[NFBOK-Talk] Accessible Health Kiosks

Jeannie Massay jmassay1 at cox.net
Tue Jul 26 21:27:47 UTC 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      

July 26, 2016


Emalie Gainey (AGO)

(617) 727-2

Chris Danielsen (NFB)

 (410) 262-1281


AG HEALEY and national federation of the blind ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT TO MAKE

Announcement Marks 26th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act 

BOSTON - On the 26th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA), Attorney General Maura Healey and the National
Federation of the Blind (NFB) announced a first-of-its-kind agreement with
Pursuant Health, Inc. to make its self-service health care kiosks accessible
to blind consumers. 


The agreement reached with Pursuant Health, an Atlanta-based company that
manufactures and operates thousands of self-service health care kiosks in
retail stores nationwide, provides meaningful benefits to individuals
nationwide who are blind or who have low vision, including 27,000
Massachusetts residents who are legally blind. 


"Technology should be used to improve people's lives, not create barriers,"
said AG Healey. "We must take steps to ensure that all Massachusetts
residents have equal access to health care services, and that technology is
accessible to consumers with disabilities. We are pleased to have worked
with the NFB and Pursuant Health to make these kiosks accessible."


Pursuant Health's kiosks offer important biometric health screenings,
including vision assessments, blood pressure screening, weight and BMI
assessments, and pain management advice. Health risks and recommendations
for further testing or treatment are displayed on the kiosk or sent to the
consumer via email. Until now, however, blind consumers have not been able
to use the kiosks effectively.  


"Living the lives we want as blind people includes monitoring our own health
so that we can take steps to maintain or improve it," said Mark A.
Riccobono, President of the NFB. "Health information has the potential to be
more accessible than ever to the blind with twenty-first-century technology,
but only if the manufacturers of technology keep accessibility in mind. We
are delighted to have reached this agreement with Pursuant Health, working
with the outstanding civil rights advocates in Attorney General Healey's
office, and believe that it will result in health information kiosks that
set an industry-leading example."


According to the terms of the agreement, Pursuant Health will implement a
detailed project plan to make their kiosks and website accessible to
consumers who are blind or visually impaired. The kiosks will be made
accessible over time and will be reformatted to provide audio instructions
and easily locatable "hot spots" on the kiosk screens to help blind
consumers navigate the system. Pursuant Health will also offer membership
options to make it easier for blind consumers to activate the kiosks and
track their individual health assessments.


Finally, Pursuant Health will make payments totaling $95,000 to the AG's
Office and the NFB, which will be used to further improve access and
opportunity for individuals with disabilities. 


"Massachusetts Commission for the Blind applauds the efforts of Attorney
General Healey for negotiating a settlement that takes one more important
step closer to providing equal access to technology and health care," said
MCB Commissioner Paul Saner. 


The agreement is the most recent result of collaboration between the AG's
Office and the NFB. Past collaborations have included making Monster.com
ster-agreement.html> 's website, Apple
l-federation-of-the-blind-reach.html> 's iTunes services and Cardtronics
dtonics-settlement.html>  fully and equally accessible to blind consumers.


            State and federal laws not only prohibit disparate treatment of
individuals with disabilities in employment and housing, but also require
that all businesses operating places of public accommodation provide people
with disabilities with full and equal enjoyment of their goods, services,
and facilities.


Continuing her efforts to protect the civil rights of all Massachusetts
ability-committee.html> AG Healey formed a Disability Rights Advisory
Committee in July 2015. The Committee is comprised of advocates and experts
who meet on a regular basis to consult with and advise AG Healey and her
staff on matters pertaining to inclusion, access, and equality for
individuals with disabilities. Please click here
<http://www.mass.gov/ago/docs/civilrights/ada-anniversary.pdf>  for more
information on AG Healey's disability rights work since taking office.

This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Genevieve C. Nadeau,
Chief of AG Healey's Civil Rights Division on behalf of the Commonwealth,
and by Daniel F. Goldstein of the Baltimore firm Brown, Goldstein & Levy,
LLP on behalf of the NFB.  






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