Wal-Mart Sued Over Handicap-Unfriendly Check-Out Machines

Dusten Carlson - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 9:36 p.m. ET

Wal-Mart has been sued because their automatic check-out machines aren’t wheelchair friendly.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was sued by disability rights activists who say that the check-out machines aren’t accessible to disabled customers in either wheelchairs or scooters. It’s being called the first case of its kind, reports Yahoo!, as plaintiffs call out Wall-Mart on discrimination for its check-out machines being simply too high to reach for disabled shoppers.

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Plaintiffs specifically single out California-based Wal-Mart stores, accusing them of knowingly placing the check-out machines out of reach in over 200 stores, violating state law and the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act, reports ABC News. “Wal-Mart should be an industry leader, not a defender of discrimination,” said plaintiff’s attorney Bill Lann Lee. “Point-of-sale machines are the wave of the future in American retail. They should be accessible, convenient and secure to use for all customers.”

A Wal-Mart spokesperson declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said that the company is committed to serving their disabled customers. “Our goal is that every point-of-sale machine be accessible within the regulations of the (Americans with Disabilities Act) and California law,” she said.

Still, some of the plaintiffs do not feel the same. “I feel unsafe when I check out at Wal-Mart,” said plaintiff Janet Brown, a wheelchair user from Pittsburg. “I can’t reach the payment device on my own, read the display screen, enter my PIN or sign the screen to complete the transaction. I have to share my private PIN with the cashier, which I hate to do.”

There is a general feeling that Wal-Mart, being the world’s largest retailer, should be able to do accommodate disabled customers and “do it right.”

Are you handicapped or disabled? Have you had trouble operating Wal-Mart’s check-out machines?


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