Court Certifies Two Nationwide Classes of Visually Impaired in Social Security 504 Action

A federal judge has granted class certification in an action against the Social Security Administration (SSA) which seeks to compel SSA to communicate with blind and visually impaired individuals in accessible formats, such as large print, Braille, audio and electronic means.  American Council of the Blind v. Astrue, No. C 05-04696 WHA (N.D. Cal. 9/11/08).  The complaint alleges that SSA’s failure to provide notices and other communications in formats accessible to people with visual impairments denies them the equal access to SSA programs required under § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Fifth Amendment due process clause.  The government’s motions to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds and for failure to state a cause of action were denied in earlier rulings.  2008 WL 1858928 (4/23/08), 2008 WL 2050852 (5/13/08).

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