U.S. Disability Rights Lawyer and Author.
January 17, 2017 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Joyce welcomes Lainey Feingold, US disability rights lawyer and author who works with the blind community on technology, digital, and information access issues.  She will discuss her book, Structured Negotiation; A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits was published by the American Bar Association in 2016. Lainey is widely recognized for negotiating landmark accessibility agreements with organizations as diverse as Walmart, Bank of America, and Major League Baseball.  She was recognized as a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year in both 2000 and 2014.   For more information about Lainey or her book, please visit: http://www.lflegal.com/ or follow her on Twitter at @LFLegal.

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JANUARY 17, 2017

1:00 PM CST



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>> Welcome to "Disability Matters" with your host, Joyce Bender.  All comments, views, and opinions expressed on the show are solely those of the host, guests, and callers.  Now, the host of "Disability Matters," here is Joyce Bender

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Hey, everyone!  Welcome to the show.  I hope you're off to a great year in 2017.  I have to give a special thanks to Highmark, our lead sponsor, AudioEye, and Covestro for being sponsors of this show.  And, of course, to all of our great listeners, thank you so much.  You know, what I'm trying to do is make sure we get the news out to the disability community.  Quality of life, opportunity, where you need to go, and that is so important to all of us, so thank you all for listening.  Thank you for going to the archives and listening to the show later in the day or the next day. 

And, a special shout out to my dear friend, Yoshiko Dart.  If you've been listening, you know I start every show like this, but that's because I love Yoshiko.  Justin Dart meant so much to the whole disability community, and you know what?  I'm going to make sure you don't forget that.

So today our guest is an author, attorney, a disability rights advocate, someone that has worked a lot in the area of access.  And, we are so delighted to have someone on the show with such a prestigious law career with a focus on structured settlement.  Welcome to the show, Lainey Feingold.

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Thank you, Joyce.  It's really great to be here.  And, it's great that you start off mentioning Justin Dart and Yoshiko.  It's wonderful.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Oh, yes.  I love them.  And Yoshiko has never stopped being an advocate.  And you know what?  Every time I say this to her, I know that she's shouting back, hello Joyce, because she's told me.

So, with that, Lainey, for those of you that are listening to the show, I'm sure they'll be interested in how you first became involved in the world of disability, working for the rights of people with disabilities?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Yeah.  That's a great place to start.  I would say that, how it happened was really luck, but the kind of luck I didn't realize was good luck until it happened.

So, as I mention in my book, which we'll talk about in a little bit.  I was a traditional civil rights lawyer, working on race and gender issues, and I got fired from a job.  And, I was looking to land on my feet in another job, and I landed at DREDF the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, which probably all of your listeners know is a leading civil rights firm for disability rights in the United States.

And, I went there for four months to fill in while someone was out, and that turned into four years.  And, in 1996 I opened my own law practice, and I've just been doing disability rights ever since, since 1992.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  You know what?  Isn't it amazing how things happen that may seem bad, but they're so much for the good.  Thank goodness that happened to you and you went to DREDF or wouldn't have been able to help so many of us living with disabilities.

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Well, thank you for saying that.  I do subscribe to the late great Leonard Cohen's line that the cracks, the cracks are where the light comes in.  You know?  That certainly happened to me in my career.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.  And, that is just, wow, such a great quote.  I have to say something else.  Being, starting at DREDF, wow!  I mean, if there is a place to go to learn disability rights, it would have been DREDF.  So, while you were there, Pat Wright was there?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:   Pat, Mary Lou Breslin, Arlene Mayerson, Diane Lipton, Linda Kilb.  Oh, it was really such an honor and unbelievable experience to be there, and Arlene was teaching a course at the law school here in Berkeley, and I got to meet Paul Longmore, and it's kind of a who is who of disability rights leadership.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Wow!  You know what?  The person I knew out of that group, who I knew the best, was in fact, Pat Wright.  And, you know, she was a force to be reckoned with.  She was the general.  She made things happen, and every time I see her, I'm so happy to see her again.  What a great person.

