[nfbmi-talk] National Federation of the Blind and Blind Social Security Beneficiary File Complaint with Social Security Administration

Freeh, Jessica JFreeh at nfb.org
Tue Aug 25 09:58:05 CDT 2009


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Chris Danielsen

Director of Public Relations

National Federation of the Blind

(410) 659-9314, extension 2330

(410) 262-1281 (cell)

cdanielsen at nfb.org

National Federation of the Blind and Blind Social Security Beneficiary
File Complaint with Social Security Administration

SSA's Inaccessible Web Site Discriminates Against the Blind

Baltimore, Maryland (August 24, 2009): The National Federation of the 
Blind, the nation's oldest and largest organization of blind people 
and the leading advocate for equal access by the blind to information 
technology, and Margot Downey, a blind Social Security beneficiary 
from Buffalo, New York, filed an administrative complaint today with 
the Social Security Administration (SSA).  The complaint asserts that 
the SSA's Web site violates Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act 
because it is inaccessible to blind people who use text-to-speech 
screen access technology or Braille displays to access information on 
the Internet.  Because of the inaccessibility of the SSA Web site, 
blind people cannot fill out forms and questionnaires on the site or 
access information about their benefits.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, 
said: "In an age where the Internet is a part of everyday life, blind 
people must have equal access to the information and resources 
provided on the World Wide Web.  In particular, the United States 
government has a legal and moral obligation to ensure that the 
information it provides on the Internet is equally accessible to all 
Americans, including the blind.  The National Federation of the Blind 
demands equal access for blind Social Security beneficiaries and will 
tolerate nothing less."

  Margot Downey, a blind Social Security beneficiary from Buffalo, 
New York, said: "As an active and productive blind individual, I 
depend on the Internet to access and update all kinds of information, 
including the Social Security and Medicare benefits I receive.  I 
hope that the Social Security Administration will take swift action 
to correct the accessibility problems with its Web site so that blind 
Americans like me will have equal access to the valuable information 
the SSA Web site contains."

Complainants are represented by attorneys Daniel F. Goldstein and 
Allison L. Harper of Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP, 120 E. Baltimore 
Street, Suite 1700, Baltimore, Maryland  21202, (410) 962-1030, fax: 
(410) 385-0869, <mailto:dfg at browngold.com>dfg at browngold.com, 
<mailto:ah at browngold.com>ah at browngold.com, 
<http://www.browngold.com/>www.browngold.com.

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