Transcript: A Champion for Disability Rights | Feb 13, 2017

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a dark gray suit, white shirt, and striped tie. Behind him, a wall screen reads "The Agenda, with Steve Paikin."

A caption reads "A champion for disability rights."

The caption changes to "Twitter: @spaikin @theagenda."

Steve says IT IS NOT AN UNKNOWN
PHENOMENON IN OUR VERY LITIGIOUS
SOCIETY TO THINK THAT TO MAKE
SOCIAL PROGRESS, YOU'VE GOTTA
SUE SOMEONE.
WELL, WE'RE ABOUT TO INTRODUCE
YOU TO A LAWYER WHO HAS MANAGED
TO MAKE A TON OF PROGRESS FOR
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES,
OUTSIDE, NOT INSIDE, THE
COURTROOM.
LAINEY FEINGOLD HAS BEEN TWICE
RECOGNIZED AS THE CALIFORNIA
LAWYER ATTORNEY OF THE YEAR FOR
DISABILITY RIGHTS AND THE
AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION'S
PROBLEM SOLVER OF THE YEAR FOR
2017.
SHE'S THE AUTHOR OF "STRUCTURED
NEGOTIATION, A WINNING
ALTERNATIVE TO LAWSUITS," AND
SHE JOINS US NOW WITH MORE ON
MAKING PROGRESS WITHOUT THE
LAWSUIT.

The book appears on screen.

The caption changes to "A champion for disability rights. Meet Lainey Feingold."

Steve says NICE TO HAVE YOU
HERE.

Lainey says THANKS.
NICE TO BE HERE.

Steve says LET'S JUST LEARN A
LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOU FIRST.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM ORIGINALLY?

The caption changes to "Lainey Feingold. Disability Rights Lawyer."

Lainey is in her fifties, with mid-length wavy gray hair. She wears glasses, a black sweater and a floral scarf.

Lainey says FROM
WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS.
I WENT TO HASTINGS LAW SCHOOL IN
FOR INSTANCE.
IN... SOUTH AFRICA.

Steve says SAN FRANCISCO?
IT HAPPENED LIKE EVERYTHING
ELSE, UNEXPECTEDLY.
I STARTED OUT BEING A LABOUR
LAWYER.
I WAS DOING TRADITIONAL CIVIL
RIGHTS.
SOMETHING CHANGED.
I GOT A JOB IN A DISABILITY
RIGHTS FIRM AND THAT'S WHERE I
FOUND MYSELF.

Steve says THERE'S NO KIND OF
PERSON IN THE FAMILY OR CLOSE
FRIEND OR SOMETHING WITH A
DISABILITY THAT MADE YOU MAKE
THAT DECISION?

Lainey says THERE ARE
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN MY
FAMILY, LIKE MOST FAMILIES, BUT
NOT THAT INFLUENCED MY DECISION.
IT WAS MORE I WANTED TO BE A
PROGRESSIVE LAWYER AND WORK FOR
PEOPLE'S RIGHTS AND THIS IS
WHERE I FOUND MYSELF.

Steve says YOU ARE TAKING A
VERY COUNTER CULTURAL APPROACH
TO BASICALLY MAKING PROGRESS ON
THE ISSUES THAT YOU ARE
CHAMPIONING BECAUSE, AS WE
SUGGESTED IN THE INTRO, NORMALLY
WE THINK YOU'VE GOT TO SUE
SOMEBODY TO GET SOMEWHERE.
WHERE DID YOU COME UP WITH THE
NOTION THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO?

The caption changes to "Lainey Reingold. Author of ‘Structured Negotiation."

Lainey says YOU KNOW,
IT EVOLVED.
WE STARTED WORKING IN THE MID
'90s ABOUT ATMs THAT BLIND
PEOPLE COULDN'T USE.
BLIND PEOPLE CAME TO US AND
SAID, "WE HAVE A NEW DISABILITY
RIGHTS LAW, BUT THERE'S NO ATM
IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY WE CAN USE.
WE SHOULD FILE A LAWSUIT."

The caption changes to "A champion for disability rights. Engaging Corporate America."

Steve says THEY COULDN'T USE
THEM BECAUSE THERE WAS NO
BRAILLE ON THE ATMs?

