National Federation of the Blind Assists Federal Employee Experiencing Discrimination
Washington, D.C. (March 27, 2013): With the assistance of the National Federation of the Blind, Michael Leiterman, an attorney with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection division (CBP), has filed a lawsuit alleging unlawful discrimination against him and other blind employees in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws that require the federal government to provide equal opportunity to people with disabilities. Mr. Leiterman is blind and uses screen-access software, which converts what is on a computer screen into synthesized speech, to access the computer information required to perform his job. The basis of his discrimination claim is that CBP has continued to procure and deploy inaccessible software and technology, adversely affecting Mr. Leiterman’s ability to perform his job severely enough to result in the denial of a routine promotion. Among the problems Mr. Leiterman has experienced are inability to access Web pages and documents on the Intranet used by CBP, inability to access his office e-mail and the CBP computer network when telecommuting, inability to complete training required by CBP and more.