[Nfbnet-members-list] Blind Americans Encountering Discrimination by Restaurants and Other Services During COVID-19 Crisis

Danielsen, Chris CDanielsen at nfb.org
Fri Apr 3 19:31:21 UTC 2020


Blind Americans Encountering Discrimination by Restaurants and Other Services During COVID-19 Crisis

Restaurants, Banks, and Others Denying Service to Blind Pedestrians

Baltimore, Maryland (April 3, 2020): The National Federation of the Blind, America's civil rights organization of the blind, today demanded that restaurants, banks, and other businesses, as well as drive-through COVID-19 testing facilities, provide equal service to blind customers, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, whether the blind customer is on foot or in a vehicle. Many businesses are offering drive-through service only during the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Federation of the Blind has received numerous reports of discrimination against blind people who have tried to access drive-through windows on foot, and at least one local television station<https://www.news8000.com/people-with-disabilities-face-new-challenges-under-coronavirus-orders/> has reported on the problem.

"We reject the argument that accessing a drive-through window on foot is unsafe for blind people, since we regularly cross busy intersections and interact with vehicles," said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. "But even if a restaurant, bank, or testing center is unable or unwilling to offer pedestrian access to its drive-through window, the law clearly requires that it offer reasonable modifications to allow the blind and others with disabilities to take advantage of its public services. The bottom line is that, especially at a time when access to vehicle transportation for non-drivers is limited, there is no legal or moral excuse for denying service to blind people simply because we are not in a car. To do so is unlawful and discriminatory, and we will not tolerate it."

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<http://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<mailto:cdanielsen at nfb.org>

this news brief is also available at: https://www.nfb.org/about-us/press-room/blind-americans-encountering-discrimination-restaurants-and-other-services

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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The National Federation of the Blind is a community of members and friends who believe in the hopes and dreams of the nation's blind. Every day we work together to help blind people live the lives they want.


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