Lainey says THEY WERE
NOT TALKING.
THERE WAS BRAILLE BUT THE
BRAILLE ISN'T REALLY EFFECTIVE
BECAUSE THE MACHINES ARE
INTERACTIVE.
SO WE HAD THE LEGAL CLAIM, WE
HAD THE CLIENTS.
COULD HAVE DONE A CLASS ACTION
LAWSUIT.
ONE OF THE LAWYERS ON OUR TEAM
SAID, WHY DON'T WE TRY WRITING
TO THE BANKS AND SEE IF THEY'LL
TALK TO US ABOUT THIS.
IT DIDN'T HAVE A PROCESS, IT
DIDN'T HAVE A NAME, BUT WE
THOUGHT, WHY NOT TRY IT?
SO WE TRIED IT AND THE BANKS
SAID YES.
AS A RESULT OF THAT, WE ENDED UP
HAVING THREE REALLY STRONG
SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS WITH BANK
OF AMERICA, WELLS FARGO, AND
CITY BANK TO HAVE ATMs THAT
TALK TO PEOPLE.

Steve says ANY IDEA THE COST TO
PUT THAT ON THE ATMs?

Lainey says I REALLY
DON'T KNOW.
THE WAY IT WORKS IN THE U.S., IF
IT'S AN UNDUE BURDEN A COMPANY
OF COURSE DOESN'T HAVE TO TAKE
AN UNDUE BURDEN FOR FIXING
SOMETHING BUT NOBODY IN THE BIG
BANKS SAID TO US WE CAN'T DO IT.

Steve says WHATEVER THE COST OF
IMPROVING THOSE MACHINES WAS, IT
WAS A HECK OF A LOT LESS THAN
WHAT IT WOULD HAVE COST THEM TO
GO TO COURT AND POSSIBLY LOSE?

Lainey says ABSOLUTELY.
IT'S ALWAYS MORE EXPENSIVE TO GO
TO COURTS.
SOMETIMES IT'S NEEDED BUT IT'S
ALWAYS MORE EXPENSIVE.

Steve says YOU CALL IT
STRUCTURED NEGOTIATION.
WHAT DOES THAT TERM MEAN?

Lainey says IT MEANS A
WAY OF RESOLVING LEGAL CLAIMS
WITHOUT A LAWSUIT.
IT'S A WAY TO DO A NEGOTIATION
BUT WITH A STRUCTURE THAT WILL
LEAD THE PARTIES TO A WIN-WIN
SOLUTION.

Steve says WAL-MART WAS ANOTHER
ONE OF THOSE CASES, RIGHT?

Lainey says YES.
I'VE DONE ABOUT 75 CASES IN THIS
PROCESS AFTER THOSE FIRST BANK
CASES OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS.
WE WORK WITH WAL-MART ON TALKING
PRESCRIPTION LABELS IN THEIR
PHARMACIES.

Steve says TAKE US THROUGH THAT
ONE.
HOW DID THAT WORK?

Lainey says YEAH,
WELL, AS YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU GET
A PRESCRIPTION, YOU GET A
BOTTLE, IT USUALLY HAS A PRINT
LABEL, FLAT, SMALL LABELS.
IF YOU'RE BLIND, YOU CAN'T READ
THAT.
WHICH IS BASICALLY LIKE GETTING
MEDICATION WITHOUT ANY
INFORMATION.
WE WENT TO THE COMPANIES, CVS
AND RITEAID AND SAID YOU NEED TO
EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATE WITH
YOUR BLIND PATIENTS.
IT'S DANGEROUS.
AS SIGHTED PEOPLE WE WOULDN'T
WANT IT WITH A LABEL WE COULDN'T
READ. THERE'S A WAY TO MAKE
LABELS TALKING.
I TELL THE STORY IN MY BOOK.
WE WENT TO THE COMPANIES AND
SAID, YOU KNOW, WE THINK WE HAVE
A LEGAL CLAIM.
IT'S REALLY DISCRIMINATION NOT
TO GIVE BLIND PEOPLE ACCESS TO
THEIR PRESCRIPTION INFORMATION.
BUT RATHER THAN FILE A LAWSUIT,
LET'S ENGAGE IN THIS PROCESS
WHICH BY THEN HAD A TRACK RECORD
AND SOLVE IT WITHOUT FIGHTING
ABOUT IT, WHICH WE DID.

