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Wal-Mart accused of violating ADA

Disabled customers say they can’t access store payment machines

Yesterday, we reported on a case in which the 9th Circuit ordered Walt Disney Co. to be more accommodating to disabled theme park visitors. Today, we’re bringing you news about another disability-related case involving the world’s largest retailer: Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Yesterday, disability rights advocates filed suit against Wal-Mart for purportedly violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California state laws because the payment machines in its stores are not accessible to disabled customers who use wheelchairs and scooters. The suit, which is reportedly the first of its kind, claims that disabled customers are forced to “stretch and strain upwards” to see the payment screens at Walmart stores, and others are risking identity theft by giving their personal identification numbers orally to cashiers in order to make purchases.

The plaintiffs seek class action status and a permanent injunction that would require Wal-Mart to make payment machines fully accessible to disabled customers.

"Wal-Mart should be an industry leader, not a defender of discrimination," Bill Lann Lee, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart spokeswoman Ashley Hardie said in a statement that the retailer’s “goal is that every [point-of-sale] machine be accessible within the regulations and guidelines of the ADA and California law.”

Read Thomson Reuters for more about the suit.

Ashley Post

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