This episode of Reid My Mind Radio is brought to you by The RAE of Hope; Shining a light on a rare childhood eye cancer.
Watch the stories of people impacted by Retinoblastoma, a rare childhood eye cancer. Then share in order to help us spread awareness!
Getting back from the break and looking forward to producing some new stories. I have some ideas but like most things I need to figure out some creative ways to gain access. I’m talking both physically and even virtually…
Today’s Gatewave Radio piece features Lainey Feingold who herself has done much to improve accessibility in the real and virtual world. Her book Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits is now available and as you will hear in today’s piece, it offers so much to those outside of the legal community.
- Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits on Bookshare
- Law Office of Lainey Feingold
- Lainey on Twitter
- Talking Prescription Labels
- Olmstead Decision
1, 2, 1, 2 is this thing on
1, 2, 1, 2 is this thing on!
Back again, after a brief hiatus during the summer. Unfortunately, not a summer vacation rather a working, very working summer.
Before we get into this latest piece for Gatewave Radio I wanted to share just a quick note and bring your attention to something that we do every year here on the Reid Compound – that’s my family and I, the whole Reid family. We used to call it pennyPushUps but now it’s actually now called The RAE of Hope and you can go check that out a at Facebook.com/TheRAEOfHope. And the RAE is R A E of hope The RaE of Hope.It’s an awareness and fundraiser campaignsupporting children with eye cancer as well as the organization World Eye cancer Hope.
It’s stories about people who have been impacted by this eye cancer.
These stories are in video format however they are fully accessible, the stories are told fully in audio. And this year I am happy to say we are also including closed captions on the videos that are on YouTube. It’s just a little easier of a process to get the captioning on YouTube than it was for Facebook.
So again, Facebook.com/TheRAEOfHope . You can check out our playlist on YouTube using the short link bit.ly/TheRAEofHope2016. All the links are included with this post.
I’ll be back after this latest piece for Gatewave Radio , Structured Negotiation, it’s Not Just for Lawyers.
TR: In any advocacy movement, you have a number of people who to most remain nameless. they’re not the face of the movement, they don’t have the loudest voice, but they make things happen.
Meet Attorney Lainey Feingold (LF). When it comes to some very noteworthy advocacy success stories, she’s been involved. In fact, she developed the blue print to a method for reaching agreements called structured negotiation.
LF: Structured negotiations is a way to resolve legal claims without filing a lawsuit.
It grew out of the blind communities desire for accessible technology. Specifically it grew out of the quest for the talking ATM’s back in the 1990’s.
TR: The banks all agreed and not only was that the beginning of structured negotiations, it was also the beginning of talking ATM’s.
TR: [Asking in conversation during recorded interview, not narration]
So how exactly does it work?
LF: It first starts with the group of people who would be called plaintiffs in a law suit. In structured negotiations their called claimants.
In my work with the blind community that means individual blind people or blind organizations that have a legal claim but would like an alternative method for resolving it.
TR: To make the process even more clear, Lainey walked me through a real life example of the process using a case that is as American as apple pie
[Sounds of baseball stadium including applause, organ music and bat hitting ball followed by cheers!]
TR: Unable to access key features on the MLB website, blind baseball fans
contacted Lainey and her longtime colleague Linda Dardarian.
LF: <> We wrote a letter to Major League Baseball. Bay State Council of the Blind was the core organization behind that effort. We introduced the organizations we introduced the individuals. We said to Major League Baseball you know there’s a lot of blind baseball fans out there they don’t have access to the online games, they can’t access the statistics because you haven’t coded your web site properly. This violates the ADA, but rather than file a lawsuit we’d like to work with you and get the problem fixed. Major League Baseball answered our letter and that was the start of a really great relationship that continues to this day.
TR: Once all the parties agree to move forward with structured negotiations the next step is agreeing and signing a ground rules document.
LF That just acknowledged that we’re doing this process instead of a lawsuit, protected certain confidential information, made sure no one would be penalized.
Then we started a process of meetings. Most of them were on the phone.
TR: Teleconferences made it possible for all the parties located on both coasts to be involved .
The next step is identifying and agreeing on the experts which Lainey says can lead to lots of battles in a lawsuit.
