treatment will not be left unchallenged. "


About the National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the
characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the
expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles
between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want;
blindness is not what holds you back. For more information, visit
> .




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