With intense competition from e-commerce, brick-and-mortar retailers have to offer a compelling reason to visit their stores beyond the product itself. Successful stores need to take the consumer experience seriously.
This post comes courtesy of our content partners at TechNode.Amazon Go, the cashierless store design announced in late 2016, coincided with a flurry of Chinese tech companies to create their own versions of unmanned stores. For them, 2017 been a fruitful year in developing their solutions tailored for Chinese consumers as well as in educating the market.
Access Board Hosts Dialogue on Accessibility with Australian Experts
On November 13 the Access Board held a day-long workshop comparing how building accessibility is addressed in Australia and the U.S. It featured presentations and a dialogue by experts on how accessibility to the built environment is addressed and enforced in both nations.
Representatives from Australia included Michael Small, a former government official in Australia and the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship to study building accessibility from an international perspective, and Robin Banks, a consultant in human rights who formerly headed the Australian Public Interest Advocacy Centre and served as a state Anti-Discrimination Commissioner. They reviewed Australia’s development of accessibility standards under the Disability Discrimination Act of 1992 which were also incorporated into the country’s National Construction Code to facilitate compliance.
U.S. experts described how accessibility to facilities is addressed under civil rights laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and by building codes and regulations. Speakers included Rebecca B. Bond, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights; Ronald Clements Jr., CBO, assistant building official for Chesterfield County, Virginia; Ann Cody a senior foreign affairs officer who leads the State Department’s International Disability Rights team; David Collins, FAIA, NCARB, who represented the American Institute of Architects; Allan Frasier, CBI, CPCA of the National Fire Protection Association; David Insinga, Chief Architect of the General Services Administration; Dominic Marinelli, Vice President of the United Spinal Association, Kimberly Paarlberg, RA, Senior Staff Architect in Technical Services at the International Code Council; Kenneth Shiotani of the National Disability Rights Network; and James Terry, AIA who is CEO of Evan Terry Associates, LLC and President, Corada, LLC.
Participants discussed and compared how building regulations and standards are developed, amended, and enforced in each county, the relationship between civil rights laws and building regulations, and the roles of building officials, designers, and builders. Specific questions included how compliance is assessed and monitored, variance or waiver mechanisms, use of performance standards and alternative design solutions, involving people with disabilities in the development of standards, and available resources and training for building professionals. Members of the public were able to attend in person and remotely and raised questions or comments with the panel.
For further information, contact Marsha Mazz at (202) 272-0020(v), (202) 272- 0076 (TTY), or[email protected].
The Access Board will hold its next meeting on January 10 from 1:30 – 3:00 (ET) at the Board’s conference space in downtown Washington, D.C. The public is welcome to attend in person or through a live webcast of the meeting.
The next webinar in the Board’s free monthly series will take place January 4 from2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and will review requirements in the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards for alterations and additions. It will cover what type of work constitutes an “alteration,” how the scope of work determines application, provisions for primary function areas and accessible paths of travel, historic facilities, technical infeasibility and other topics.
For more information or to register, visit www.accessibilityonline.org. Webinar attendees can earn continuing education credits. The webinar series is hosted by the ADA National Network in cooperation with the Board. Archived copies of previous Board webinars are available on the site.
