Blind scientific social employee, represented by BGL and the Nationwide Federation of the Blind, information lawsuit in opposition to Division of Veterans Affairs for violating her federal rights underneath the Rehabilitation Act. – Tech Cyber Web

Laurette Santos, a devoted and skilled scientific social employee employed by america Division of Veterans Affairs at its facility in White Metropolis, Oregon, has filed a federal lawsuit within the District of Columbia in opposition to the VA for failure to offer affordable lodging and accessible know-how to permit Ms. Santos to independently carry out her job as a blind particular person.

The lawsuit alleges that the VA obtained and applied inaccessible know-how and failed to offer Ms. Santos affordable lodging, in violation of Part 508 and Part 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Ms. Santos is represented by The Nationwide Federation of the Blind and Brown Goldstein & Levy companions Eve Hill and Chelsea Crawford.

Ms. Santos has served the VA for over a decade and depends on the Job Entry With Speech (JAWS) display reader utility to carry out her job duties. Display screen readers convert textual content and different content material on a pc display into spoken phrases (or Braille output by means of a related system) and permit blind customers to entry and work together with functions utilizing the pc keyboard. Regardless of Ms. Santos’s confirmed historical past of fantastic efficiency because the Visible Impairment Providers Group Coordinator, the VA’s implementation of an inaccessible digital well being report (EHR) system, Cerner Millennium, has severely curtailed her skill to work independently.

The grievance particulars the VA’s failure to make sure that the Cerner EHR system complied with Part 508 accessibility requirements earlier than its implementation. Regardless of a number of audits and repeated reporting of the system’s inaccessibility, the VA deployed Cerner, which requires the usage of a mouse and has different options incompatible with JAWS and different display readers, at its White Metropolis facility. This deployment has compelled Ms. Santos to depend on sighted colleagues to carry out important duties, undermining her skill to serve veterans successfully and jeopardizing her scientific license. Moreover, the VA has not supplied Ms. Santos with the affordable lodging vital for her to carry out her job independently, in violation of Part 501. The VA has failed to supply a workable answer or a timeline for resolving the accessibility points with Cerner, even because the company acknowledged the inaccessibility of the system and halted its deployment at the remainder of the VA services.

The lawsuit alleges that the VA’s actions represent ongoing violations of each Part 508 and Part 501 of the Rehabilitation Act. Ms. Santos seeks a declaration of her rights, a everlasting injunction requiring the VA to halt the deployment and use of non-compliant know-how, and the institution of accessibility assessment groups inside the VA. Moreover, the lawsuit calls for compensatory and punitive damages, in addition to affordable attorneys’ charges and prices.

“It’s my privilege to serve our nation’s brave veterans, together with many with disabilities, however now my skill to take action is severely compromised,” mentioned Ms. Santos. “This case isn’t just about me, however in regards to the high quality companies our veterans deserve and the power of all federal staff to offer these and different companies to our nation in a fashion that’s equally efficient.”

“Over twenty-five years after Part 508 of the Rehabilitation Act required federal businesses to obtain and deploy accessible know-how, lined entities just like the VA are nonetheless overwhelmingly noncompliant,” mentioned Mark Riccobono, President of the Nationwide Federation of the Blind. “We’re supporting this litigation not solely to assist an impressive blind worker of a important company, but additionally to serve discover to different businesses all through the federal authorities that continued willful failure to conform should come to an finish and that blind People is not going to cease preventing till it does.”


Eve Hill is likely one of the nation’s main civil rights attorneys, recognized particularly for her work with purchasers with disabilities and LGBTQ+ purchasers. She has been acknowledged by Law360 as considered one of simply 12 “Titans of the Plaintiffs’ Bar” for 2023, in addition to by Lawdragon as one of many 500 Main Legal professionals in America (2022 and 2023). Her wide-ranging expertise enhances Brown, Goldstein & Levy’s a long time of dedication to high-impact incapacity rights circumstances and its advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities and their households. Eve chairs the Board of Trustees for the Choose David L. Bazelon Heart for Psychological Well being Legislation, a nationwide authorized advocacy group advancing and defending the civil rights of adults and youngsters with psychological sickness. Eve additionally leads Inclusivity, BGL’s Strategic Consulting Group, which works with organizations to advertise the schooling, engagement, and employment of individuals with disabilities. Be taught extra about Eve right here.


A journalist-turned-litigator, Chelsea Jones Crawford joined Brown, Goldstein & Levy in September 2015 and has in depth expertise representing people and entities in complicated civil issues, together with federal civil rights litigation, critical private harm and wrongful dying, and industrial disputes. At Brown, Goldstein & Levy, Chelsea has obtained among the largest settlements within the State of Maryland. Chelsea’s many accolades embody being honored as considered one of simply 13 members of The Baltimore Banner’s 2024 class of Rising Leaders. Chelsea is the one lawyer within the 2024 class. Be taught extra about Chelsea right here.


Based in 1982, Brown, Goldstein & Levy is a regulation agency primarily based in Baltimore, Maryland, with an workplace in Washington, D.C. The agency is nationally acknowledged in all kinds of observe areas, together with complicated civil and industrial litigation, civil rights, well being care, household regulation, and felony protection. Above all else, Brown, Goldstein & Levy is a client-centered regulation agency that brings a long time of expertise and passionate, efficient advocacy to your battle for justice.

#Blind #scientific #social #employee #represented #BGL #Nationwide #Federation #Blind #information #lawsuit #Division #Veterans #Affairs #violating #federal #rights #Rehabilitation #Act

Leave a Comment