On April 3, 2020 The National Federation of the Blind demanded that restaurants, banks, and other businesses, as well as drive-through COVID-19 testing facilities, provide equal service to blind customers, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, whether the blind customer is on foot or in a vehicle. Many businesses are offering drive-through service only during the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Federation of the Blind has received numerous reports of discrimination against blind people who have tried to access drive-through windows on foot.
“We reject the argument that accessing a drive-through window on foot is unsafe for blind people, since we regularly cross busy intersections and interact with vehicles,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “But even if a restaurant, bank, or testing center is unable or unwilling to offer pedestrian access to its drive-through window, the law clearly requires that it offer reasonable modifications to allow the blind and others with disabilities to take advantage of its public services. The bottom line is that, especially at a time when access to vehicle transportation for non-drivers is limited, there is no legal or moral excuse for denying service to blind people simply because we are not in a car. To do so is unlawful and discriminatory, and we will not tolerate it.”