Steve says HOW LONG DID IT
TAKE?

Lainey says DEPENDS ON
THE CASE.
DEPENDS ON THE ISSUES.

Steve says THAT WAL-MART CASE.
HOW MANY MEETINGS?
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE?

Lainey says IT COULD
TAKE ANYWHERE FROM ONE TO TWO
YEARS.
THERE'S A BEGINNING PART WHERE
THE PARTIES HAVE TO GET
COMFORTABLE.

Steve says I WAS GOING TO ASK,
HOW DO YOU KNOW THEY AREN'T
JERKING YOU AROUND IF IT TAKES
TWO YEARS?

Lainey says THAT'S A
GOOD POINT.
TWO IMPORTANT POINTS IS TRUST
AND GROUNDED OPTIMISM.
NOT THAT YOU THINK THIS IS GREAT
AND IT'S GOING TO WORK OUT.
YOU TAKE THE STEPS NECESSARY AND
YOU'RE OPTIMISTIC IF YOU TAKE
THE STEPS, IT'S ACTUALLY GOING
TO WORK.
WE START WITH A GROUND RULES
DOCUMENT.
EVERYONE AGREES AT THE OUTSET
WE'RE GOING TO TRY TO SOLVE THIS
PROBLEM IN STRUCTURED
NEGOTIATION.

Steve says I CAN'T IMAGINE THAT
WAL-MART BECOMES ONE OF THE
BIGGEST, RICHEST COUNTRIES...
COMPANIES, RATHER, IN THE WORLD
BY, YOU KNOW, SORRY FOR MY
SAYING IT THIS WAY, FOR
INDULGING IN THESE THINGS.
THEY'RE VERY TOUGH IN THE WAY
THEY DO BUSINESS AND AS A
RESULT, WHY WOULD THEY... WHY
WOULD THEY BOTHER WITH YOU?

The caption changes to "Lainey Feingold. @LFLegal."

Lainey says WELL, YOU
KNOW, YOU COULD HAVE THEM ON THE
SHOW AND THEY CAN MAYBE ANSWER
THAT QUESTION.
ALL I CAN TELL YOU IS THAT USING
THIS PROCESS, WE HAVE APPROACHED
SOME OF THE BIGGEST COMPANIES,
LIKE WE SAID, WAL-MART, CVS,
AMERICAN EXPRESS, MAJOR LEAGUE
BASEBALL, AND SOME OF THESE
COMPANIES HAVE REPUTATIONS FOR
BEING HARD FIGHTERS IN
LITIGATION.

Steve says EXACTLY.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, tvo.org, Facebook, Youtube, Periscope, Instagram."

Lainey says BUT THIS
IS A SYSTEM THAT ALLOWS PEOPLE
TO BE TRUE TO THE ISSUES THAT
THEY'RE WORKING ON BUT DO IT IN
A WAY OF COLLABORATION.
SO WE GAVE THEM AN
OPPORTUNITY... I LIKE TO THINK
OF IT AS GIVING THE COMPANY THE
OPPORTUNITY TO FOLLOW THE LAW
AND DO THE RIGHT THING WITHOUT
ALL THE ADDED EXPENSE AND
BAGGAGE THAT A LAWSUIT BRINGS.

Steve says MAYBE OTHER PEOPLE
KNOW THIS BUT I DON'T.
HOW DO YOU GET A PRESCRIPTION
LABEL ON MEDICATION THAT TALKS
TO YOU SO YOU KNOW WHAT TO TAKE
IF YOU CAN'T SEE?

Lainey says THERE'S
VENDORS THAT SUPPLY IT.
THERE'S ONE, FOR EXAMPLE, CALLED
ENVISION AMERICA, AND I KNOW
THAT THEY ALSO PROVIDE IT IN
CANADA AS WELL.
THERE'S AN RFID CHIP THAT YOU
CAN BARELY SEE, BARELY FEEL
THAT'S ON THE BOTTOM OF THE
LABEL AND THERE'S A PLASTIC
ABOUT THE SIZE OF A C.D.... OLD
FASHIONED, BUT, YOU KNOW, THE
SIZE OF A PANCAKE.

