“Blind man sues Redbox, alleges kiosks are not accessible to visually impaired”

“Because a blind or visually impaired individual cannot discern the visual cues displayed on the kiosk controls, they cannot independently browse, select and pay for DVDs at kiosks, and instead must rely upon sighted companions or strangers to assist them,” states the complaint, filed in a Pittsburgh federal court by Robert Johoda. “Further, the blind or visually impaired consumer must divulge personal information, including their zip codes, to sighted companions or strangers in order to complete a transaction at the kiosks.” [Legal NewsLine]


  • People with no legs have difficulty using them as well. Must we lower them?

  • So when is GM and Ford going to be sued because they don’t make cars and trucks that can be driven by the blind?

  • I can’t understand why anyone would browse at a RedBox kiosk, much less a visually impaired person. Their internet interface is so awesome all you have to do to get your movies is swipe your credit card to pick up your reserved movies. Any visually impaired person sophisticated enough to want to watch a movie would have the ability to order the movie over the internet.

  • Right, and they need the DVD so that they can take it home to watch the movie…

  • Not certain what Mike is saying, snark or otherwise.

    But thinking more broadly art tmitsss does, consider the problem less as what each single company does to meet the needs of every possible individual, but whether somehow whether the collective group of digital entertainment providers meets can meet the need of each individual.

    So, as tmitsss suggests, if visual impairment is a problem while at a physical kiosk, then a little self help says use some other source direct from the web, such as netflix.

    It is crazy to ask every business to service equally every individual. Redbox is a company that deals in physical items, that tend to be located at high traffic areas (which tend to require cars to get to; lots of red box within a couple miles of my home, but all tend to be on very busy streets which even a sighted person should reconsider walking).

  • I think Mike is confusing blind and impaired. I work with several people who have different levels of visual impairment. None are totally blind. All are legally blind. They can not drive. But they all watch TV and go to the movies.
    They are programmers and tech guys who do their jobs just fine with a little help, like magnifiers.

  • Jesse,

    Yeah, but…. I need glasses to see anything. So I wear glasses. If I were sufficiently visually impaired to, say, need the Redbox icons to be larger, I think I’d carry around a magnifying glass, if only so I could read the ingredients on a box of whatever I’m thinking of buying at the supermarket for dinner, which is where the nearest Redbox is.


  • What about radio, and how it totally fails to serve the needs of the deaf? Maybe we should get RFK Jr to prescribe the death penalty for National Public Radio, whose charter actually does involve “serving the public”, I believe.

  • Mr. Gasman:
    Red the “Because a blind …. individual cannot discern the visual cues displayed on the kiosk controls, they cannot independently browse…states the complaint, filed in a Pittsburgh federal court by Robert Johoda.”

    Snark indeed, but I am not confused about the difference between vision-impaired and blind. “Legally blind” can be blind, but is normally used to describe the vision-impaired.
    Blind, in common parlance, is blind (no sight). The idea that a sightless person is suing distributors of a visual medium strikes me as risible.
    The comment that the first Mike (not me) made out the kiosks being too tall for a person without legs to use is not really as unserious as it first sounds. I could certainly imagine a complaint by a wheelchair bound person who cannot easily see the top of the display. If there is a way to make money, some plaintiff’s lawyer will exploit it.

  • This sounds like a blind man suing a bank because the drive-thru ATM doesn’t have Braille on the buttons…..

  • How did they get to the Redbox? Did they drive themselves?

  • Joseph: Because blind people can’t possibly go out in public in any way, shape, or form? Have you ever actually met someone with visual impairments?

  • There is this little thing known as _Audio Captionng_, that for about about a decade was required on all tv broadcasts, and movies. I’ll grant that maybe as many as 10% of the DVD’s and videos released in that time period were audio captioned.

    A small percentage of blind (no sight) and a slightly larger percdntage of legally blind people discovered movies could be enjoyable. Whilst neither Blu-Ray nor HDTV make any provision for Audio Captioning, there is content (MythBusters, for one) in which the lack of Audio Captioning is not a hinderence, because the narrator says most of what would be included in the audio captioning.

    What these people are requesting, is the ability to make the same transaction as a sighted person, without becoming a victim of ID Theft. In a store with a cashier, this situation (mandatory ID Theft) is not part of the deliberate desgn of store management. For RedBox, mandatory ID Theft appears to be part of their deliberate design.

  • “For RedBox, mandatory ID Theft appears to be part of their deliberate design.”

    Deliberate? RedBox hates blind people to the point where they deliberately designed their kiosks so they would be the victims of identity theft? Is that what you’re going with?