FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Emalie Gainey (AGO)
AG HEALEY and national federation of the blind ANNOUNCE AGREEMENT TO MAKE
HEALTH CARE KIOSKS ACCESSIBLE TO BLIND CONSUMERS Announcement Marks 26th
Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act BOSTON - On the 26th
anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),
Attorney General Maura Healey and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
announced a first-of-its-kind agreement with Pursuant Health, Inc. to make
its self-service health care kiosks accessible to blind consumers.
The agreement reached with Pursuant Health, an Atlanta-based company that
manufactures and operates thousands of self-service health care kiosks in
retail stores nationwide, provides meaningful benefits to individuals
nationwide who are blind or who have low vision, including
27,000 Massachusetts residents who are legally blind.
"Technology should be used to improve people's lives, not create barriers,"
said AG Healey. "We must take steps to ensure that all Massachusetts
residents have equal access to health care services, and that technology is
accessible to consumers with disabilities. We are pleased to have worked
with the NFB and Pursuant Health to make these kiosks accessible."
Pursuant Health's kiosks offer important biometric health screenings,
including vision assessments, blood pressure screening, weight and BMI
assessments, and pain management advice.
Health risks and recommendations for further testing or treatment are
displayed on the kiosk or sent to the consumer via email. Until now,
however, blind consumers have not been able to use the kiosks effectively.
"Living the lives we want as blind people includes monitoring our own health
so that we can take steps to maintain or improve it," said Mark A.
Riccobono, President of the NFB. "Health information has the potential to
be more accessible than ever to the blind with twenty-first-century
technology, but only if the manufacturers of technology keep accessibility
in mind. We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Pursuant
Health, working with the outstanding civil rights advocates in Attorney
General Healey's office, and believe that it will result in health
information kiosks that set an industry-leading example."
According to the terms of the agreement, Pursuant Health will implement a
detailed project plan to make their kiosks and website accessible to
consumers who are blind or visually impaired. The kiosks will be made
accessible over time and will be reformatted to provide audio instructions
and easily locatable "hot spots" on the kiosk screens to help blind
consumers navigate the system.
Pursuant Health will also offer membership options to make it easier for
blind consumers to activate the kiosks and track their individual health
Finally, Pursuant Health will make payments totaling $95,000 to the AG's
Office and the NFB, which will be used to further improve access and
opportunity for individuals with disabilities.
"Massachusetts Commission for the Blind applauds the efforts of Attorney
General Healey for negotiating a settlement that takes one more important
step closer to providing equal access to technology and health care," said
MCB Commissioner Paul Saner.
The agreement is the most recent result of collaboration between the AG's
Office and the NFB. Past collaborations have included making
iTunes services and
ATMs fully and equally accessible to blind consumers.
State and federal laws not only prohibit disparate treatment of
individuals with disabilities in employment and housing, but also require
that all businesses operating places of public accommodation provide people
with disabilities with full and equal enjoyment of their goods, services,
Continuing her efforts to protect the civil rights of all Massachusetts
Healey formed a Disability Rights Advisory Committee in July 2015. The
Committee is comprised of advocates and experts who meet on a regular basis
to consult with and advise AG Healey and her staff on matters pertaining to
inclusion, access, and equality for individuals with disabilities. Please
for more information on AG Healey's disability rights work since taking
This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Genevieve C. Nadeau,
Chief of AG Healey's Civil Rights Division on behalf of the Commonwealth,
and by Daniel F. Goldstein of the Baltimore firm Brown, Goldstein & Levy,
LLP on behalf of the NFB.
Robert Acosta, President
Helping Hands for the Blind