A 2009 court decision in which DRO was involved requires the agency to provide critical benefits communications in alternative formats.
Kathy Wilde, Disability Rights Oregon’s Legal Director, joined forces with the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Heller Ehrman LLP and the National Senior Citizens Law Center to file a class action lawsuit against the Social Security Administration (SSA) for failing to make notices and other information available in alternate formats to people with visual impairments.
Alternative formats enable people with visual impairments to have equal access to SSA programs as required by federal disability civil rights laws and the US Constitution.
The class action alleged that the SSA failed to provide communications in alternative formats such as Braille, audio, large font or electronic text to its blind and visually impaired applicants and beneficiaries. Instead, the agency communicated vital information in standard 12-point font print that they could not read, resulting in a loss of benefits, privacy and dignity.