Release Date: 
Monday, August 11, 2008
Chris Danielsen
Public Relations Specialist
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind of Arkansas Agrees to Settlement of Lawsuit Over Accessibility of Software to Blind State Employees

Little Rock, Arkansas (August 11, 2008): The National Federation of the Blind of Arkansas and two blind state employees have agreed to a settlement among themselves, the state of Arkansas, and software provider SAP Public Services, Inc.  The agreement resolves a lawsuit brought by blind state employees in 2001 because the blind could not access the Arkansas Administrative Statewide Information System (AASIS).  The state, in turn, brought suit against SAP, which had substantially designed AASIS.  Under the agreement, SAP will upgrade AASIS to include accessibility features that will allow blind state employees using text-to-speech screen access technology to perform employment functions using AASIS.  The upgrade is to be in place by August 1, 2009.

Chris McKenzie, president of the National Federation of the Blind of Arkansas, said: “We are pleased that the state of Arkansas and SAP are taking steps to ensure that blind state employees will be able to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively using the same tools as all other state employees.  We will continue to monitor the situation until we are certain that all of the necessary functions of AASIS are fully accessible to blind employees of this state.”

Dustin McDaniel, attorney general of the state of Arkansas, said: “We are pleased with the settlement that was reached in this matter and are glad to put this lengthy litigation behind us.  It was a good resolution for the state as well as blind state employees who will now have equal access to the state's computer system."