University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name DOJ and National Federation of the Blind Settlement with Sacramento Public Library Authority DR-CA-0039
Docket / Court DJ #204-11E-387 ( No Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
In 2011, the National Federation of the Blind brought to the attention of the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (DOJ) that the Sacramento Public Library Authority had acquired and was lending to its patrons Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader devices. The devices were totally ... read more >
In 2011, the National Federation of the Blind brought to the attention of the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (DOJ) that the Sacramento Public Library Authority had acquired and was lending to its patrons Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader devices. The devices were totally inaccessible to the blind and to individuals with print disabilities; they lacked any text-to-speech output and the ability to output to a braille display. Alternative devices usable by both blind and sighted users were readily available on the market. The NFB alleged that this was a violation Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131 et seq.

The DOJ and the NFB negotiated an out-of-court settlement agreement with the Library. The Library did not admit to any wrongdoing or to having violated the ADA. Under the settlement, dated August 29, 2012, the Library will not acquire any e-readers for use by patrons that are inaccessible to blind or print-disabled individuals. The library agreed to acquire and deploy within 180 days of the effective date of the settlement at least 18 e-readers that are accessible to persons with such disabilities. The Library agreed to advertise the availability of the accessible e-readers.

The settlement agreement also requires the library provide mandatory training on Title II of the ADA to all individuals acting on behalf of the Library, including volunteers, who interact with the public in any capacity, and also to all individuals who have been, or may in the future be involved in, discussions or decisions regarding acquisition of technology for use by Library patrons.

Alex Colbert-Taylor - 06/13/2013
- 06/23/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Disability
Visual impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Screen readers and similar accessibility devices
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Sacramento Public Library Authority
Plaintiff Description DOJ on behalf of blind library patrons, and the National Federation of the Blind.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2012 - 2015
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Settlement Agreement Between the United States of America, the National Federation of the Blind, and the Sacramento (California) Public Library Authority Under the Americans with Disabilities Act 08/28/2012
DR-CA-0039-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section
Justice Department Settles with Sacramento, Calif., Public Library Authority Over Inaccessible “E-Reader” Devices 08/29/2012
DR-CA-0039-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section
National Federation of the Blind Settles Complaint Against Sacramento Public Library Library Will Deploy Accessible E-readers to Blind and Print-disabled Patrons 08/30/2012
DR-CA-0039-0003.pdf | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Friel, Gregory (District of Columbia)
DR-CA-0039-0001
Langford, Anne E. (District of Columbia)
DR-CA-0039-0001
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
DR-CA-0039-0001 | DR-CA-0039-0001
Ruisanchez, Alberto (District of Columbia)
DR-CA-0039-0001
Wolfe, Kathleen P. (District of Columbia)
DR-CA-0039-0001
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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