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Yes.  Absolutely.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  So, you worked first in the civil rights area.  As you mentioned, you worked for the California Public Employment Relations Board.  You were saying you worked in civil rights, so before disability, as you mentioned, it was what major areas?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Well, one of the biggest things I worked on right before I went to DREDF, was a case against Shoney's, which I don't think is in business anymore.  It was a restaurant chain throughout the south.  It was a major race discrimination case law suit.  At that time, I was primarily doing lawsuits.  And, it was a case against Shoney's both for not hiring and promoting black workers and also discriminating against ‑‑ retaliating against white workers who bucked the system.

So, there were employment cases like that.  I also, before disability rights work, was a labor union lawyer, and I represented labor unions out here in the bay area of San Francisco.  So, I had a lot of, what you would call, public interest, progressive, civil rights experience, but until I went to DREDF, I was not even aware of just the whole vibrancy of the disability rights movement or the civil rights laws, and I ended up going there two years after the ADA passed, and it was just an unbelievable experience.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  And isn't it so sad that today, as you constantly read and see on the news, that it's like we have a divided nation.  And that, you know, when President Obama was giving his farewell speech, when he said, you know how people had said after I'm President there won't be any race issue, but how wrong they were.  We still have a long way to go, we really do.  So, hopefully, a lot of young people and young leaders, you know, young people become leaders in the disability community because that's what we need.  We need people marching behind us, don't you think?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Oh, absolutely.  It's very exciting in the law space that I'm in.  We have a disability rights bar association, which are lawyers who represent disabled people in all sorts of cases, employment and technology and prisoners, you if you name it around disability civil rights, people in DRBR are involved.  And, we have a really great young generation coming up to be civil rights lawyers in the disability world, and it's really great and important.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Yeah.  And a lot of people, you know, sometimes people would say to me, well, why would I ‑‑ I mean, all the big things have happened.  Meaning the Judy Heumann, the Ed Roberts, Pat Wright, everything you just talked about, but that is far from true.  We have still so much work to do in so many different area, and you are in one of those areas.  I know that you have done a tremendous amount of work with the blind community.  Could you talk about that?  What is the principal work you have done?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Well, yeah.  I have represented the blind community for a little more than 20 years now, and it started while I was at DREDF on the issue of ATMs that talk.  And I talk about this in my book.  My book is called Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits, and it started when blind people in California came to my co‑counsel and myself and said, you know the ADA just passed, but there is not a single ATM in the United States that a blind person could use, and couldn't we do something to fix that?

And, we had a strong law suit, but we thought maybe we should try talking to the banks about developing talking ATMs because there were none anywhere in the world at that time.

So, I start my book with telling the story about the talking ATMs, and we wrote letters to Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citi Bank.  They all said, yes, we'll talk to you.  All of those negotiations ended up in settlement agreements with some of the first talking ATMs in the United States, and a few years later, our clients who needed ATMs, started talking about their need for accessible online banking.

And in 2000, we worked with Bank of America to negotiate the first web accessibility agreement in the country.  And from there, I've worked on technology issues, a whole bunch of different websites, mobile applications, and as you said, we need new leaders because we have new issues.  We have new technologies.  I worked on accessible pedestrian signals, on audio description for movies, and various issues that come to me through the blind community and its organizations.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Well, I'd like to talk a little more about that.  We're getting ready to go to break, but if you just joined us, we're talking about Lainey Feingold, who is a disability rights lawyer and author, and we will be talking about her book later in the show, Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits, but right now, we're going to go to break.  This is Joyce Bender.  America's voice where "Disability Matters" at VoiceAmerica.com.  Don't go away.  We'll be right back with Lainey.

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>> If you have a question or comment, call in toll free at 1‑866‑472‑5788.  Now, please welcome back the host of "Disability Matters," here is Joyce Bender.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Hey!  Welcome back, everyone, we're talking to Lainey Feingold, disability rights attorney and author.  And, before we went to break, we were talking about the work that you do with the blind community, and right before we left, we were mentioning there are so many new areas that we could get young leaders and advocates involved in.  What are some of those?  You were starting to tell us when we went to break.

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Well, I was just referring to technology.  Technology has so many opportunities for disabled people.  And at the same time, if we don't keep that technology accessible, then disabled people are going to be left out.  So, in the area of healthcare, for example, you know, there is more and more ways for machines and devices to be talking to your doctor.

