[Nfbc-info] Hey, Tina, Rick B, Rochelle, Geraldine and the NFB are in the News!

Lisamaria Martinez lmartinez217 at gmail.com
Tue Apr 22 18:45:52 UTC 2014

Did this get posted already? I'm sitting here doing research on donors
for work and I randomly stumbled onto this article with NFB all over
it. Great job Tina, Rochelle, rick B and Geraldine. And of course,
thanks to awesome NfB lawyers like Tim and Haben for representing.


I've also pasted it below for your convenience:

LOS ANGELES, April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/-- The National
Federation of the Blind (NFB), the oldest and largest organization of
blind people in the United States, and four blind people residing in
California—Rick Boggs, Geraldine Croom, Rochelle Houston, and Tina
Thomas —filed suit today (case number: 2:14-cv-02490) in the United
States District Court for the Central District of California against
RideCharge, Inc. and three entities that manage taxicab fleets in
Southern California:  Administrative Services Cooperative, Inc., LA
Taxi Cooperative, Inc., and South Bay Yellow Cab Cooperative, Inc.
The taxicab cooperatives have deployed RideCharge's self-service,
touchscreen payment terminals, which are inaccessible to blind taxicab
riders, in taxicabs throughout Southern California.  The complaint
alleges violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the
California Unruh Civil Rights Act, and the California Disabled Persons

The self-service terminals utilize an entirely visual, touchscreen
interface mounted on the back of the front passenger seat that allows
sighted taxicab riders to access information and services privately
and independently.  Among other features, sighted passengers are able
to review trip and fare information, privately pay fares with a credit
card, and select tip amounts without interacting with the driver. The
exclusively visual interface lacks common accessibility features for
blind riders.  Many other transportation service providers have
installed text-to-speech output and tactile controls on their
self-service terminals that allow blind riders to operate them
independently.  As a result of RideCharge's failure to include these
common alternative access features on its terminals, blind riders are
unable to access the information and services offered on these

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind,
said: "The ability to travel safely and independently is central to
the ability of blind people to live independent, productive lives.
Taxis are a valuable mode of transportation for blind people,
particularly in places like Southern California where public transit
is not always available.  Our right to independent travel is unjustly
jeopardized when we enter a taxi that has critical features that
cannot be independently accessed by the blind.  The laws of the United
States and the state of California require, and blind Americans
demand, that RideCharge and taxicab companies make all of their
self-service terminals accessible to blind taxi riders."

The National Federation of the Blind and the individual plaintiffs are
represented in this matter by Laurence Paradis, Stuart Seaborn,
Michael Nunez, and Haben Girma of the Berkeley firm Disability Rights
Advocates; Scott LaBarre of the Denver firm LaBarre Law Offices; and
Timothy Elder of the Fremont, California firm TRE Legal Practice.

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