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National Federation of the Blind Files Suit Against the Department of Transportation

January 2014 — The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) filed suit against the Department of Transportation (DOT) challenging regulations issued under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) meant to “require that airline check-in kiosks be made accessible to airline passengers who are blind.”  The NFB asserts that the regulations, which require 25 percent of airport kiosks to be accessible by 2023, fail to implement the ACAA as Congress intended and that currently kiosks can easily be made accessible   by “affixing Braille labels, installing headphone jacks and adding speech software that provides audio prompts to the user.”  Of the case, NFB President, Dr. Marc Maurer, noted, “The regulations will only require 25 percent of these kiosks to be made accessible; apparently 75 percent discrimination against blind people is acceptable to the DOT.  The agency also failed to make the information it gathered from airlines available until these regulations were issued, which also violated federal law and denied blind Americans the opportunity to challenge the airlines’ assertions.  We are therefore asking the court to strike down the regulations and order the agency to restart the rulemaking process.”

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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.