On Friday, July 22, there will be a hearing on the disability access case against JetBlue Airways at the federal courthouse in San Francisco. The hearing is open to the public and will be held at 9:30 a.m. at 450 Golden Gate Avenue in courtroom A on the 15th floor.
Brought by the California Council of the Blind and three blind JetBlue customers, the case is about access barriers on JetBlue’s website and the inaccessibility of JetBlue’s airport check-in kiosks to people with visual impairments.
JetBlue has designed its website in a way that prevents blind customers from independently and privately accessing information and using the site’s features. JetBlue’s airport kiosks cannot be used by blind customers because the machines do not have audio output or an accessible means to input information.
JetBlue is asking United States District Court Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero to dismiss the case, arguing that California’s disability civil rights laws do not apply to JetBlue’s website or kiosks. According to JetBlue, only the United States Department of Transportation has jurisdiction to consider the access needs of blind JetBlue customers.
During the hearing, lawyers for CCB and the blind JetBlue customers will explain why California’s civil rights laws protect the state’s citizens with visual impairments from discrimination, including inaccessible airline websites and kiosks.
CCB and the individual JetBlue customers are being represented by Linda Dardarian of the Oakland civil rights firm Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen and Dardarian and the Law Office of Lainey Feingold. Linda will be presenting the argument to the court on July 22.
Those interested in attending the hearing can either go directly to the courthouse or meet at the Civic Center BART station at 8:30 a.m. Anyone who wants to meet at the BART station should send an email to LF@LFLegal.com. People can also contact Rachel Brill in Linda Dardarian’s office at 510-763-9800 for more information.
Additional details are available at http://lflegal.com/2011/06/jetblue-hearing.