The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. To file a complaint about discrimination based on disability, Kroger customers can ___ call or access Kroger`s online complaint portal at www.kroger.com/hc/ Help/Contact/Customer Feedback. For more information on the ADA, call the Department of Justice`s ADA Toll-Free Information Line at 1-800-514-0301 (vote) at 1-800-514-0383 (TTY) or visit the ADA homepage at www.ada.gov/. “Access for people with disabilities should never be an afterthought, even during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Deputy Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Department of Justice`s Civil Rights Division. “When a store`s website is inaccessible, people with disabilities can have a hard time getting vaccines that could save their lives and the lives of their loved ones. This agreement helps deliver on the ADA`s promise by ensuring that people with disabilities have equal access to health care. COLUMBUS, Ohio – U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker today announced a settlement agreement between the Department of Justice and retailer the Kroger Co. The agreement, which is guaranteed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), will remove barriers that prevent people with certain disabilities from getting information about COVID-19 vaccinations and booking their vaccination appointments online. The COVID-19 vaccine registration portal for Kroger-branded stores, currently located in www.kroger.com/health/pharmacy/covid-care, was not accessible to people with certain disabilities, including those using screen reader software.
For example, critical medical screening questions were not read to screen reader users. These included questions about current COVID-related symptoms, allergies, and reactions to previous vaccines. When a screen reader user selected an available appointment time, the website would tell them that the available appointment was “unavailable” instead of “selected.” Kroger has 2,800 grocery stores under the Kroger name and others, with a presence in 35 states and the District of Columbia. “All people deserve a full and equal chance to have access to services such as vaccines,” said U.S. Attorney Parker. “This office will continue to work with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice to ensure this equal access.” Kroger maintains records to document the information contained in compliance reports and makes them available at the request of the U.S. Attorney`s Office. Anyone located in the Southern District of Ohio can also report civil rights violations to the U.S. Attorney`s Office`s Civil Rights Coordinator for the Southern District of Ohio by sending an email USAOHS.CivilRights@usdoj.gov or calling 614-469-5715. ANGELITA CRUZ BRIDGES Assistant United States Attorney Northern District of Ohio Four Seagate, Suite 308 Toledo, OH 43604-2624 Voice: 419-259-6376 Fax: 419-259-6360 Angelita.Bridges@usdoj.gov Kroger must also regularly test the pages of its website that contain the vaccination schedule and information about the COVID-19 vaccine and promptly resolve any issues that prevent people with disabilities from using those pages.
For the United States of America: BRIDGET Mr. BRENNAN Michael J.T. Downey, Acting Assistant Attorney of the United States, represents the United States in this case in the Southern District of Ohio. ADA complaints can be submitted online to www.ada.gov/complaint. Kroger and its employees are committed to providing equal access to their customers and do not discriminate against individuals on the basis of a disability that fully and fairly enjoys Kroger`s goods, services, facilities, privileges, benefits or accommodations. Kroger will make reasonable changes to policies and procedures for persons with disabilities, as necessary, unless Kroger can demonstrate that such changes would fundamentally change the nature of Kroger`s goods, services, facilities, privileges, benefits or accommodations. As part of today`s settlement, Kroger will comply with COVID-19 vaccine content, including vaccine appointment scheduling forms, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Version 2.1, Level AA. WcAG is a set of voluntary industry guidelines for making information on a website accessible to users with disabilities. Below is a list of all Kroger grocery stores owned and operated in counties in the Northern District of Ohio to which the agreement applies. However, only companies in the Columbus Division (as described below) are required to complete the mandatory training described in Section D and are subject to the supervision of the ADA Administrator in accordance with Article 21 of the Agreement. .