We have so many options to rent movies online these days and watch them from the comfort of our homes--Netflix, Blockbusters, DirectTV, Movies on Demand, etc. However, these options are not always the same for those with disabilities. Take RedBox for example. Generally located outside your grocery store, you can conveniently pick up a movie from the self-serve kiosk on your way home. But, if you’re in a wheelchair, can you reach the controls? Or, if you have a visual impairment, can you independently use the controls to rent a movie? A federal lawsuit, the 1st of its kind, against movie rental giant Redbox was filed last week alleging that the DVD rental kiosks violate the ADA because they are not accessible to those with visual impairments. The kiosks rely exclusively on sight-based, touch-screen controls.
So, if you have a disability and want to rent a DVD for your family, Redbox isn’t available as one of your options. “I love watching movies with my husband and son and would like to independently rent movies for my family at Redboxes,” said a mom who is legally blind and is one of the plaintiffs in the suit.
According to the lawsuit, Redbox accounts for roughly 34 percent of the DVD rental market across the country. Other touch-screen devices do allow for full access by those with visual impairments. ATMs and iPhones, for example, use touch and voice-based technology to offer full accessibility, so why can’t Redbox?
Although employers don’t typically have Redboxes as an employment benefit (if you do, we would love to hear from you!), but employers do often recruit new hires via electronic kiosks set up in locations around the community...and, employers must make sure that their recruitment efforts are accessible to everyone. Are yours?
If not, now is the time to review your recruiting procedures in order to mitigate your risk for employment discrimination and avoid a potential lawsuit. If you have, we would like to hear from you so we can share your best practices with others. If you need some assistance in revamping your procedures, Springboard can help.
This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.