And, I always like to give the example of something I just learned about last year, called ingestibles, where you can actually swallow technology that gives a read‑out of what's inside your own body to the patient, the person, and the doctor.  It's just such a startling example, like what is more of a need to be accessible than information about your own body inside your own self.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Wow!

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  And, these are things going forward ‑‑

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Can you imagine when that is used everywhere?  I mean, that is amazing.

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Yeah.  I know.  We talked about the Internet of Things, which is also growing, you know, but for blind people a lot of things have gone backwards.  Things used to be mechanical, you could raise the heat because there was an actual physical thing that you moved forward or back.  Now things are on a flat screen, so we need and we have leadership.  Or take Internet and video.  There didn't used to be video on the Internet.  Now that there is -- the Deaf community is insisting on the right to captioning, which is so important, and wasn't even an issue even 10 years ago, when there was less video on the Internet.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Uh‑huh.  Although there are devices that you can use if you are blind or a person who is deaf, at the movies, at a movie theater.  Won't it really be great when that is more advanced?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Yes.  We've done a structured negotiation with Cinemark movie chain where they installed the, what they call, video description equipment or audio description equipment, and new Pixar just came out with a new app that, sort of, builds in description for their movies.  So, every technology company really needs to be an accessible company because all technology has to be accessible or else you're leaving out a big segment of the population.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Uh‑huh.  Right.  Right.  Well, you know, for businesses listening to the show right now, you can't imagine how many people have said to me, well, when is it going to be the law for federal contractors in reference to their websites being accessible?  Because I can't begin to tell you how many companies will say, yeah, we're going to work on that in the future, or we're just starting to work on it.  Almost as if it's like, okay, this is something we're thinking of doing, or you know, we're going to do it at some point in time.  Which means that people who are blind, you used healthcare for an example, may not be able to see their EOB or, you know, see anything personal about their benefits.  Or, for that matter, apply to get benefits from an insurance company.  So, what is the law in reference to all of that?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Well, one thing is that in my book, I do talk about a structured negotiation that we did with Anthem and with Humana on issues of making sure that websites and print documents that we all get from insurance companies are available and accessible in alternative formats.  We've also worked with those companies, with Humana and others, CVS, Caremark, on talking prescription label, which is important.  So, anyone who tells me that they're not working on web accessibility yet because it's not required, I'm like, you're getting bad advice from someone because the Americans with Disabilities Act Section 504, which has to do with federal funding, Section 508, federal procurement, Section 503, federal employment by federal contractors.  All have requirements about accessible and non‑discrimination.  Because when you get right down to it, accessibility is a civil right.  And yes, it's about coding practices and good design choices, but it's about the right to be included.

So, you know, I don't give legal vision on a radio show, I probably should make a disclaimer.  But, there are so many reason, in addition to the law, to make content accessible.

The Web Accessibility Initiative, which issues the standards for good inclusive design, they have a very good series of videos called, something like, Helpful to Everyone Required by Some.  Everything you do with accessibility online is good for everyone.

You can't believe how many people will say, oh, it's so hard for me to, like, I can't find something or the color is gray on white, or all these things with good design, where you incorporate the people into the process, you're going to end up with websites or mobile apps that are beneficial and easier to use by everyone.

And in the book, I tell a lot of stories how we met with big companies, we did a deal with Major League Baseball, Anthem.  When they meet blind customers and see how people, in fact, interact with digital content, lightbulbs go off.  I mean, I've literally seen it.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Well, yeah ‑‑

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  People want to do it and the law already requires it.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Yeah.  But as you just said, there are other reasons.  You know, you have a whole population of purchasing power.  I mean, there are just so many reasons to do this.  You know, a CEO of a company said to me the other day, and this is like number 150, you know, in the fortune list, and he said that you just have to do the right thing.  It's not, you know, when you're at a company, you just have to do the right thing, and the right thing is including everyone.  And that is so true.

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  You know what?  I have that right here on page six.  I have my book on front of me, and I know on page six, I'm look at it, a subheading that says, an opportunity to do the right thing.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  How about that.  Wow!