LF: Major League Baseball worked with experts that we recommended. They worked with blind baseball fans around the country, they improved their website, they improved their mobile app, we did testing along the way and at the end of the process we negotiated a settlement agreement just like an agreement that would have been negotiated had a lawsuit been filed.
TR: Similar to a lawsuit settlement, built into the agreements are methods for monitoring and enforcement.
But unlike a lawsuit, both of these parties are working together and actually building a relationship with shared goals.
LF: we run into problems with enforcement but when we do we have the relationships to make sure those problems are fixed.
Until I got involved in the issue, I had never really thought about how do blind people access the print information on a standard prescription
Some people use rubber bands to distinguish .
One rubber band is this prescription two rubber bands is that prescription. Or they’ll keep the medication in different places and try to remember which is which.
without talking prescription labels it is a very dangerous situation for blind people.
Even in some of the companies that we worked with, because there are so many stores it’s possible that even with a company that offers talking labels, a blind person can walk in and the person behind the counter doesn’t have any idea what they’re talking about.
So, I do have a post on my website that details what all the companies are doing in the United states with phone numbers to contact if there’s a problem.
TR: Working on more than 70 cases over the past 20 years, Lainey is clearly passionate about the issues.
LF: I really just wish I could broadcast this from the rooftops!
TR: I guess she could do that, but people would think she’s a bit off. rather, she wrote a book detailing what she learned after 20 years’ worth of cases.
It’s called structured negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits.
published by the American Bar Association
LF: I wrote so that advocates and potential clients and organizations could read it and understand that this is an alternative to filing a lawsuit that could be used for lots of different kinds of cases.
I’m not the only person who uses it. We have a wonderful disability rights bar association that’s national. Other lawyers have started to use the process.
TR: Despite the success, Lainey says, lawsuits have their place.
LF: Lawsuits can be very important to moving society forward. I give some examples of cases; marriage equality or Olmstead. There’s a tremendous number of cases that needed to be filed..
TR: The book isn’t just for lawyers and advocates
Lainey writes about the back story to cases she has worked on over the past 20 years focusing on accessible technology.
It’s also a resource for those who want to get an understanding and develop the mind set to work in collaboration.
LF: You need to have an attitude of cooperation. Which is different from the attitude you need to be fighting with somebody.
TR: [Asking in conversation during recorded interview, not narration]
You’ve been working with the blind community for over 20 years now, what sort of things have you taken away from relationships that you’ve built?
LF: you know I wasn’t familiar with disability issues at all until I somewhat randomly took a 4 month position as the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF) in 1992.
I was planning to stay for 4 months instead I stayed for 4 years .
So it’s really just been an amazingly great way to be able to practice law and have clients that are friends and to understand the disability community from inside of it.
TR: The next time you’re completing a transaction at a store using an accessible point of sales terminal to process your credit or debit card, or you’re making use of a talking prescription label or ATM, keep in mind that those things came about because of people like Lainey developing relationships making a more accessible world for all.
To reach Lainey you can visit her on her web page which
by the way is a great example of a well-organized accessible site.
She’s at LFLegal.com
You can send her email directly at email@example.com.
She also posts about accessibility on Twitter at @lflegal.
her book, Structured negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits is currently available via the American Bar Association’s website. For those with print impairments it is available on Bookshare.org.
Big thanks to you Lainey for helping to make the real and virtual world more accessible.
I’m Thomas Reid, for Gatewave Radio
[LF: “I really just wish I could broadcast this from the rooftops!”}
Audio for Independent Living!
A few months ago, I began incorporating transcripts into all of the audio I produce for ReidMyMind Radio. I made sure that this year’s Retinoblastoma Awareness & Empowerment campaign for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month included closed caption.
Lainey actually had a big influence on that.
It was during our conversation that she mentioned how she pays for the production of transcripts in order to make sure anything she is doing is accessible.
I had to think about that for a while…
As an advocate for access, I want others to realize why things should be accessible to people with vision loss, but I’m creating things that are inaccessible to a segment of the population.
Plain and simple, I had to check myself.
Yes, it’s a little extra work, but it actually improves my process… once again proving that accessibility has benefits that go beyond the community receiving access.
I’m in no way patting myself on the back – because I don’t deserve that.
I am thanking Lainey for helping me become better at accessibility.