“Redbox sued over access for visually impaired”

by Walter Olson on January 23, 2012

“[T]he kiosks of the video rental giant Redbox are difficult, if not impossible, to use for those who are blind and visually impaired. The lawsuit says Redbox needs to change the technology in their kiosks so the visually impaired can rent movies too.” [KTRK]


1 boblipton 01.23.12 at 7:13 am

THE ARTIST, no doubt.


2 John Fembup 01.23.12 at 7:26 am

Do we take from this report that the videos themselves are perfectly appropriate for the blind and visually impaired?

3 Richard Nieporent 01.23.12 at 7:47 am

This is a joke, right?

“You can enjoy large aspects of the narrative without needing to see the visual aspect of the movie at all,” Disability Rights Advocates lawyer Michael Nunez said.

No you can’t.

Friends and family can also help.

But they can’t help him rent the movie?

4 Don 01.23.12 at 10:51 am

Redbox had a very nice website that movies can be rented from. If the visually-impaired person has the software they need on their computer so that they can browse the web, then they can rent the movies there, then pick them up at the kiosk.

Reason why Redbox doesn’t have any buttons is that buttons are a maintenance and security problem. If they provide any buttons, they will need to be fixed someday. Touchscreen is more durable than a keypad. If you provide a full keyboard, then people will try to use it to hack the system

I don’t know what the solution is, but it isn’t going to be simple. Maybe Redbox will provide a voice input/output solution for the blind so they don’t need keys.

5 Richard Nieporent 01.23.12 at 12:12 pm


There is no need for a solution. There is no way that a blind person can “enjoy a movie” the same way that a sighted person can. Without a sighted person in the room to interpret what is going on, it would be difficult if not impossible to just follow the action while missing all of the visual effects. Since they would need a sighted person to be able to understand the movie, needing a sighted person pick up the movie is not a violation of ADA.

6 Craig Loehle 01.23.12 at 12:55 pm

How often do the blind actually rent movies? As for the visually impaired (like my mother), EVERYTHING is problematic such as shopping. If grocery items were required to meet this standard, every can would need brail labels AND inch high bold lettering — so all it could say would be SOUP and no room for anything else. Nuts.

7 mojo 01.23.12 at 4:44 pm

Next: Movies in Braille.

8 OldNaugaHerder 01.25.12 at 3:26 pm

Just think what Braille movies would do for the adult film industry!

9 AccessSuzy 01.26.12 at 2:14 pm

I am truly amazed at the uneducated comments on a literate website.
Blind people enjoy movies and their independence as much as anyone else. Why is it that technology can create accessibility on our phones and other access points, such as ATMs and transit points, but because of bigotry and ignorance will not give access to entertainment. Many grocery stores are providing labels on the shelves and products which can be scanned to let the blind consumers know what they are so that individuals can do their own shopping. How would you like it if you had to drag someone along with you every time you wanted to go out and pick up something for yourself or your family? Educate yourself people before you make a blanket comment about a sector of the population. This is the 21st Century and Everyone should have the same rights and access. We have the technology in place to give access to the blind and print impaired. Companies like Redbox just don’t care. Other companies think about this and do it. Many films are audio described and are very enjoyable to the blind.

10 Jack Wilson 01.27.12 at 8:56 am

If AccessSuzy runs a business, I would like to investigate it too see if it accommodates every conceivable disability.

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