Rights of the Visually Impaired

Rights of the Visually Impaired

Disability Independence Group has been involved in several matters involving the rights of the visually impaired. These matters range from the right to have a guide dog to the right to have information conveyed in a format that is effective.  Federal law requires that places of public accommodation and governmental entities maintain their electronic information in an accessible format to ensure that persons with sensory disabilities have equal access to information. People with vision impairments use screen reading software to have access to computer information. Screen reading and internet access have provided access to a universe of information to persons with visual impairments.

Groundbreaking Cases

  • Bartleson v. Miami Dade County Public Schools – Dr. Jan Bartleson, a counselor and emotional/behavioral disabilities clinician with M-DCPS for twenty-six years, has been unable to perform critical parts of her job independently because her employer requires that she utilize software, web content, and web platforms that are not compatible with screen reading technology. A federal court has approved a consent decree requiring M-DCPS to make all existing websites, forms, and software accessible; to procure only accessible software in the future; and to take other steps to ensure the full inclusion of blind employees in school programs and activities.
  • Sheely v. MRI Radiology Network – Visually Impaired woman was permitted to bring her service animal to a imaging facility.
  • Herrin v. Lamachys Village of Indigo Lakes – Two visually impaired women were not permitted to rent a second floor apartment and successfully sued under the Fair Housing Act.
  • Troiano v. Supervisor of Elections of Palm Beach – Certified class action of visually impaired voters who sued to have accessible voting machines during the 2002 election.

Blog Articles

  • McDowell v. Affordable Dentures – Mr. McDowell was not even provided an elbow to guide him at the dentist office – However, a biding conciliation agreement and a substantial settlement ensured compliance, now a law with teeth is more powerful than a pair of dentures.
  • Pledger v. SAS Transportation – A man with a guide dog sues a airport transportation company for refusing to provide travel for him and his guide dog.
  • Fair Housing Reasonable Accommodation – Blind woman evicted from her apartment because she requested a path of travel from her home through the parking lot.