[Nfbmo] Fwd: [nfbmi-talk] NBA Sued by Blind Man
fredolver at gmail.com
Wed Nov 18 13:22:34 UTC 2015
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Begin forwarded message:
> From: "Terry D. Eagle via nfbmi-talk" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
> Date: November 17, 2015 at 10:47:28 AM CST
> To: "'NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List'" <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
> Cc: "Terry D. Eagle" <terrydeagle at yahoo.com>
> Subject: [nfbmi-talk] NBA Sued by Blind Man
> Reply-To: terrydeagle at yahoo.com, NFB of Michigan Internet Mailing List <nfbmi-talk at nfbnet.org>
> NBA Sued by Blind Man Over Website
> A legally blind man has claimed in a lawsuit filed in federal court that the
> National Basketball Association's website does not accommodate blind and
> visually impaired users.
> Robert Jahoda filed his discrimination suit under the Americans with
> Disabilities Act on Nov. 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Western
> District of Pennsylvania. In it, Jahoda asked for a court order that would
> require the NBA to format its website to be compatible with the
> screen-reader, or text-to-audio, technology utilized by Web users with
> vision problems.
> "Screen-reader software provides the primary method by which a blind person
> may independently use the Internet. Unless websites are designed to be read
> by screen-reader software or other assistive technologies, blind individuals
> are unable to fully access websites and the information, products and
> services available through the sites," Jahoda's complaint said.
> The ADA states that the court can step in "to alter facilities to make such
> facilities readily accessible to and usable by individuals with
> disabilities." The act also authorizes judicially-mandated changes to an
> organization's policies; in addition to the formatting requests, Jahoda
> asked that the NBA implement policies that guarantee website accessibility
> for the blind. That would include periodic audits to ensure accessibility.
> According to the docket, legal counsel had not yet been assigned to the NBA.
> A call to an NBA spokesperson was not returned.
> "Web-based technologies have features and content that are modified on a
> daily, and in some instances an hourly, basis, and a one-time 'fix' to an
> inaccessible website will not cause the website to remain accessible without
> a corresponding change in corporate policies related to those Web-based
> technologies," the complaint said.
> "To evaluate whether an inaccessible website has been rendered accessible,"
> the complaint continued, "and whether corporate policies related to
> Web-based technologies have been changed in a meaningful manner that will
> cause the website to remain accessible, the website must be reviewed on a
> periodic basis using both automated accessibility-screening tools and end
> user testing by disabled individuals."
> Jahoda pointed to guidelines promulgated by W3C, an international Web
> standards organization, and maintained that those accessibility
> standards-which provide for the maximum level of website compatibility with
> assistive devices-have been endorsed by the U.S. Department of Justice.
> Specifically, Jahoda alleged the NBA violated multiple sections of Title III
> of the ADA, including Section 302(a), which states that no individual will
> be discriminated against on the basis of a disability in that they are
> denied full access to goods and services. A subsequent section, 302(b)(1),
> makes such a denial unlawful.
> Jahoda also pointed to Section 302(b)(2), which goes further into what is
> considered unlawful discrimination.
> For example, violations of the section include failure to make reasonable
> modifications in policies, practices or procedures when they're necessary to
> afford facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations to individuals
> with disabilities. That is, unless the entity can demonstrate that making
> such modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of those aspects of
> its operation.
> Also, the section provides that "a failure to take such steps as may be
> necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied
> services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals
> because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services" would make for an
> undue burden on the user.
> Jahoda claimed the alleged lack of accessibility to the NBA's website fit
> the bill for a Title III violation.
> Jahoda "has not been provided services that are provided to other patrons
> who are not disabled, and/or has been provided services that are inferior to
> the services provided to non-disabled persons," the complaint said.
> "Defendant has failed to take any prompt and equitable steps to remedy its
> discriminatory conduct. These violations are ongoing."
> In addition to a permanent injunction directing the NBA to modify its
> policies and take steps to make its website fully accessible to blind and
> visually impaired users, Jahoda is seeking litigation costs and attorney
> fees. Jahoda's attorney, R. Bruce Carlson of Carlson Lynch Sweet & Kilpela
> in Pittsburgh, declined to comment
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