Monday, December 19, 2011

Making ATMs accessable to those who are blind or have low vision

I'm posting this information that came to my e-mail. I am wondering what implications this has for those of us that live outside of Mass? I haven't exactly had the chance to check it out yet. But, I thought some of you might be interested.

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@nfb.org






National Federation of the Blind Secures


Court Ruling Against Cardtronics


Company Must Make ATMs Accessible or Face Sanctions


Baltimore, Maryland (December 19, 2011): A federal court has found that Cardtronics, Inc., has failed to comply with the terms of a settlement and subsequent remediation plan reached with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to make all of the automated teller machines owned by Cardtronics accessible to the blind. In an order dated December 15, 2011, the Honorable Nathaniel M. Gorton of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts found that Cardtronics had not complied with the terms of the settlement agreement or remediation plan and that civil contempt was therefore appropriate. Judge Gorton ordered Cardtronics to comply with the remaining terms by March 15, 2012, or face monetary sanctions of $50 per month for each ATM that remained inaccessible to blind users-giving the company the "Shakespearean warning" to "beware the ides of March."






"Instead of admitting their non-compliance and promising better effort, defendants disingenuously claim they have complied in spite of a plethora of evidence to the contrary," Judge Gorton wrote in his memorandum opinion. "The deadlines they have consistently missed were, ironically, the ones they proposed in the first place."






Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: "It is critical that blind Americans have access to all of the technologies that are now a part of everyday life in the twenty-first century if we are to achieve full and equal integration into society, and this includes the technology necessary to handle our finances. Toward that end, we reached an agreement with Cardtronics to make its ATMs accessible, and when problems arose and initial deadlines were missed, we worked in good faith with the company to come up with a workable remediation plan. Sadly, however, Cardtronics has not complied with the agreed terms of the remediation plan. We are therefore pleased with the court's decision requiring Cardtronics to meet its legal obligations."










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About the National Federation of the Blind


With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States. The NFB improves blind people's lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence. It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation's blind. In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind. Please visit our Web site: www.nfb.org.










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