Partner Eve Hill was recently quoted in a Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Disabled Shoppers Struggle with Inaccessible Self-Checkouts,” which calls to light the increasing number of self-checkouts in retail store fronts that are inaccessible for community members with disabilities.
Specifically, the article examines the inaccessibility of typical self-checkouts, which are becoming increasingly prevalent in stores nationwide. The shift to a more automated retail experience has created challenges for many disabled customers, especially for those who use wheelchairs or are visually impaired and are unable to see the screen or reach certain parts of the self-checkout kiosk. Because they cannot independently operate the self-checkout machines, they have to rely on store staff or even other customers, to help them, defeating the convenience, speed, and privacy of self-checkout.
Eve Hill is all too familiar with these issues, having represented the lead plaintiffs, supported by the National Federation for the Blind (NFB), in a lawsuit against Walmart Inc. for breaching the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because blind people couldn’t independently operate its self-checkout system. Although a Maryland judge ultimately ruled in Walmart’s favor, Eve stands by her original position that such self-checkout machines violate the ADA.
“In order to be equally effective, it has to be equally independent and equally private. I go to the self-checkout because I want to buy a lot of cookies, or whatever I am ashamed of, and I don’t want staff to see that. [My clients] don’t have that option,” Eve Hill told the Wall Street Journal.
As one of the nation’s leading civil rights attorneys, Eve is a passionate advocate for the disabled community. She has represented many individuals and their families and works closely with the National Federation of the Blind to protect the civil rights of blind and visually impaired individuals across the United States.
Learn more about Eve Hill’s robust civil rights practice here.