Apple Settles Store Accessibility Suit

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Apple has reached an agreement with two California women that filed a suit against the company over claims that the San Francisco Apple Store is not properly wheelchair accessible. The Mac and iPhone maker agreed to a long list of store changes, undisclosed damages, and denied any liability for the claims.

As part of the agreement, Apple plans to make several changes to its San Francisco store like adding braille signs, rearranging the theater seating to better accommodate wheelchairs, and providing employee training on handicap accessibility.

Nicole Brown-Booker and Jana Overbo filed their lawsuit against Apple in August 2007 after visiting the company's San Francisco store. Ms. Brown-Booker she couldn't reach the elevator buttons, the aisles were too narrow to move her wheelchair through, and the credit card reader at the cash register was out of her reach. According to Ms. Overbo, she signed up for a Genius Bar appointment but was unable to get the attention of employees behind the bar, and that the lower wheelchair-accessible part of the counter was being used to display a computer.

The suit also stated that computers, iPods and iPhones were placed too high for shoppers in wheelchairs to access.

Apple's agreement to make changes applies only to its San Francisco location, but the company also plans to offer additional accessibility training to all of its retail employees.

[Thanks to ifoAppleStore for the heads up]

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6 Comments Leave Your Own

gopher

I’m surprised the store didn’t have someone on staff who noticed her dismay.  Then again, I haven’t been to an Apple Store recently.  Last time I went to the Mini store in Bethesda they had a great accessibility idea for the cash register.  Use hand held machines to take care of purchases on the spot.  They should do that at all stores.

Lee Dronick

“I?m surprised the store didn?t have someone on staff who noticed her dismay.”

Yes, they seem to be pretty good about at the Fashion Valley Store here in San Diego, unless it is very busy. That store was renovated a year or so ago. The Mac display counters along the wall are high enough above the floor to be good for people standing. The tables in the center of the floor are lower and probably a good height for wheelchair users. There also seems to be plenty of room in aisles. The software and iPod/iPhone displays have some items 8’ up and I need to ask for help on those.

Now before the store was renovated the Genius Bar was too high for a wheelchair user.

Ron

You have got to be kidding me. Because they are unfortunately handicapped, everyone else should change their business to accommodate them.

Lee Dronick

“You have got to be kidding me. Because they are unfortunately handicapped, everyone else should change their business to accommodate them.”

It is not a joke, it is the law. http://www.disabilityaccessinfo.ca.gov/lawsregs.htm

Roll a mile in someone’s wheelchair then you will understand why.

Ron

Nobody said it was a joke.  It is a terrible thing to be in a chair.  You should not be told what you must do to accommodate someone.  Gee! I wonder why California is in such trouble. Maybe because of all the stupid laws on the books?

Because a person unfortunately has a disability, a business should make major modifications at great expense?

tim

Ron, I agree.  This is yet another sad example of the “I’m a victim, so I am owed something” mentality so present in America. 

I have a been in a wheelchair, and I know what’s like.  And I wouldn’t have sued Apple and played the helpless card for untold sums of money such as these women have.

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