[Nfbnet-members-list] Blind Intelligence Analyst Sues FBI and Department of Justice

Danielsen, Chris CDanielsen at nfb.org
Tue Nov 19 15:20:54 UTC 2019


Blind Intelligence Analyst Sues FBI and Department of Justice
Lawsuit Says FBI Technology is Inaccessible

Washington, DC (November 19, 2019): Joe Orozco, a blind intelligence analyst with the Federal Bureau of Investigation since 2012, is suing the FBI and the United States Department of Justice for violating his civil rights under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The lawsuit alleges that technology Mr. Orozco is required to use in his job, some of which is proprietary, is inaccessible to him and to other blind employees, and that the FBI has offered no alternative means for him to access the information, data, and services available through this technology.

Like many other blind people, Mr. Orozco uses screen reader technology, which converts digital information into synthesized speech and uses keystrokes to execute many functions, to read and interact with computer software, Internet and intranet websites, and mobile apps. When not properly coded, however, these technologies can present barriers so that screen readers cannot interpret them or access their functions. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires the FBI, like other federal agencies, to ensure that the information technology it develops, procures, maintains, or uses allows all federal employees, with or without disabilities, to have access to, and use of, information and data. The law's implementing regulations contain specific guidelines for creating and procuring accessible technology. Mr. Orozco's lawsuit, brought with the assistance of the National Federation of the Blind, alleges that the FBI and Justice Department have failed to follow or deliberately ignored these guidelines.

"It is nothing short of shameful that two of our nation's top law enforcement agencies are flouting a federal civil rights law and failing to value the contributions of Mr. Orozco and other blind people who are helping to protect all Americans," said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. "America's civil rights organization of the blind is proud to stand up for the right of blind people to play an equal role in our nation's security."

Mr. Orozco is represented by Timothy Elder and Albert Elia of the TRE Legal Practice.


About the National Federation of the Blind
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), headquartered in Baltimore, is the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans. Founded in 1940, the NFB consists of affiliates, chapters, and divisions in the fifty states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. The NFB defends the rights of blind people of all ages and provides information and support to families with blind children, older Americans who are losing vision, and more. We believe in the hopes and dreams of blind people and work together to transform them into reality. Learn more about our many programs and initiatives at www.nfb.org.

Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)
cdanielsen at nfb.org

This press release Is also available at: https://www.nfb.org/about-us/press-room/blind-intelligence-analyst-sues-fbi-and-department-justice

Christopher S. Danielsen, J.D.
Director of Public Relations
200 East Wells Street, Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 659-9314, Ext. 2330 | cdanielsen at nfb.org
Twitter: @rlawyer

[National Federation of the Blind]<https://nfb.org/>

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