There are a number of lawyers who are trying to do their part to assist and protect disabled communities around the world. However, Lainey Feingold is one name that stands out.
For the past 25 years, Lainey has been dedicating her time to technology and information access issues for blind people. She was one of the first professionals in the United States to work on legal agreements related to talking ATMs and web access.
Her aim has always been to bring together disabled people, businesses, and the government to make tech more readily available to everyone.
Lainey is also the author of Structured Negotiation: A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits. The book includes stories from years of successful accessible technology collaborations with large public and private organizations in the U.S.
In 2021, the Second Edition of the book was published, which includes new forewords by Haben Girma, disability justice and human rights lawyer and author, and by Susana Sucunza, Basque Country Spain collaborative lawyer and president of the Basque Country Collaborative Law Association.
The book isn’t just for lawyers either. It also covers effective methods for resolving disputes without having to resort to lawsuits, lessening conflicts and expenses.
About Her Career
After Lainey graduated law school in 1981, she worked for the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), a private union-side labor firm, and a private civil rights firm.
It was in 1992 that she started her career as a disability rights lawyer. For 4 years, Lainey was the Litigation Director at the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF) in Berkeley, California.
And in 1996, she opened the Law Office of Lainey Feingold.
While the majority of her career has been dedicated to helping the blind, Lainey has worked on numerous other cases linked to the general disabled community. Two of her most notable national class actions were against Shell and Chevron.
Lainey is also a founding member of the Disability Rights Bar Association (DRBA), a national organization of disability rights lawyers.
Making the Digital World More Accessible
Lainey has achieved so much over the last 25 years, making a significant difference to how disabled people navigate daily life.
Along with negotiating the first web accessibility agreement in the United States in 2000, Lainey developed Structured Negotiation, which really put her in the spotlight. This dispute resolution and collaboration strategy focuses on creating lasting change, building stronger relationships, and advancing accessibility over the long term.
When Lainey is not working on disability cases, she is speaking and training people at international conferences and events. She is even a disability consultant at Disability:IN.
To commemorate her achievements, Lainey was selected as an American Bar Association Legal Rebel – a group of “innovators who are remaking the legal profession.”
She was also recognized with a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) award in both 2000 and 2014.
The work that Lainey has done to date will be remembered for centuries to come.