Release Date: 
Monday, June 16, 2014
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind and Blind Business Owner Resolve Enforcement Action with Small Business Administration

SBA to Make its Website Accessible to the Blind

Baltimore, Maryland (June 16, 2014): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s leading advocate for equal access by the blind to information technology, and Virgil Stinnett, a blind business owner from Honolulu, Hawaii, have reached an agreement resolving an enforcement action (Complaint #2009-02) against the Small Business Administration (SBA). The complaint alleged that SBA’s website violated Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act because it was inaccessible to blind people who use text-to-speech screen access technology or Braille displays to access information on the Internet. Under the agreement, SBA will take steps to remedy the accessibility barriers on its website and implement policies and procedures, including the appointment of an accessibility coordinator and the creation of a Section 508 compliance team, so that the site remains accessible to blind users. The agency will also pay attorneys’ fees and costs associated with the action.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “We are glad that this matter has been resolved with SBA agreeing to take the necessary steps to bring its website into full compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which applies to all federal agencies and to the information and services that they provide to the public. We hope that other federal agencies, most of which are known to be noncompliant with this law, will take note of the resolution of this matter and bring their own websites into compliance, so that blind Americans can access the information and resources of their national government as easily as other citizens can.”

The NFB and Mr. Stinnett were represented in this matter by Scott C. LaBarre of the Denver firm LaBarre Law Offices PC; Timothy Elder of the Fremont, California firm TRE Legal Practice; and the Baltimore firm of Brown, Goldstein, & Levy LLP.