Steve says I KNOW WHAT YOU
MEAN.

Lainey says YOU KNOW
WHAT I MEAN.
THAT'S A READER.
WHEN YOU TAKE THE BOTTLE AND YOU
PUT IT ON THE READER, IT STARTS
TALKING TO YOU AND IT WILL SAY
THE DOSAGE AND THE NAME AND THE
EXPIRATION DATE.
THERE'S ANOTHER PRODUCT WHERE
THE LABEL IS JUST PLASTIC AND
STUCK ON.
WHEN I SAY "LABEL," IT'S LIKE A
ONE INCH BY TWO INCH PIECE OF
PLASTIC, STICKS ON.
THE BLIND PERSON PREFACE A
BUTTON AND THE INFORMATION IS
RECORDED.

Steve says YOU MENTIONED MAJOR
LEAGUE BASEBALL.
WHAT WAS THE ISSUE THERE?

Lainey says THE ISSUE
HERE, AND I HEARD YOU WERE A
BASEBALL FAN.

Steve says JUST A LITTLE BIT.

Lainey says THE ISSUE
WITH MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
STARTED AS ALL MY CASES HAVE FOR
20 YEARS WITH CLIENTS.
BECAUSE DISABILITY RIGHTS IS OF
COURSE ABOUT THE RIGHTS OF
PEOPLE.
AND THE DISABILITY RIGHTS IN
THIS CASE WAS ABOUT BLIND
BASEBALL FANS IN BOSTON.
THEY HAD RABID RED SOX FANS WHO
ARE BLIND.

Steve says I CAN RELATE.

Lainey says LOVE TO DO
THE STATISTICS.
AND IF WEB SITES AREN'T CODED
PROPERLY, BLIND PEOPLE CAN'T
ACCESS CONTENT.
AND JUST REALLY QUICK FOR YOUR
LISTENERS WHO MAY NOT BE
FAMILIAR WITH THIS, BLIND PEOPLE
HAVE SOFTWARE ON THEIR OWN
COMPUTERS AND THEIR MOBILE
PHONES THAT WILL READ WEB SITES
ALLOWED TO THEM.
BUT IF THE DEVELOPERS HAVEN'T
PUT IT ON THE SITE IN AN
ACCESSIBLE WAY, THERE ARE
STANDARDS FOR THIS, THEN THE
SOFTWARE WON'T WORK.

Steve says SO YOU WENT TO MAJOR
LEAGUE BASEBALL AND SAID WE HAVE
RABID RED SOX FANS WHO CAN'T SEE
BUT WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE.

Lainey says WE
BASICALLY SAID THAT, YES.

Steve says AND THEY SAID WHAT?

Lainey says WELL,
THAT'S VERY INTERESTING.
THEY SAID, BECAUSE WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT BLIND BASEBALL FANS, AT
FIRST THEY SAID, WELL, WE DIDN'T
REALLY DO ANYTHING WRONG, IT'S
NOT A LEGAL CLAIM, BUT WE'RE
HAPPY TO TALK TO YOU BECAUSE WE
GAVE THEM AGAIN THE OPPORTUNITY.
WE DIDN'T GIVE THEM THE
OPPORTUNITY TO SAY WHY THEY
COULDN'T DO IT OR WE DON'T KNOW
WEBSITE ACCESS, IT'S TOO HARD...
NO.
WE GAVE THEM THE OPPORTUNITY TO
SIT AT A TABLE AND TALK TO THE
FANS.
THAT'S WHAT WE DID.
WE HAD A VERY EARLY MEETING.
WE ESTABLISHED GROUND RULES.
WE'RE GOING TO TRY TO NEGOTIATE
THIS IN STRUCTURED NEGOTIATIONS,
I TELL THE STORY IN MY BOOK
ABOUT THIS, AND THE BLIND FANS
WERE ON THE PHONE AND THEY TOOK
A BACK SEAT IN THE EARLY
MEETINGS SO THE FANS COULD
ESTABLISH RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE
I.T. FOLKS.
ANOTHER BIG ISSUE WAS, I
LEARNED, AND YOU PROBABLY KNOW
BECAUSE YOU'RE A FAN, THAT
PEOPLE LIKE TO LISTEN TO THEIR
HOMETOWN ANNOUNCERS, EVEN WHEN
THEY MOVE AWAY FROM THEIR
HOMETOWNS.

