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H&R Block Will Make Website and Apps Accessible

March 2014 — H&R Block has entered into a five-year consent decree with the Department of Justice (DOJ).  The decree follows complaints by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and two individual plaintiffs that H&R Block violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to ensure accessibility on their website and mobile applications. The complaints highlight that the website and mobile applications are incompatible with many assistive technologies such as screen readers and refreshable Braille displays and failed to provide other accessibility features such as keyboard navigation or captioning.  Under the decree, H&R Block will work to enhance the accessibility of their services by ensuring that their website and mobile apps are in compliance with Level AA Success Criteria of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 by January 1, 2015, appointing a web accessibility coordinator, and providing accessibility training for all web content personnel.  H&R Block has also been ordered to “pay $45,000 to the two individual plaintiffs, and a $55,000 civil penalty.” Acting Assistant Attorney General, Jocelyn Samuels, notes, “This landmark decree ensures that individuals with disabilities will have an equal opportunity to independently and conveniently obtain information and complete taxes as others do.  H&R Block is to be commended for working with the NFB and the Justice Department in resolving to take such steps.”

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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.