[Nfbnet-members-list] Blind Californians and Advocates Sue Greyhound

National Federation of the Blind webmaster at nfb.org
Tue Jun 13 02:18:03 UTC 2017



Chris Danielsen

Director of Public Relations

National Federation of the Blind

(410) 659-9314, extension 2330

(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
<mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org>cdanielsen at nfb.org

Blind Californians and Advocates Sue Greyhound

Lawsuit Alleges Blind People Cannot Use Greyhound Website or Mobile App

San Francisco (June 12, 2017): In February of 2015 Tina Thomas, who 
is blind, was planning a trip from her home in Los Angeles to Las 
Vegas to visit family and friends. She tried to book the trip on 
Greyhound.com, but her text-to-speech software couldn't interpret 
Greyhound's website. She called Greyhound to book her trip, 
explaining that she could not use the website, but Greyhound still 
charged her a "convenience fee" for booking by phone. She tried to 
use the website again earlier this year, but the experience had not improved.

Ms. Thomas and four other blind Californians, along with the National 
Federation of the Blind, have now sued Greyhound in federal district 
court. The lawsuit alleges that Greyhound has designed its website 
and app so that they cannot be used by the blind. This violates the 
Americans with Disabilities Act and state laws, the lawsuit says.

Blind people use screen reader software that converts the content of 
websites or apps into speech or Braille. This software can easily 
read text, but it cannot interpret pictures, graphics, and elements 
like forms and menus if they are not coded properly.

The Worldwide Web Consortium has published in-depth guidelines on how 
to make websites compatible with screen readers, known as the Web 
Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0, Level AA). Apple and 
Google have also published accessibility guidelines for apps designed 
for the iPhone and Android smart phones, respectively. Other major 
transportation providers, such as Southwest Airlines, Amtrak, and the 
ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft, have websites or apps that blind 
people can use to book travel. But Greyhound has not made the needed 
changes to its website or app, despite several requests from blind 
people and advocates.

The lawsuit may be certified as a class action if the court approves. 
The suit seeks an injunction requiring Greyhound to make the needed 
changes to its website and mobile app. The case is National 
Federation of the Blind et al v. Greyhound Lines, Inc. et al, case 
number 3:17-cv-03368. The plaintiffs are represented by Timothy Elder 
of the TRE Legal Practice, 
and by Lisa Ells and Michael Nunez of Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld, 
Attorneys for the plaintiffs are interested in speaking with any 
blind individuals who have been unable to use the Greyhound mobile 
app or website with their screen-reader or who have been charged 
convenience fees for booking tickets over the telephone.

  "Without the ability to drive, blind people need travel 
alternatives like Greyhound," said Mark Riccobono, President of the 
National Federation of the blind. "It's mystifying, not to mention 
unlawful, that Greyhound makes it impossible for us to book trips in 
the same ways everyone else can. Worse yet, Greyhound charges us 
extra for the convenience of using the only booking methods that work 
for us, the phone or the ticket counter at the bus station. Paying 
for Greyhound's discrimination against us is offensive and this 
unequal treatment will not be left unchallenged. "


About the National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the 
characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise 
the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create 
obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life 
you want; blindness is not what holds you back. For more information, 

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