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Colorado group sues Petsmart, claims blind customers not treated equally

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DENVER — A group from Colorado is suing Petsmart because they say the chain does not treat blind customers equally.

The lawsuit filed in Denver Tuesday, alleges that the pet store chain does not have credit card readers that are accessible for the visually impaired. Some are touch screen only. Without tactile buttons, blind customers have to tell cashiers their PIN numbers. Some worry it could put them at risk to have their identities stolen.

“I shouldn’t have to share that kind of personal information with someone over the counter just so that I can do business with Petsmart,” Yolanda Thompson said.

Deshon Spears said he has the same problem when he brings his service dog, Randall, to Petsmart to buy his food and toys.

“It feels like I can’t contribute and I have to have help,” Spears said. “And being blind, we’re all about independence.”

The lawsuit asks Petsmart to replace touch screens with accessible card readers. Most major chains already have them. They have tactile buttons that allow visually impaired customers to navigate the keypad.

Petsmart was not available for comment Wednesday. FOX31 Denver crews visited two Denver locations. Both stores had card readers with tactile buttons that are accessible for blind customers.​

 

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