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Right there because I think that is one of the reasons structured negotiation has been such a successful process, because it has given people the opportunity to do the right thing, and it has presented the law, which requires these things already, in a way that's less threatening and less intimidating.  It allows people to go into problem‑solving mode instead of defensive mode.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Well, you know, there is a lot of things happening, some good, some bad, but there are a lot of things happening.  And, I know that there are companies where their websites are being targeted by people from the blind community.  What's going on there?  Can you talk about that?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Well, we have to be very careful when we talk about targeting websites because people could say that about me.  You know, sometimes people ask me, how do you decide what the next website is that you want to work on?

I'm like, I don't sit here and decide.  Blind baseball fans called me and asked for help with Major League Baseball.  Major League Baseball became a champion of accessible through structured negotiations. 

And same with every case.  Today, we announced a press release issued by Motley Fool, a finance services community because blind financial investors came and said, you know, we really want to use this, it's an amazingly great website.  It needs to be more accessible.  Motley Fool was a wonderful partner, and we just announced the agreement today, actually.

So, we have to really be careful that there are some lawyers who are using the ADA, just like there is lawyers in every field, who use the law for reasons other than what they were intended for, but we have to be very careful not to sweep all lawyers and all activists, who have a right to use the ADA to guarantee inclusion and non‑discrimination.  We have to be very careful not to mix them all together just because ‑‑

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  You know what?  I'm so glad you're saying that.  Yeah.  I'm so glad you're saying that because I have had people, you know, ask me about this and talk to me about this, and I'll say, it's not like there are all these people with disabilities sitting out there, oh, who can we sue or who can we go after.  The same thing with, you know, with attorneys.  I mean, just as you said, I'm sure there are some, there are always some.  In any field, there are some, but I think it's more that a person, whether blind or have a different disability, you know, they go out and they try to use the site and it's not accessible.  I mean, I don't think that ‑‑ and guess what?  That's the right of that person.  That is the right of that person to, you know, do something about this, or you know, go to EEOC, or whatever you're going to do.  But, that is your right.  That would be like being in a wheelchair, you want to go into a building and you can't get in, and you can't do anything about it.  And you're not targeting that website ‑‑ or that building.  You're saying I'm covered by the ADA and this has to be accessible.  So, I agree with you.

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  There are already ‑‑ yeah.  There are already ‑‑ we have to just be very careful that we don't let a few bad apples take away the rights of millions of people.  And in the legal profession, we already have systems where people can get sanctioned if lawyers are acting unethically, or you know, courts have had to do this with some of these lawyers, but the processes are already in place that we don't have to cast the negative blanket on people asserting their rights because, you know, I spoke about digital accessibility rights in Sweden in 2014 at a conference, and people there are like, wow, you know, we're lucky to live in the United States right now, (Laughing), not saying what's going to happen after January 20th, where disability access is a civil right, and there is a way to enforce it.  And that is a good thing and that shows a good thing.

In my book, I write about language and how there is a feeling in this country, not just in disability rights, but in everything that people who enforce your rights are somehow just in it for money or in it to shake down, and that's a very dangerous feeling because it discourages people from enforcing their rights.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Right.  It's bad both ways.  If I don't want to hire the person and I don't feel like I have a right, I don't have the right to say anything.  And it's bad both ways.  Although, I must tell you, I did ‑‑ we did receive a lot of calls after the Anderson Cooper special.

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Uh‑huh.  (Laughing).

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  I mean, a lot of calls.

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  And what were your callers saying?  What were your callers saying?

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  That they were not happy.  That they did not feel that he presented this correctly, that this really disparaged, you know, the people with disabilities right, and that it was not a ‑‑ very surprised because they also agreed they love him.  He's always done a lot for the disability community.  And then, I had some business people say to me, that's terrible.  See what I mean, the people with disabilities, you know, have all of this going on.  So, that's the type of calls we received.

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Well, I wrote about the Anderson Cooper piece, in part, because he interviewed me for an hour for the show and he never put me on.  (Laughing).  And, we were led to believe that they were going to do a very different show, and they filmed a lot of disabled people in the bay area, and like I said, he interviewed me and my colleague, Linda Dardarian, who I do this work with, and for national television to do such a slanted anti‑ADA piece was, I felt, appalling.  So, people can look at my website, LFlegal.com, if they're interested in what I said about.  I have to say, I got probably a thousand more readers than for anything I've ever written.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Well, I mean, I can see that because a lot of disability rights groups were just so aghast, so upset.

