TRE Legal Practice

TRE Legal Practice is a civil rights law firm focusing on the rights of the blind and other disabled people to access employment, education, government programs, public accommodations, accessible technology and all other aspects of society.

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Learning another language can open up new personal and professional horizons for all students, and California’s community colleges are at the forefront of making language learning accessible to everyone in California. Innovators like West Valley College in Saratoga, California combine classroom teaching with new online tools to provide immersive virtual language experiences, increasing student success and learning. But when these innovations are needlessly inaccessible to disabled students, the new tools fall short of both their potential and the law. To address this, TRE Legal Practice worked on behalf of two blind college students to reach a settlement agreement with…
Dear Uber Riders Accompanied By Service Animals and Interested Parties: You are receiving this letter because you have previously communicated with us or are a member of the class or an interested party in the case of National Federation of the Blind v. Uber Technologies, Inc., 14-cv-04086 NC (N.D. Cal.). The case challenges discrimination experienced by riders with service animals who want to use the Uber ridesharing service. We are preparing to return to court to address ongoing discrimination and need your statement by April 17, 2020, in support of the effort. On December 6, 2016, the U.S. District Court…
In light of the evolving nature and uncertainty about the novel coronavirus COVID-19, Tim Elder, Principal Attorney at TRE Legal Practice, will not be attending the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference in Anaheim this year. Unfortunately, that means the “2020 Digital Accessibility Legal Update” he would have been presenting along with Lainey Feingold will also be canceled. We are exploring ideas and options to present the session virtually. The post CSUN 2020 Update: Digital Accessibility Legal Update Canceled appeared first on TRE LEGAL PRACTICE.…
In a crucial decision upholding equal access to the Internet, on November 5, 2019, a state court in Alameda County validated the legal bases underlying a fraud whistleblower complaint against Conduent, Inc. and Conduent State & Local Solutions for developing a public website that is inaccessible to people with disabilities. The website, ReserveCalifornia.com, is the portal that controls access to reservations to campsites, cabins, tours, and other activities in all 300 California state parks overseen by the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). The Plaintiff, Bryan Bashin, is a blind camping enthusiast who relies on a screen reader to…
REDDING, Calif., September 27, 2019 — TRE Legal Practice and LaBarre Law Offices, on behalf of Alina Sorling, are pleased to join with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in announcing that Dignity Health, which operates Mercy Medical Center in Redding, California, has agreed to pay $570,000 to Ms. Sorling for her lost wages, compensatory damages, and attorneys’ fees. Dignity Health has also agreed to change its policies and procedures and to provide additional anti-discrimination training to its leadership and employees. “I am hopeful this settlement will help to make…
SAN FRANCISCO, September 24, 2019 — TRE Legal Practice is pleased to announce a Settlement Agreement with the Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) that will make regional transit more accessible to disabled riders. The Agreement is the result of collaborative structured negotiations between TRE Legal Practice and MTC, the transportation planning, financing, and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. TRE Legal Practice represented a blind transit rider who was frustrated by barriers she had experienced in trying to use the Regional Transit Connection (RTC) Card — a version of the Clipper card created for non-senior transit…
OAKLAND, May 20, 2019 (updated July 26, 2019) — TRE Legal Practice alleges that Conduent, Inc. defrauded taxpayers when the company built a $66 million state park reservation website that hundreds of thousands of Californians with disabilities cannot use. The suit seeks damages on behalf of the People of the State of California and injunctive relief on behalf of a blind representative plaintiff, Bryan Bashin. Mr. Bashin, a longtime outdoor enthusiast, was excited to learn of the launch of a new system that promised to “provide more user-friendly web services and greater accessibility to more visitors for the highly
Nancy Langenberger is blind. She relies on a guide dog to help her independently navigate the world. Nancy’s Medicare Advantage health plan, Blue Shield Promise Health Plan (“Promise Health”), includes a transportation benefit through which plan members can arrange in advance to be dropped off and picked up from medical appointments. This benefit is important to Nancy, who needs transportation to get to the doctor and dental visits that keep her well. Federal and state law forbids Promise Health or its contracted drivers from refusing to allow a trained service animal like Nancy’s guide dog to accompany her. But Nancy…
Modern touchscreen systems, like other modern computers, phones, and tablets, are readily adaptable for use by blind people through mechanisms such as tactile keyboards that a user can feel nonvisually and audio ports for plugging in headphones so the system can “speak” privately to users. (Both of these are in widespread use at bank ATMs, for example.) A company that does not include these common accessibility features when installing a touchscreen system excludes many disabled customers. Blind customers must then depend on employees or others to tell them what is on the screen and to enter private data on their…
With strong and bipartisan support, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law on July 26, 1990. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees absent an undue hardship. As President Bush explained, “This act is powerful in its simplicity. It will ensure that people with disabilities are given the basic guarantees for which they have worked so long and so hard: independence, freedom of choice, control of their lives, the opportunity to blend fully and equally into the rich mosaic of the American…