Steve says SURE.

Lainey says THAT'S
SOMETHING PEOPLE CAN DO ON THE
INTERNET AND MOBILE PHONES.
AND THAT WASN'T AVAILABLE TO
BLIND PEOPLE BECAUSE THAT WASN'T
INITIALLY CODED RIGHT.

Steve says HOW DID YOU RESOLVE
ALL OF THIS.

Lainey says OH, MAJOR
LEAGUE BASEBALL BECAME A
CHAMPION OF ACCESSIBILITY AND
THEY ARE STILL TO THIS DAY A
CHAMPION, AND WE WORK WITH THEM.
THEY ENDED UP HIRING CONSULTANTS
WHO REALLY KNOW HOW TO MAKE SURE
WEB SITES WORK FOR BLIND PEOPLE
AND WE HAD MEETINGS WITH... WE
DIDN'T JUST HAVE RED SOX FANS,
WE HAD MARINERS FANS IN SEATTLE
AND CHICAGO CUBS AND SOX.
AS WE WERE FINISHING UP, ALL OF
A SUDDEN EVERYONE IS USING
MOBILE APPS AND SO WE HAD TO GO
TO MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL AND
SAY, YOU KNOW, MOBILE APPS.
BLIND PEOPLE CAN USE iPHONES.
THERE'S TECHNIQUES OF USING IT
IN TALKING SOFTWARE AND MAJOR
LEAGUE BASEBALL WORKS ON THEIR
iPHONE APPS TOO.
THEY'VE BEEN GREAT.
BLIND BASEBALL FANS HAVE BEEN
HAPPY.

Steve says I HAVE OTHER CASES
TO BRING UP.
I CAN'T NOTICE YOU HAVE A TOOL
BOX ON THE TABLE.
PERHAPS I'LL TAKE A PAUSE ON MY
EXAMPLES AND YOU CAN TELL US
WHAT THAT'S ALL ABOUT.

Lainey grabs a toy tool box and says I BROUGHT
MY TOOL BOX TO SHOW YOU AND THE
READERS, AND I LIKE THE TOOL BOX
BECAUSE I'VE BEEN USING
STRUCTURED NEGOTIATIONS FOR 20
YEARS, BUT I KNOW THAT LAWSUITS
ARE ALSO IMPORTANT.
SOMETIMES YOU'VE GOT TO SUE.
BUT WHEN ALL OF YOU HAVE IS A
HAMMER, EVERYTHING LOOKS LIKE A
NAIL.
AND I THINK THE GO-TO RESPONSE,
ESPECIALLY, YOU KNOW, T.V. MAKES
IT LOOK LIKE, YOU'VE GOT A LAW
PROBLEM, YOU'VE GOT TO HIRE A
LAWYER, FILE A LAWSUIT AND DO
THE AGGRESSIVE THING.
AS LAWYERS AND CLIENTS TOO, WE
HAVE A LOT OF TOOLS AVAILABLE TO
US.
I SEE STRUCTURED NEGOTIATION AS
A TOOL AND I LIKE TO CARRY
AROUND THE TOOL BOX BECAUSE IT'S
BEEN EFFECTIVE.
I HAVE NOT FIGURED OUT WHETHER
IT'S THE SAW OR THE WRENCH.
I KNOW IT'S NOT THE HAMMER.
THAT'S WHY I CARRY IT AROUND.

Steve says THE SAW AND THE
PLIERS STILL LOOK PLENTY
THREATENING.
THEY'RE NOT MEANT TO BE, I
PRESUME.

Lainey says MAYBE WE
COULD USE THE WRENCH.
IT'S KIND OF ROUND AND
WELCOMING.

Steve says I'VE GOT IT.

Lainey says I THINK
YOU'RE RIGHT.
FROM NOW ON IT'S THE WRENCH.
THANK YOU.

Steve says GOTCHA.
YOU MENTIONED SAN FRANCISCO,
WHICH IS PART OF YOUR
BACKGROUND.
YOU WENT TO LAW SCHOOL THERE?

Lainey says WENT TO
LAW SCHOOL.
I LIVE IN BERKELEY.