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Rightfully so.  Rightfully so.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  It was slanted.  Well, there you go.  What is your website, Lainey?  What was it? 

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  The website is LFlegal.com.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  LFlegal.com, so you can go there and read about that, so if you have other people talking to you about it, you can see what Lainey had to say.  I mean, who could be more appropriate when she was actually interviewed for the show.  Too bad they didn't include you in that, then it would not have been slanted the way it was.

But right now, we've got to go to break.  If you just joined us, we've been talking to Lainey Feingold, disability rights lawyer and author, which we'll soon be talking about the book.  And please, if you know of someone and you wish that they had heard this show, remember, this show is archived at VoiceAmerica and at Benderconsult.com.  You can go and hear all of the shows.  So, with that, we're going to break.  This is Joyce Bender on VoiceAmerica.com.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Hey, welcome back, everyone.  We're talking today to our guest, Lainey Feingold, who is an author and disability rights advocate, and she is a specialist in structured settlement.  So, let's start here for all of our listeners.  Can you explain what is a structured settlement?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Yeah.  The term we use is structured negotiation.  It's a process, it's an alternative.  Just like the title of my book is Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits, and that's what structured negotiation is.  And, the book is written for lawyers and advocates, and you don't need to be a lawyer to read it.  It has lots of stories about disability access and digital rights and blind people.  And, the settlement agreement is what results at the end of the process after a letter is written.  Let's use Major League Baseball because we mentioned that.  We write a letter to Major League Baseball, we explain what the problem is.  Blind people can't listen to games on your website because you haven't set up the audio right, and when the company says, yes, we'll talk to you, which most should and most have, I'm happy to say, we work together.  We build a relationship.  We share information, and at the end of the day, there is a legal settlement agreement just like it would be if a law suit had been filed.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  And so, what again, for our listeners, what is the advantage to a company?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  The advantage to a company, you know, and I wrote this book, I've been doing this work, we started in the early '90s, mid '90s, 1994, 1995, and from then, just like straight on, I was doing the work and doing it in this way because each time a company said, yes, and we saw the results, it was like wow!  Maybe this isn't just luck, maybe this is actually a real process.  But it wasn't until I wrote the book that I really had to almost reverse engineer what exactly do we do to get these companies to say yes.  And it's not just companies.  We've done it with government agencies, as well.

And, I think the advantage ‑‑ well, one advantage is money.  It's a lot less expensive to work in collaboration than to work in conflict.  And, for example, the way law suits work, each side has to have their own experts.  That can be a very expensive proposition.  The experts fight with each other.

Before I got involved in this work, I did a national class action on Shell and Chevron on the accessibility of their gas stations for wheelchair riders, and we did it in a settlement mode, but I still had, sort of, the remnants of a litigation mindset.  We had an expert, and they had an expert.  I wrote about it in this book.  It was just so expensive I thought, there has got to be a better way.  Why not have joint experts?  So, in structured negotiations, usually, not always, but one of the real advantages is at the beginning, we can say, okay, what kind of expertise do we need to solve this? You know, do we need an expert in web accessibility or how to make a mobile app?  And we can agree, and so there is not double the money on experts.

The other advantage, especially in disability rights, is that disabled people can serve as experts in cases where they also have claims.  Where as in litigation, the plaintiff is put into a certain role.  Here, in structured negotiation, I have a lot of examples in the book of meetings that we had with San Francisco Traffic Engineers while we were working on accessible pedestrian signals, or with the movie case, when our blind clients went to the movies with the head of the movie company to say, oh, yeah, we now see why people need audio description.

