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Kroger's vaccine scheduler will get an update to comply with the ADA

Al Behrman

The Justice Department says it's reached a deal with grocery store chain Kroger to make online COVID-19 vaccine registration accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A Justice Department review of Kroger'sonline vaccination scheduling portaldetermined the site wasn't accessible for people who need to use screen reader software. The department says users were missing critical medical information and being told things that were inaccurate or didn't match the screen.

The government says that violates the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Kroger says the site does conform to the guidelines and under the terms of the settlement is not admitting any wrongdoing.

The company has 30 days to modify the portal. It must also test the website regularly to make sure it's working properly.

"Access for people with disabilities should never be an afterthought, including during the COVID-19 pandemic," says Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in a statement. "When a store's website is inaccessible, people with disabilities may struggle to get potentially life-saving vaccines for themselves and their loved ones. This agreement helps fulfill the promise of the ADA by ensuring individuals with disabilities have equal access to healthcare."

WVXU has reached out to Kroger for comment on the deal.

Cincinnati-based Kroger operates more than 2,700 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia under such banners as Fred Meyer, Dillions, and Harris Teeter.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.