Steve says YOU HAD A CASE
AGAINST THE CITY AND COUNTY OF
SAN FRANCISCO?

Lainey says WE DID.

Steve says WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT?

Lainey says THAT WAS
ABOUT ACCESSIBLE PEDESTRIAN
SIGNALS WHICH ARE THE SIGNALS
WHEN YOU CROSS AN INTERSECTION
THAT PROVIDE AUDIBLE INFORMATION
TO BLIND PEOPLE.
AND THE CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO,
WHEN WE STARTED, HAD ONE
ACCESSIBLE SIGNAL.
WITHOUT IT, IT'S VERY DANGEROUS
IN MANY INTERSECTIONS FOR BLIND
PEOPLE TO CROSS.
AND STRUCTURED NEGOTIATION WAS
THE PERFECT TOOL... THE
WRENCH... PERFECT TOOL FOR THIS
BECAUSE OUR CLIENTS WERE
ACTIVISTS IN SAN FRANCISCO AND
THEY HAD A LOT OF RELATIONSHIPS
WITH THE CITY, AND THEY DIDN'T
WANT TO BLOW OFF EVERY
RELATIONSHIP AND FILE A LAWSUIT.
BUT THEY NEEDED TO HAVE THE
SIGNAL.
AND IT WAS THEIR LEGAL RIGHT TO
HAVE THE SIGNALS BECAUSE PEOPLE
CAN'T SAFELY CROSS THE STREET.

Steve says IT WAS THEIR LEGAL
RIGHT TO HAVE THE SIGNALS
BECAUSE WHAT PIECE OF
LEGISLATION MANDATES THAT THEY
HAVE THESE SERVICES AVAILABLE TO
THEM.

Lainey says THE
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
IS WRITTEN VERY BROADLY AND IT
REQUIRES FULL PARTICIPATION AND
IT PREVENTS DISCRIMINATION.
SO IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, CITIES
ARE PROVIDING INFORMATION TO THE
PUBLIC ABOUT WHEN IT'S SAFE TO
CROSS THE STREET.
THEY HAVE THE SIGNS THAT SAY
WALK, DON'T WALK, OR THE PICTURE
OF THE PERSON WALKING.
THAT'S SOMETHING THE CITY IS
DOING TO TELL ITS CITIZENS, HEY,
IT'S NOW SAFE TO CROSS THE
STREET.
WELL, THEY WEREN'T GIVING THAT
SAME INFORMATION TO BLIND PEOPLE
BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE
ANYTHING THAT WAS AUDIBLE OR
TACTILE.

Steve says I ALWAYS WAS MOVED
BY THE FACT THAT ONE OF THE MOST
POWERFUL MEN IN AMERICAN
POLITICAL HISTORY WAS A MAN
NAMED BOB DOLE, A WORLD WAR II
HERO, WHO BECAME SENATE MAJORITY
LEADER AND REPUBLICAN
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AND HE
COULDN'T DO THE BUTTONS UP ON
HIS OWN SHIRT BECAUSE HALF OF
HIS BODY DIDN'T WORK AND HE
CHAMPIONED THE AMERICANS WITH
DISABILITIES ACT.

Lainey says BELIEVE IT
OR NOT, GIVEN THE CURRENT STATE
OF AFFAIRS, IT WAS SIGNED BY A
REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT.

Steve says WHAT DID THEY END UP
DOING HERE?
THEY HAVE THE WALK, DON'T WALK
THINGS THAT... I'M NOT SURE WHAT
THE RIGHT WORD IS... BUT THEY
CHIRP, DON'T THEY?

Lainey says WELL,
THERE'S A LOT OF DIFFERENT
OPTIONS AND THAT'S WHAT'S SO
GREAT ABOUT STRUCTURED
NEGOTIATION.
WE WERE ABLE TO BRING OUR BLIND
CLIENTS, MANY OF WHOM HAD
EXPERTISE IN THE BEST KIND OF
SIGNALS AND THE BEST EXPERTS
AROUND THE COUNTRY, AND INSTEAD
OF FIGHTING WITH EACH OTHER, THE
CITY ENGINEERS, THE TRAFFIC
ENGINEERS, THE GOVERNMENT
PEOPLE, OUR BLIND CLIENTS SAT
AROUND AND FIGURED WHAT IS THE
BEST SIGNAL?
SO OURS DON'T CHIRP.
THEY HAVE WHAT THEY CALL A RAPID
TICK, THEY GO... THEY HAVE
DETAILS HOW LOUD, HOW YOU
ACTIVATE IT, ALL THOSE DETAILS
ARE WORKED OUT IN THIS
COLLABORATIVE PROCESS.

