STATEN ISLAND — The New York City Housing Authority must make sure its communications are accessible to the visually impaired after a blind resident sued the agency in Staten Island.
The agreement, approved on Monday, will require NYCHA to offer communications in a format accessible to visually impaired applicants, contact them to make sure they've received letters and provide assistance in completing forms, Staten Island Legal Services said in a release.
In 2010, Staten Island resident Justin Williams sued NYCHA after his 15 year Section 8 rental subsidy was terminated. He'd been sent letters he couldn't read because he was blind.
“Just because you have a visual impairment doesn’t mean you should be forgotten,” Williams said in a statement about the settlement. “I’m glad NYCHA will make accommodations for visually impaired people so that they can follow NYCHA’s rules and maintain their housing.”
Under the new policies, NYCHA will send out notices on audio CDs and data discs in locked PDFs, and make follow up phone calls, Legal Service said.
NYCHA will also provide disability discrimination training under the settlement.
“This is a great settlement,” said Shelly Agarwala of Staten Island Legal Services.
“We are happy NYCHA is adopting new policies and practices sensitive to the needs of the visually impaired so no other person has to go through what Mr. Williams did.”