Group Of Blind Travelers Sue Las Vegas' McCarren Airport

Posted Mar 30th 2011 03:15 PMUpdated Mar 30th 2011 04:21 PM


las vegas airport blind

mrkathika, flickr

The National Federation of the Blind has filed a lawsuit against Las Vegas' McCarren airport over the use of electronic touchscreen kiosks throughout the airport, the Associated Press reports.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of four travelers, targets McCarren specifically because, unlike other national airports, the kiosks are run by the airport not the individual airlines.

The suit claims that the airport's owner, Clark County, is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide equal services to visually-impaired travelers. Furthermore, NFB spokesman Chris Danielsen told AOL Travel that "because of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, any federally funded place, including airports, needs to make [non-touch screen technology] available."

All four travelers have used, or are planning to use, McCarren. Two of the travelers, Alan and Billie Ruth Schlank of Arlington, V.A., have a time-share condo in Las Vegas; Joyce Pratt, of Gillette, N.J. has family in town; and Mark Adreon, of Seattle, is planning a vacation in town and, according to the complaint, "will be faced with the dilemma of having to wait for an airline employee to assist him with the check-in process, or having to provide sensitive, private information to a sighted stranger."

The "common use self-service" kiosks exclude the use by blind passengers, the suit claims. The NFB has roughly 50,000 members. The suit seeks unspecified damages and an injunction ordering the compliance by the airport.

UPDATE: In response, McCarren International Airport spokeswoman Elaine Sanchez told AOL Travel:
McCarran International Airport attorneys are in the process of researching the facts and issues raised in the case just filed. We cannot comment on this matter until our attorneys have reviewed the allegations.

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The blind can simply go to the ticket counter, just everyone did before they had kiosks. Why should business be required to satisfy the whims of every special interest group?
Then again, the airlines could ripout the kiosks and make everyone stand in line to see a ticket agent; including the blind.
I guess if they did, there would be another lawsuit by this special interest group.

May 29 2011 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The NFB is a group of blind extremists. They do not feel that blindness is a disability but that "the problem" lies with the sighted world. This lawsuit does not surprise me in the least.

March 30 2011 at 8:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply