New York State Division of Human Rights Declares Settlements of Accessibility Complaints Towards Redbox, Coinstar, and ecoATM
Companies will modify kiosks for use by people with visual impairments
The New York State Human Rights Department today announced the settlement of three disability discrimination complaints filed against newsstand companies Redbox Automated Retail LLC, Coinstar LLC and ecoATM. The complaints, originally filed by the department’s Initiated Action Unit, alleged that the companies’ kiosks were inaccessible to people with visual impairments. As a result of the settlements, the companies have agreed to modify kiosks across New York State to allow access for people with visual impairments. The companies will also pay New York State fines totaling $ 85,000.
“Making services fully accessible to people with disabilities is not only right for a company, it is also the law,” said Interim Commissioner Johnathan J. Smith. “I am pleased that Redbox, Coinstar and ecoATM have agreed to make these important changes to their kiosks. The department will continue to seek a system that will deny New Yorkers their rights under human rights law and hold them accountable. “
The New York State Department of Human Rights has the legal authority to investigate and prosecute systematic patterns of discrimination. The agency’s Initiated Action Unit filed complaints against the companies that their kiosks were inaccessible to the visually impaired in violation of New York State human rights law. The department explicitly claimed that the kiosk interfaces consisted primarily of visual prompts without adequate audio, large print, or braille instructions for users with visual impairments. The department also claimed that the kiosk interfaces used digital touchscreens with no non-visual guidance for users with visual impairments, and that the kiosks did not provide enough information in Braille on how customers are asking companies for assistance.
As part of these settlements, the companies agreed to make changes to the kiosks and their practices. Redbox and Coinstar have agreed to install a non-visual user interface in at least one of their kiosks per New York state location that includes:
- a functional and tactile keyboard,
- a 3.5mm headphone jack with a Braille headphone jack icon next to it and
- Text-to-speak audio instructions via audio through the headphone jack that starts automatically when the headphones are inserted.
ecoATM will modify at least one of its kiosks per location in New York State to provide a non-visual user interface known as a “Concierge Service”.
- Enable specially trained customer service representatives to remotely control the kiosk during a transaction
- Enable blind or visually impaired customers to complete a transaction by verbally and privately guided through the transaction by the customer service representative who remotely controls the kiosk.
The companies agreed to post customer service numbers in the form of Braille and a large-format sticker on all kiosks. They also agreed to add notifications on their websites and advertise in publications for people with disabilities about the availability of these changes to people with visual impairments and to be monitored for three years by the action unit initiated by the New York Department of Human Rights. In addition, Coinstar and ecoATM have agreed to pay fines of $ 30,000 each, and Redbox has agreed to pay a fine of $ 25,000 to New York State. The companies agreed to make all of these changes to their kiosks by August 31, 2021 at the latest.
Individuals can report violations of these settlement terms by emailing the department at [email protected].
New York is proud to be the first state in the nation to pass a human rights law that gives every citizen “an equal opportunity to live a full and productive life.” The New York State Division of Human Rights is the agency responsible for enforcing this law, which prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, public housing, credit, and educational institutions. For more information on the human rights law and the agency’s work, visit the department’s website at https://dhr.ny.gov.
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