Wal-Mart and Disability Advocates Reach Agreement on Card Reader Payment Device Mounts

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Berkeley, CA – January 24, 2017 – The Berkeley Center for Independent Living (CIL), a non-profit organization and Wal-Mart have reached an agreement that represents the culmination of a three-year endeavor by Wal-Mart to develop a first-of-its-kind card reader payment device mount that provides even greater access for its customers with mobility disabilities.

As part of the agreement, Wal-Mart will install the new card reader mounts at checkstands located at the front of its California stores. The new mounts will be attached to the checkstand, and the card reader payment devices will sit in a sleeve and will be removable from the sleeve so that a wheelchair user can process the purchase transaction more easily from a lowered height. The card readers will be secured to the checkstand by a cord that extends and retracts and that will protect against data theft. In addition, Wal-Mart sales clerks will offer assistance to those shoppers with disabilities who need help removing the card reader payment device from the sleeve or replacing the device after the transaction is processed. Wal-Mart will roll out the new mounts at its California stores beginning Spring 2017, and will install them at all stores in California by Summer 2019. Checkstands with the new mount will be marked with signage near the lane number.

Janet Brown commented, “I applaud Wal-Mart for agreeing to work with people with mobility disabilities to provide equal access to basic retail services. This is critical to ensuring that people who use wheelchairs and mobility scooters can independently navigate the check-out process after shopping. Wal-Mart has taken a leadership position in the industry on this important access issue.”

Disability Rights Advocates senior staff attorney Rebecca Williford said, “We are pleased that Wal-Mart has agreed to do the right thing for consumers with mobility disabilities. We hope this serves as a model for all other retailers to follow.”

The settlement agreement is available online below.

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About Disability Rights Advocates (DRA)

DRA is one of the leading non-profit disability rights legal centers in the nation. With offices in Berkeley and New York City, DRA’s mission is to advance equal rights and opportunities for people with all types of disabilities nationwide. To advance that mission, DRA regularly advocates for greater access to public accommodations and modern technology. For more information, visit www.dralegal.org.

About Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)

Founded in 1979, by people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities, the DREDF is a national law and policy center, based in Berkeley, CA, dedicated to protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities. www.dredf.org.

About the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC)

CREEC is a nonprofit membership organization whose goal is to ensure that everyone can fully and independently participate in our nation’s civic life without discrimination based on race, gender, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. For more information, visit http://creeclaw.org/

About the Center for Independent Living, Inc. (CIL)

The Berkeley CIL emerged from the independent living movement of the 1960s as a powerful social catalyst on the University of California at Berkeley campus. There, Ed Roberts, Hale Zukas, and Jan McEwan Brown joined forces to lead a movement that made the full academic and social life of the college accessible to all. In 1972, these students along with community members formally incorporated as the CIL. The organization established three guiding principles: (1) Comprehensive programs most effectively meet the needs of people with disabilities, (2) People with disabilities are the best experts on their lives, and (3) The strongest and most vibrant communities are those that include and embrace all people. Peer support, personal assistance referral, benefits counseling, and wheelchair repair were CIL’s initial services. CIL’s peer-based model and community responsiveness were so successful that today CIL is the model for roughly 400 independent living centers nationwide and similar programs in 20 countries. For more information, visit http://www.thecil.org/.

Contacts

Rebecca Williford, Disability Rights Advocates
(510) 665-8644, rwilliford@dralegal.org

Arlene Mayerson, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund
(510) 644-2555, amayerson@dredf.org

Bill Lann Lee, Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
(510) 431-8484, blee@creeclaw.org