Jeffery Hill, Longtime Board Compliance Specialist, to Retire
Jeffery Hill, the Access Board’s Senior Compliance Specialist, is retiring at the end of the year after 30 years of government service. Hill joined the Board’s Office of General Counsel as a law clerk in 1987 shortly after graduating law school. He was brought on to investigate complaints filed under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), which requires federally funded facilities to be accessible, and to help reduce a backlog of cases. As a Compliance Specialist, he worked with a variety of federal agencies to resolve cases, particularly the General Services Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of the Interior. He forged cooperative partnerships with these and other agencies to complete investigations and correct access barriers. He investigated accessibility issues at a range of sites, including national parks, federal office buildings and courthouses, and public housing. In 2001, he was promoted to the position of Senior Compliance Specialist and assumed additional supervisory responsibilities. He served the full length of his federal career at the Board except for a 14-month stint as a trademark examiner at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The Board commends Hill for his many years of dedicated service and for his career-long commitment to accessibility for people with disabilities.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has released a guide on access to shared streets for people with vision impairments. The 40-page publication, Accessible Shared Streets: Notable Practices and Considerations for Accommodating Pedestrians with Vision Disabilities, provides guidance and best practices for designing shared streets based on lessons learned from existing projects and input from FHWA Division Offices, the Access Board, state departments of transportation, and the National Association of City Transportation Officials. It also covers guiding design principles as part of a “design toolbox” for shared streets, applicable accessibility mandates, environmental challenges to pedestrians with vision impairments, and detectable warnings and other access features.
For further information, visit FHWA’s website or contact Dan Goodman at (202) 366-9064.
More than three-quarters of hospitals offer telemedicine and more than half are looking to expand, according to a new survey by Foley & Lardner. Attorney Nathaniel Lacktman says hospitals have started to realize telehealth is necessary to keep pace with competitors, and some are even exploring opportunities abroad.
But, if the business fixes the problems, a lawsuit would be moot. This would be a true win-win for everyone — other than the trial attorneys. In fact, some plaintiffs from ADA drive-by lawsuits are actually suing their supposed attorneys because they were deceived about the nature of the lawsuits filed.
This is the first issue of AR Tech World (ARTW). Welcome! AR Tech World is a digest of the most relevant tech news related to Augmented Reality and other related Immersive Technologies. I will be presenting an overview as well as my own commentary and analysis on features, specs, and viability. My g
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced a new telehealth initiative on Thursday that pairs regulation changes with a new mobile app to expand healthcare services to the nation’s veterans. VA Secretary David Shulkin unveiled the agency’s plan to allow providers to practice across state lines via telehealth, a move that “dramatically expands our current capabilities.”
Waterlogged, under curfew or without power, consumers in need of routine health care were in a tough spot during the days immediately before and after Hurricane Irma’s arrival. Barring an emergency, landing before a physician was almost impossible.Some health providers used the opportunity to lean on telehealth services as a part of their disaster response. Often regarded as more of a luxury than a necessity, the service was offered free of charge statewide by Florida Hospital Centra
Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS), a leading global provider of next-generation hospitality software solutions and services, today announced the general availability of innovative enhancements to rGuest® Buy, the company’s groundbreaking self-service kiosk POS solution that extends point-of-sale reach, improves guest service and reduces staff demand. The enhancements for Café workflows and a new Grab N Go guest experience are part of Agilysys’ continuing dramatic market penetration in food and beverage venues of all types as they move to self-service through guest facing kiosks.
rGuest Buy is currently deployed at more than 55 customer sites across the country, including corporate cafeterias at a top five U.S. bank, a top 40 U.S. law firm, one of the nation’s largest technology manufacturers, and at a national financial services firm.
The case, titled Magee v. Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, was brought by Emmett Magee, a blind man from Louisiana who invoked the ADA in suing Coca Cola because its glass-front vending machines made it impossible for him to know what product he was choosing and at what price. He was thwarted buying soda from vending machines at a hospital and a bus station.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit turned away his claim, ruling that vending machines are “not a physical place open to public access” and therefore don’t fit the definition of “public accommodations” that are required to abide by the ADA. It also said that the hospital and the bus stations were public accommodations and “may very well” bear some responsibility to make vending machines on their premises accessible to the disabled.
FALL RIVER — Fast food robots have arrived. Self service ordering kiosks are in place and in use at the President Avenue McDonald’s. They are the first in the area, but they won’t be the last. Steve Easterbrook, the CEO of McDonald’s, announced a year ago that ordering kiosks would be installed in all 14,000 McDonald’s in the country. He promised the change would provide quicker and more comfortable service for patrons. “McDonald’s is raising the bar on