FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 22, 2013
National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts
NFB of MA and Square, Inc. to Collaborate on Accessibility Enhancements to Square Register and Square Wallet
Boston, Massachusetts (July 22, 2013): The National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts (NFB of MA), an affiliate of the largest nationwide organization of blind people in America, along with two of its members, Mika Pyyhkala and Lindsay Yazzolino, are working with payments company Square on an initiative that will enhance the accessibility of its Square Register and Square Wallet applications for blind users. Square Register allows merchants to accept credit and debit card payments using their mobile devices, while Square Wallet allows consumers to pay for goods and services at participating businesses with their mobile devices. Certain mobile devices, such as Apple iPhones and iPads, have built-in technology for the blind that speaks what is on the screen aloud or displays it in Braille, and allows blind users to control their mobile devices with gestures and keystrokes by nonvisual means.
Kyle Shachmut, president of the National Federation of the Blind of Massachusetts, said: "This agreement will enhance the experience for blind merchants, employees, and consumers using Square Register and Square Wallet. We commend Square for its commitment to ensuring that its innovative mobile apps can be accessed by all buyers and sellers, including those who are blind."
Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “We commend Square’s leadership in recognizing the needs of blind merchants and consumers in the technology-dependent and increasingly cashless economy, and we applaud Square’s cooperation with our Massachusetts affiliate. We believe that this technology will greatly enhance business and employment opportunities for blind people throughout the nation, and we hope that other app developers will follow Square’s example in proactively engaging with blind Americans to address accessibility issues.”
Timothy Elder of the TRE Legal Practice, and William Hunt and Jeremy Weltman of the Cambridge firm Clark, Hunt, Ahern & Embry, represented the NFB of MA, Pyyhkala, and Yazzolino in the development of this accessibility initiative.