Steve says INTERESTING.
IS YOUR MODEL OF DISPUTE
RESOLUTION EXPORTABLE?

The caption changes to "A champion for disability rights. Making progress?"

Lainey says THIS IS A
QUESTION I HOPE MY READERS WILL
ANSWER.
I WROTE THIS BOOK BECAUSE I'M
HOPING IT IS, AND THE BOOK IS A
ROAD MAP THROUGH THE PROCESS.
IT TELLS YOU HOW TO WRITE A
LETTER.
HOW DO YOU START OFF?
YOU KNOW, A LAWSUIT IS AGAIN THE
HAMMER.
WHEN WE START, WE WRITE A LETTER
AND SAY YOU HAVE A PROBLEM AND
WE INVITE YOU TO PARTICIPATE IN
A PROCESS TO RESOLVE IT.
SO ALL THESE PIECES ALONG THE
WAY I THINK ARE EXPORTABLE TO
OTHER TYPES OF CLAIMS.

Steve says WHAT PERCENTAGE OF
THE TIME WOULD YOU GUESS YOU
WRITE THAT LETTER, YOU HOPE TO
INITIATE A PROCESS THAT WILL
RESULT IN A HAPPY OUTCOME FOR
EVERYBODY, BUT THE PERSON OR
COMPANY YOU'VE SENT THE LETTER
TO ESSENTIALLY BLOWS YOU OFF AND
SAYS, FORGET IT, WE'RE NOT
INTERESTED?
HOW OFTEN DOES THAT HAPPEN?

Lainey says IT'S ONLY
HAPPENED ONCE.

Steve says WHO DID IT?
I WANT TO KNOW.
NAME NAMES.

Lainey says WELL, I
DON'T KNOW IF I SHOULD NAME
NAMES.

Steve says WHAT KIND OF A
BUSINESS WAS IT?

Lainey says IT WAS AN
AIRLINE AND THEY HAD A DIFFERENT
KIND OF LAW AND THEY THOUGHT
THEIR LEGAL CLAIM WAS STRONGER
THAN WE THOUGHT IT WAS, AND
HONEST TO TRUTH, THEY HAD A
YOUNG LAWYER WHO WAS I THOUGHT
VERY PUFFY AND SAID WE'RE NEVER
GOING TO DO STRUCTURED
NEGOTIATION.
IN THAT CASE, WE HAD TO FILE A
LAWSUIT.

Steve says AND WHAT HAPPENED?

Lainey says WELL, IT
DIDN'T TURN OUT SO WELL FOR US
BECAUSE IT TURNED OUT THEY WERE
RIGHT ABOUT THE LAW.
INTERESTINGLY, THE LAW HAS SINCE
CHANGED AND THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT IN THE UNITED STATES
REQUIRES THAT AIRLINE WEB SITES
BE ACCESSIBLE AND AIRLINES.
THAT'S WHAT WE WERE TALKING
ABOUT.

Steve says ULTIMATELY YOU GOT
THE VICTORY.

Lainey says ULTIMATELY
WE GOT THE VICTORY.

Steve says GOTCHA.
LET'S FINISH UP ON THIS.
I KNOW YOU'RE NOT FROM HERE BUT
THIS IS A BIG ISSUE IN THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO.
WE HAVE AN ONTARIANS WITH
DISABILITIES ACT.
WE HAVE AN ACT THAT OBLIGES THE
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT TO PROVIDE
A RANGE OF SERVICES TO PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES BY A CERTAIN
YEAR.
I DON'T THINK THERE ARE ANY
PENALTIES FOR NOT MAKING THAT
TARGET DATE.
BUT THE REALITY IS, THE
GOVERNMENT AND IN FACT I THINK
IT WAS UNANIMOUS VOTE OF THE
LEGISLATURE, EVERYBODY SIGNED ON
TO AGREEING TO HAVE THESE
ADDITIONAL SERVICES FOR PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES IN PLACE BY
SUCH AND SUCH A YEAR, WHICH I
THINK IS LESS THAN A DECADE
AWAY, AND PEOPLE LIKE DAVID
LAPOSKI, WHO YOU KNOW, HE THINKS
WE ARE WELL FIND SCHEDULE IN
MEETING THE DEADLINE AND THE
SERVICES THAT OUGHT TO BE
PROVIDED.
SO WHAT DO WE DO?
THAT'S MY QUESTION FOR YOU,
LADY.
WHAT DO WE DO?

