CVS, feds reach agreement on vaccine portal accessibility

CVS Pharmacy has reached a settlement with federal prosecutors that will ensure the company’s online vaccination scheduling portal remains fully accessible to people with disabilities

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- CVS Pharmacy has reached a settlement with federal prosecutors that will ensure the company's online vaccination scheduling portal remains fully accessible to people with disabilities, officials said Monday.

The U.S. attorney's office in Rhode Island alleged the company, which operates nearly 10,000 retail pharmacies nationwide, was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act because the portal was not accessible to people who use screen reader software designed for the visually impaired, and to those who have difficulty using a mouse.

Also, on the page where users can schedule an appointment time, screen reader users were told that all available times were checked, even though the user had not made a selection, prosecutors said.

Additionally, people who used the tab key instead of a mouse to navigate websites were not able to navigate past a request for insurance information, prosecutors said.

There was no admission of wrongdoing by CVS in the agreement.

Woonsocket-based CVS Pharmacy, a division of CVS Health, has agreed to make sure that its vaccination scheduling portal complies with industry guidelines for making online information accessible to users with disabilities, and to regularly test the website and quickly fix any problems that arise.