Accessibility in the News—8/3/16
In this issue of Accessibility in the News, we have accessibility-related media coverage of the rise in ADA lawsuits (including online real estate sites), Pokemon and gamers with disabilities, banking, health care, employment, education, and litigation.
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Agents and brokers at risk of lawsuits over website accessibility
6/29 | Source: inman Real Estate News
At the National Association of Realtors midyear conference, MLS CEO Shelley Specchio stood up in a crowd of hundreds of fellow MLS executives and announced that one of her members had filed a charge of disability discrimination against her multiple listing service, Northern Nevada Regional MLS.
Specchio spoke during a session on website compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. “I wanted to say that out loud so that everyone takes this very seriously,” Specchio said at the time.
The ADA was enacted in 1990 to prohibit discrimination and ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities in employment, state and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation, according to the ADA website…
Pokémon Go Can Be Depressing For Fans With Physical Disabilities
7/13 | Source: Kotaku Gamer’s Guide
Pokémon Go is getting gamers outside, but not all gamers. Tales of trespassing, fence-jumping and brave jaunts through tough terrain to catch Pokémon have bolstered the hit mobile game’s popularity among able-bodied players. Physically handicapped fans of the Pokémon franchise, however, are struggling to love a Pokémon game in which movement is a crucial mechanic.
Some wheelchair-bound fans of the Pokémon franchise say that important game mechanics like frequenting PokéStops for items and gyms for battles, hatching eggs and even traveling around to catch rare Pokémon are exponentially more difficult for them…
What I’ve Learned By Hiring More Employees With Disabilities
7/21 | Source: Fast Company
Less than a fifth of people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities are employed, but business leaders can help change that. Everyone deserves a chance to succeed. And by my estimation, no group has been refused that opportunity more than people living with disabilities (PLWD). Even though I’ve made expanding opportunities for PLWD my life’s work, I nearly denied my first PLWD hire, Andrew, a fair shake. My company sells wine and donates all profits to nonprofits, so we host tastings at grocery and liquor stores. Now one of my top employees, Andrew began his first tasting in 2015 like a pushy car salesman…
New ACA regulations require online accessibility
7/28 | Source: Employee Benefit Advisor
There has been a proliferation of ADA lawsuits alleging that websites are not accessible to the blind or deaf. Effective July 18, 2016, a new “meaningful access” rule interpreting the Affordable Care Act’s Section 1557 Anti-Discrimination requirements requires providers of health care programs and services that receive federal financial assistance to comply with new requirements for effective communication, including accessible electronic information technology.
This rate of increase for ADA lawsuits is staggering
7/29 | Source: HR Morning
You likely know by now that federal agencies have made rooting out disability discrimination a top priority. And you likely expected lawsuits to increase in this area. But did you expect things to reach this point this quickly? From January 1, 2015 to June 30, 2015 the number of ADA lawsuits filed in federal court was 2,114, according to a law firm that carefully tracks ADA lawsuits and trends. Over the same period in 2016, a whopping 3,435 ADA lawsuits were filed (a 62.4% increase.
Four Simple Ways To Engage Employees With Accessibility
7/29 | Source: B&T
In today’s digital age, businesses have an increasing need for better ways to engage their entire team. In this guest piece, Robin Marchant, global marketing director at Squiz, explains how accessibility, as a cross-functional solution, can be used to engage staff of different departments, skill-sets, physical capabilities, and more…
OCR reaches web accessibility agreement with 11 educational institutions
7/29 | Source: 3PlayMedia
This month, the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) reached settlements with eleven different educational organizations facing web accessibility complaints. It was reported earlier this spring that the OCR was investigating over 350 school districts for website accessibility violations. Eleven of those under scrutiny reached an agreement with the OCR to remedy their websites…
San Francisco Federal Credit Union Leads the Way to Transform Online Banking to Better Serve Customers with Vision Disabilities
8/2 | Source: Globe News Wire
Today, Disability Rights Advocates (“DRA”) and San Francisco Federal Credit Union (“Credit Union”) announce a precedent-setting agreement which is expected to bring change across the online banking industry. The Credit Union agreed to work together with DRA to ensure its website, online banking services and mobile apps are accessible to people who are blind or low vision. The Credit Union’s website and online banking services are powered principally by a system created by digital banking industry leader, Q2 Software, Inc. (“Q2”). Q2 has agreed to implement accessibility features for the Credit Union that will ultimately be made available to all of Q2’s current and future customers around the nation…
Most States Flunk Healthcare Price-Transparency Laws Test
8/2 | Source: Health Leaders Media
Despite modest gains in the past year among states that are considered top performers in price-transparency, the vast majority of states again post failing grades. Forty-three states have received failing grades on a test that scrutinizes healthcare price-transparency laws. But for the first time since the annual grades were first issued in 2013, three states earned an “A” grade. The Report Card on State Price Transparency Laws gauges the strength and effectiveness of state regulations based on a handful of metrics: the source of price data, the participation level of hospitals and physician practices, whether patient prices are listed on an out-of-pocket basis rather than a price-charged basis, the scope of the services that have pricing information, and whether the pricing information is readily available online…
Advocate Moves Needle on Website Accessibility
8/3 | Source: Education Week
Every year, thousands of complaints flow into the office tasked with investigating disability discrimination for the U.S. Department of Education. This year, Marcie Lipsitt, a special education advocate from Michigan, has been responsible for about 500 of those complaints—and counting. Lipsitt’s focus is on the websites of school districts and other educational institutions, which she says widely disregard the needs of users who are blind or visually impaired, or who cannot use a mouse to navigate a page. Other website problems she has spotted include videos with no captions, or text and background color combinations that are a strain for people with low vision…
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