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Re: US DOJ and HR Block Website

for

From: Whitney Quesenbery
Date: Nov 29, 2013 9:13AM


INAL (I'm Not A Lawyer), but looks like good news. The critical text:

4. Specifically, Defendants have failed to ensure the accessibility of
www.hrblock.com and its subdomains ... and, as a result, individuals with
disabilities, including those who require assistive technologies, cannot
access the information, enjoy the services, or take advantage of the
benefits offered through Defendants' website.

5. Such discrimination persists notwithstanding the existence of readily
available, well-established, consensus-based guidelines for delivering Web
content in an accessible format – the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
2.0 ("WCAG 2.0"), which are available at http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/.

6. The Attorney General has commenced this action based on reasonable cause
to believe that Defendants are engaged in a pattern or practice of
discrimination ... and that such discrimination raises issues of general
public importance. .... The United States seeks *declaratory and injunctive
relief, monetary damages, and civil penalties* against Defendants.


Again INAL, but "intervene" is because the DOJ cannot initiate the lawsuit.
It's stronger than filing an amicus brief (as an interested friend of one
party). The motion says the DOJ "...moves to intervene as of right in this
action, pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 24, because it has a
significant protectable interest in enforcing the Americans with
Disabilities Act"



On Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 5:46 AM, Birkir R. Gunnarsson <
<EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> Greetings.
>
> Firstly, that DOJ website is not exactly the apex of accessibility.
> Secondly, out of some ignorance and desire to reduce it: What does this
> mean?
> Does this mean the DOJ will ensure a favorable outcome by intervening?
> Does it mean that they will seak to throw the law suit out?
> Does it just mean that whatever the outcome this will have a huge
> impact by setting an example?
>
> Basically, is this good or bad for accessibility?
> At a glance this looks like good news for us in the accessibility
> sector, but I would love interpretation from someone who understands
> these procedures better, adding a bit of commentary to help us
> understand if we should celebrate or worry.
> Cheers
> -Birkir
> Accessibility SME | Deque Systems
>
>
> On 11/25/13, Chagnon | PubCom < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> > From the US Department of Justice's ADA office:
> >
> > The Justice Department announced today that it seeks to intervene [
> > http://www.ada.gov/hrb-motion-intervene.htm ] in a lawsuit against HRB
> > Digital, LLC and HRB Tax Group, Inc. ("Block") in federal court in Boston
> > to
> > remedy violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The
> > department's proposed complaint in intervention in the lawsuit, "National
> > Federation of the Blind v. HRB Digital LLC and HRB Tax Group, Inc.",
> > alleges
> > that Block discriminates against individuals with disabilities in the
> full
> > and equal enjoyment of its goods and services provided through
> > www.hrblock.com [ http://www.hrblock.com/ ].
> >
> >
> >
> > The complaint is online at http://www.ada.gov/hrb-proposed-complaint.htm
> >
> > - Bevi Chagnon
> >
> > - PubCom.com - Trainers, Consultants, Designers, and Developers.
> >
> > - Print, Web, Acrobat, XML, eBooks, and U.S. Federal Section 508
> > Accessibility.
> >
> > - It's our 32nd year!
> >
> >
> >
> > > > > > > >
>
>
> --
> Work hard. Have fun. Make history.
> > > >



--
Whitney Quesenbery
www.wqusability.com | @whitneyq

Storytelling for User Experience
www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/storytelling

Global UX: Design and research in a connected world
@globalUX | www.amazon.com/gp/product/012378591X/