A California class action, filed May 7, 2009 alleges KeyPoint Credit Union, a 30-year-old institution, has 10 branches with 80,000 members, discriminates against deaf customers by refusing to accept relay calls. Disability Rights Advocates, on behalf of two hearing impaired Alameda County ...
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A California class action, filed May 7, 2009 alleges KeyPoint Credit Union, a 30-year-old institution, has 10 branches with 80,000 members, discriminates against deaf customers by refusing to accept relay calls. Disability Rights Advocates, on behalf of two hearing impaired Alameda County residents, contends the Silicon Valley-based credit union violates state and federal law for failing to accept calls made via communication-assisted devices.
Plaintiffs allege KeyPoint requires those who are hard of hearing to physically present themselves and two forms of identification at branches in order to receive information about their accounts and services because the credit union will not take the relay calls.
One named plaintiff claimed she could not receive information about an automobile loan financed through KeyPoint. Another likewise was told he had to come to the branch for information about services.
Telephone relay services allow those who have speech or hearing impairments to communicate in a manner that is functionally equivalent to the ability of those who do not have such impairment.
The Berkeley-based nonprofit law center alleged violations of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, Civ. Code Section 51; the Disabled Persons Act, Civ. Code Sections 54, 51; Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. 794(a); and California Govt. Code Section 11135.
The case was settled in December 2009. According to DRA's 2010 annual report, KeyPoint agreed to accept "relay" calls at its branch offices and customer service centers and provide disability awareness training to its staff. The settlement apparently had some open-ended terms, but set up compliance procedures for 18 months; the court retained jurisdiction through August 31, 2011. No subsequent activity appears on the docket.Denise Heberle - 08/17/2012