Dear Blind and Visually-Impaired Community Members,
I’m pleased to announce that a three-year effort by the LightHouse and our legal partners at Disability Rights Advocates has been successful. With our recent settlement with Redbox, all inaccessible California DVD rental machines will be converted to ones which have a tactile keypad and talk. This is a major accessibility victory and will help to establish that it’s a nonviable idea to design or implement inaccessible point of sale machines for any purpose in our state.
As part of the settlement process, those blind Californians who were unable to use Redbox machines may be eligible for monetary compensation. Please read the details below if you wish to participate in the claims process.
Please note: you don’t need to have physically attempted to use Redbox to qualify for the settlement. If you simply would have liked to use it but have heard that blind people can’t use it because it is inaccessible, this qualifies. There is no age limit – you can apply for the settlement even if you are under 18 as long as you meet the qualifications.
The LightHouse is proud to have been the organizational plaintiff in this matter, and we’re proud to be a leader in advancing the civil rights of the blind. Our partnership with the dedicated lawyers at Disability Rights Advocates promises many legal and civil rights advances in the near future. Some will be coming soon at a vending machine near you.
Bryan Bashin, CEO
LightHouse for the Blind
ALL LEGALLY BLIND INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE ATTEMPTED TO ACCESS THE DVD, BLU-RAY AND/OR VIDEO GAME RENTAL SERVICES AVAILABLE AT REDBOX KIOSKS IN CALIFORNIA SINCE JANUARY 12, 2010 OR WHO HAVE BEEN DETERRED FROM DOING SO DUE TO THE LACK OF FEATURES FOR BLIND USERS AT REDBOX KIOSKS SINCE JANUARY 12, 2010, MAY HAVE A CLAIM FOR MONETARY DAMAGES UNDER THE SETTLEMENT DESCRIBED BELOW:
This notice is to inform you that you may have a claim for monetary damages under the proposed settlement that would resolve the class action lawsuit Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, et al. v. Redbox Automated Retail, LLC, et al., Case No. 12-cv-00195-PJH (N.D. Cal.). The lawsuit alleges that Redbox Automated Retail, LLC (“Redbox”) violated federal and California law by offering video and game rental services at self-service, touchscreen kiosks in California that legally blind persons cannot independently access. Save Mart Supermarkets (“Save Mart”) is also a defendant in the case.
The proposed settlement would require that Redbox add tactile controls, headphone jacks, and text-to-speech output to all of its touchscreen video rental kiosks in California so that legally blind individuals can independently access Redbox kiosks in California.
You may be entitled to payment of money as part of this settlement. There is a damages fund of $1.2 million that will be shared among eligible claimants. You may be eligible to receive money if you are legally blind and you attempted but were unable to access the goods and services available at Redbox kiosks in California on or after January 12, 2010 due to the kiosks’ visual user interface, or if you were aware that Redbox kiosks in California utilize a visual user interface, and, as a result, were deterred from accessing the goods and services of a Redbox kiosk in California on a particular occasion on or after January 12, 2010.
Printed claim forms, which should be mailed to the Claims Administrator at the address below, must be postmarked no later than November 12, 2014.
Lighthouse v. Redbox Claims Administrator
P.O. Box 43034
Providence, RI 02940-3034
Phone: (866) 277-4261
Claim forms submitted electronically must be submitted no later than November 12, 2014. You also have the right to opt out of the damages portion of the settlement and the right to object to the settlement.
Any questions about the settlement, including requests for documents in alternate accessible formats, should be directed to class counsel using the contact information below.
Disability Rights Advocates
2001 Center Street, 4th Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704
Phone: (510) 665-8644