Lainey says WHAT DO
YOU DO?
I COULDN'T STEP INTO A SITUATION
AND GIVE ADVICE...

Steve says NAH...

Lainey says... WHICH
TOOL IN THE TOOL BOX.

Steve says I'M NOT ACCEPTING
THAT AS AN ANSWER.

Lainey says IT'S KIND
OF TRUE.
ALL MY CASES HAVE BEEN
SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE THE LAWYERS
DON'T JUST GO AND DECIDE ON THE
STRATEGY.
SO IF THERE'S A PROBLEM IN
ONTARIO, ONE OF THE WAYS WE'VE
BEEN SUCCESSFUL IS, YOU KNOW,
MAKING SURE DISABLED PEOPLE ARE
AT THE TABLE AND MAYBE THEY
DON'T HAVE A TABLE HERE, MAYBE
THEY NEED A TABLE, AND MAYBE THE
ONLY WAY THEY'LL GET THE TABLE
IS BY PEOPLE PROTESTING OR BY
PEOPLE HAVING SOME SORT OF
PUBLIC INTEREST CAMPAIGN OR
GRASS ROOTS CAMPAIGN OR MAYBE
THERE'S A LEGAL STRATEGY.
I MEAN, I'M NOT TRYING TO DODGE
THE QUESTION, BUT THERE REALLY
ARE A LOT OF TOOLS...

Steve says CAN YOU DO A
STRUCTURED NEGOTIATION WITH A
GOVERNMENT?

Lainey says YOU CAN DO
IT WITH A GOVERNMENT AGENCY,
LIKE SAN FRANCISCO, YOU WERE
TALKING ABOUT.
WE'VE DONE IT WITH OTHER
AGENCIES.
STRUCTURED NEGOTIATION IS A
COLLABORATIVE PROCESS.
BOTH SIDES HAVE TO AGREE.
SO IN THIS CASE IT SOUNDS LIKE
THERE MIGHT BE SOME REALLY EXTRA
HARD WORK AT THE BEGINNING, BUT
IF THE... YOU KNOW, IF THEY ARE
VIOLATING THE LAW, IF THEY ARE
VIOLATING THE LAW AND, YOU KNOW,
DISABILITY RIGHTS IS ONE OF
THOSE ISSUES, YOU CAN MAKE THEM
LOOK REALLY BAD AND DO THEY
REALLY WANT TO WASTE THAT SOCIAL
CAPITAL LOOKING BAD BY NOT
COMPLYING WITH THE LAW?
MAYBE GET THEM TO THE TABLE AND
SAY WE DID THIS ALREADY.
LET'S BE LEADERS HERE AND GET IT
DONE.

Steve says GOTCHA.
WE'RE GLAD THE OSGOODE HALL LAW
SCHOOL BROUGHT YOU UP HERE TO
TALK TO THE FIRST YEAR LAW
SCHOOL STUDENTS YOU WERE WITH
EARLIER TODAY?

The caption changes to "A champion for disability rights. Producer: Steve Pailin. @spaikin. TVO.org/theagenda."

Lainey says FIRST YEAR
LAW STUDENTS AND LUNCH WITH...
AND THANKS TO DAVID, THERE WERE
THREE TALKS YESTERDAY AND
ACCESSIBILITY TORONTO.
IT'S BEEN WONDERFUL AND BEING
HERE TOO.

Steve says WE'RE GRATEFUL YOU
COULD SPARE TIME FOR US AT TVO
TONIGHT.
LAINEY FEINGOLD, DISABILITY
RIGHTS LAWYER.

Watch: A Champion for Disability Rights