So, the cost, the conflict, nobody likes conflict.  Even the biggest companies, we've done agreements with Walmart.  Bank of America has been a wonderful partner over many years, and when approached on accessibility issues, in a non‑defensive way, I have really seen even the biggest companies get excited to do the work.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  So then there is a settlement that goes forth, but just as you said, I would assume that would be much less than if it was a law suit?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Well, the actual agreements are very similar.  There is two parts of the agreements.  One is the fix.  And in the field of web accessibility, there is also a lot of good lawyers doing good law suits, so we can, kind of, see how does the settlement agreement stack up in structured negotiation and in law suits.  And regardless of the strategy, the Department of Justice, under the Obama administration has been great, and they've negotiated a lot of settlement agreements from complaints filed.  And, they all pretty much, in the field of web access, have similar provisions because it's not enough to just say, okay, go do web access.  You have to bake it in to the DNA of the company and that really helps the company because it ensures there are no mistakes going forward.

So, having an accessibility coordinator, making sure you have good training, making sure everyone in the operation is trained.  So many of my cases start because a blind person will call a company, and the customer service person, could be very well meaning, but the first thing they'll say is, don't you have someone who can help you with that?

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Wow!

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  And in the book, I talk about the agreement with credit reporting agencies to make sure blind people have access to free credit reports.  And, even though our clients were, you know, adults with jobs and independent lives, they were initially told, oh, can't someone read you your credit report?

And accessibility has a lot to do with privacy and confidentiality.  That's why it's so important, especially, in finance and health and areas like that, which I talk a lot about in my book.  And, the credit reporting companies went on to be great partners in structured negotiation, but they didn't know.  They didn't have the training.  So, the agreements bake all of that in, and we monitor the agreement just as we would, we make sure they're working.  And I'm really ‑‑ I don't want to say I'm proud of my partners, but honestly, the companies who have worked with us in structured negotiation have by and large done a really wonderful job in incorporating accessibility into their systems.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  That is awesome!  So, okay.  You have this book, Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits.  First of all, what made you write that book?  How did that come to be?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  You know, I just wanted to write it.  The more we did it and the more it worked, and I have a chapter in the book about the mindset to be able to negotiate in this way without the safety net of a law suit.  You know, when you file a law suit, there is rules and they tell you what to ask for and what information you need and the judge can make decisions.  But to work in this process, there are certain traits you need, like patience, equanimity, trust, certain things most lawyers are not taught can be an effective strategy.

So, what I say about structured negotiation, is it's a tool.  It's not the only tool.  It's not the best tool.  It is a tool that has been really effective in this arena.  I wrote the book so lawyers in all fields could pick it up, and I've already gotten good feedback from lawyers who have said, oh, I got a call from a patent lawyer, you know, I think we could use this.  Because we talk about very detailed, the building blocks of the process.  How do you write a letter?  How do you communicate with people you're frustrated with in a way that you don't trigger them and the thing breaks down?  So, I don't know.  I just wanted to write it.  I guess, also, my husband has written five books.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Wow!

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  I don't want to say there was competition, but I'm like, oh, I see him write the books.  He sits down and writes it.  I thought it was going to be easy because I've done the work for so long.  In fact, it wasn't easy, and it took me a long time.  And, I'm really glad I did it, and I hope it can be of use to people.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  And, is the main theme, so to speak, of this book, teaching people how to come through with a structured settlement versus a law suit?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Well, I think that's why writing the book was so hard.  Because, you know, my passion is digital accessibility and civil rights of disabled people and the method, so I wanted to be sure that the book had stories to make it an interesting book.  I interviewed a lot of blind people for the book.  There is a lot of stories about the people I've worked with.  So, it's a lot about the method.  People can use it not just in disability rights but in other areas.  And also, about the ways in which the method has been successful.  And, you can't talk about that without talking about, what is web accessibility, you know, and, why does it matter?  And, what's an accessible pedestrian signal?

So, I think that's why it was hard to write.  I didn't want it just to be for lawyers, but I wanted it to be useful for lawyers.  I wanted to give honor to all the people I've worked with and the issues, so I hope your listeners will read it and let me know what they think.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Okay.  Well, that brings me to my next question.  How do they purchase your book?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  The publisher of the book is the American Bar Association.  The best way to get purchasing information is on my website at LFlegal.com/book.  There is a code, you have to get it right now on the ADA website.  There is a 10% discount code on my website. 

