A new Class Action lawsuit has been filed against Apple by Floridian David New for failing to design a Point of Sale device that is accessible and usable by blind people. Interestingly, nowhere in the lawsuit is there any mention that David New or his attorneys attempted to contact Apple with their specific concerns or to find out what new technologies that Apple may be working on for the disabled, specifically for the Apple Store. Apple is the leader in the technology industry for providing the disabled with tools and special education to assist their endeavors of using modern technology in their daily lives. Furthermore, nowhere in the lawsuit does it name another technology company with a similar storefront that currently has a solution to this problem. Does the Sony Store have such a solution for the disabled? Does Best Buy have a solution? Some tools just take a little more time to come to market. In the end, they may have barked up the wrong tree in suing Apple on this front because Apple has a proven track record of designing and delivering the very best tools for the disabled in the industry and are always designing new tools for the future.
Class Action Introduction
According to the documents filed in court by the law firm of Leon Cosgrove on behalf of the Plaintiff David New, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated brings this class action complaint against Apple Inc. alleging violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., (the "ADA") and its implementing regulations.
According to the complaint, "Plaintiff is a blind individual. He brings this class action against Defendant for failing to design, construct, and/or own or operate Point Of Sale Devices ("POS Devices")1 that are fully accessible to, and independently usable by, blind people.
Specifically, the POS Devices in Defendant's stores throughout the United States are not fully accessible to, and independently usable by, blind people. Instead, the POS Devices have touch screen surfaces with features that are not discernible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
To make a debit card purchase using Defendant's POS Devices, a customer must enter their Personal Identification Number ("PIN"). However, because a blind or visually impaired individual cannot discern the numerical references displayed on the keypad of the POS Device, said individual does not have the ability to independently make a debit purchase. Instead, the blind or visually impaired consumer must divulge their PIN number in order to complete a debit transaction.
Defendant's use of flat touch screen POS Devices discriminates against blind and visually impaired consumers in violation of the ADA by denying them full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations at Defendant's stores. (42 U.S.C. § 12182(a)).
POS Devices with tactilely discernible keypad surfaces—which are independently usable by a blind or visually impaired individual—are readily available and in fact used by a substantial percentage of retail merchants.
Plaintiff intends to continue to be a customer of Defendant's stores, and desires to make future payments by debit card. However, unless Defendant is required to install ADA compliant POS Devices, Plaintiff will continue to be unable to independently make payments for any purchases by debit card.
Therefore, on behalf of a class of similarly situated individuals, Plaintiff seeks a declaration that Defendant's POS Devices violate federal law as described, and an injunction requiring Defendant to update or replace all POS Devices that are in violation of the mandatory requirements of the ADA so that they are fully accessible to, and independently usable by, blind or visually impaired individuals. Plaintiff further requests that, given Defendant's failure to comply with the ADA's mandate, this Court retain jurisdiction of this matter for a period to be determined to ensure that Defendant comes into compliance with the relevant requirements of the ADA and to ensure that Defendant has adopted and is following an institutional policy that will, in fact, cause Defendant to remain in compliance with the law.
The class action case presented in today's report was filed in the Florida Southern District Court, Miami Office. The nature of the suit is considered to be under "Civil Rights: Americans with Disabilities; 42:12182 Americans with Disabilities Act." At present, no Judge has been assigned to the case.
Apple's Leadership in Providing Accessibility
Apple has been an industry leader in providing Accessibility tools for the disabled. This isn't something new to Apple. They have a dedicated website section for Accessibility which fully illustrates their ongoing commitment to providing the most up-to-date tools in the industry for the disabled so that they could integrate the best technology into their daily lives.
Vision: Apple's VoiceOver is the world's first gesture-based screen reader for Mac and iOS devices. It lets users who are blind or have low vision know what's happening on their device. And helps them control it.
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