For people with print disabilities, it's available through the Book Share Library, and the direct link is there.  I think it's bookstore.org, but if you go to my website you can go directly to my book there.  And the American Bar Association offers in both a print paperback format and accessible e‑pub format.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Oh, that is awesome.  Okay.  Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits.  Sounds awesome.  One more time.  Is it LFlegal.com? Is that what you said?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Correct.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Lflegal.com.  That's LFlegal.com.  Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits.  We're going to go to break before we close the show today with our guest, Lainey Feingold.  This is Joyce Bender, America's voice where "Disability Matters" at VoiceAmerica.com.  We'll be right back, don't go away.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Hey, welcome back, everyone.  Well, we have been with our guest over the past hour, Lainey Feingold, who is a disability rights lawyer and author.  Author of Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits today.  And Lainey, thank you so much for taking time to join us.

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Oh, it's been my pleasure.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  But before we close the show today, a couple of last questions.  First, you know, if you read her bio when you go to her website, I mean, she has so many accomplishments.  You have done so many great things and accomplished so much, and now you're an author with this book.  But, what would you consider your greatest accomplishment?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  That is a hard question.  I would say I feel really good about serving as a bridge between the legal community and the disability community and the accessibility community, and you know, I speak at a lot of tech conferences, and I feel like I've succeeded in getting many people to think about disability access as a civil right, and I think that is because of how I've done the work in structured negotiation.  So, that's not any given case, but it's just about trusting this process as a way to build bridges.  Like I say, we've done deals with Walmart, American Express, and the kind of companies you wouldn't think would be open to taking leadership roles, but they have.  And, I think, doing it in this process has really led to that.  So, I would say, that's a hard question, but I would say that's my answer.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  I just want to mention something about that.  You know, that is so important though, what you said.  Because I was listening the other day to Senator Warren, and she said, the number one thing I would advise everyone to do is stay connected.  And, I always think it's so important to be connected and that we have someone we can go to that is in between all of this but an expert in this area.  I really think that's important.  I do think that's a great accomplishment because you can be our bridge.

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Well, and back to you.  I mean, just by having such a public presence and doing this radio show, that's bridging, too.  Especially, in this day and age, I think.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Yes, in this day in age.

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  So thank you for doing this show.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  I mean, just this book, just getting stuff like that out there is so important.  And, apparently, you still do a lot of work in the accessibility world just because of what you do.

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Yes.  I have to admit, book marketing is a very time consuming process, so I'm trying to ‑‑ I'm trying to say no a little more to make sure I can do what I can do to get the book out.  But, yes, I'm not retired from the work, and I'm so lucky to be doing work that I like doing with people I like doing it with.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  So, Lainey, before we go.  If someone wants you to speak at some conference or get in touch with you or follow you, is the best thing going to the LFlegal.com?  Would that be the best?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Yes.  I have a contact page on the website that has a form as well as an email address and phone number if people can't use the form.  I'm also very active on Twitter, and I tweet about this bridge space, digital accessibility, disability legal rights, as well as my book.  And, I'm at Twitter at LFlegal.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  LFlegal.  @LFlegal.  And, wow, social media has just become such a great venue for getting information out, so LFlegal.com and @LFlegal.  So, Lainey, what message would you like to leave with our listeners today?

   >> LAINEY FEINGOLD:  Wow.  I've been struggling with this.  I've been struggling with this today in light of, you know, the inauguration coming up, and I think the message is that in those spaces where collaboration is possible, where seeing the good is possible, that we need to do it.  And at the very same time, we have to be prepared for resisting the very real threat to all that's been accomplished in disability rights, disability justice, and other civil rights in this country. 

So, we have to hold both spaces and see disability rights as a core part of what's important and not lose sight of it, even though there is going to be so many other ‑‑ so many other things distracting us and rightfully calling our attention in the next period.

   >> JOYCE BENDER:  Well, yeah.  Just as Congressman John Lewis said, it is our moral obligation to speak up when something is wrong.  And it's so amazing that you would be saying all of this, Lainey, and we end every show with a quote, and the quote today is from the author of the ADA, Tony Coelho, and he says, "When you get a chance to take the podium, speak up."  This is Joyce Bender, America's voice.  Join us next week when we talk to Charlie LaVallee, Executive Director of Variety the Children's Charity.  Talk to you then.



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