OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Department of Justice (DOJ) says Service Oklahoma has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with its Oklahoma Mobile ID app, after finding the app to be inaccessible to those with vision disabilities.
The DOJ found Service Oklahoma violated Title II of the ADA through its investigation of a complaint filed by an Oklahoma resident who is blind and could not access the Mobile ID app, according to a letter issued to Service Oklahoma.
The Mobile ID app allows users to store their identification on a smartphone and use it in many instances where a person would normally use a physical driver’s license or other state-issued ID. It can also be used to start an application for a REAL ID, which will be required by 2025 for things like boarding domestic flights, visiting military bases or entering specific federal buildings.
“Public entities, like Service Oklahoma, are increasingly using mobile apps to offer a wide range of critical government services, yet people with disabilities often face significant barriers accessing them,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “In Oklahoma, the OK Mobile ID App provides users with important benefits such as additional convenience, security and privacy. We will fully enforce the law to ensure that when public services are made available through technology such as mobile apps, those services are equally accessible to people with disabilities.”
To use the OK Mobile ID App, people must scan or take photos of their identification cards and take pictures of themselves by connecting the dots that appear on the screen using only head and eye movements – two tasks that are difficult or impossible for individuals who are blind or visually impaired without receiving any verbal feedback.
The DOJ says this feature violates the ADA by denying people with vision disabilities equal access to the Mobile ID app and by failing to ensure that communications with them are as effective as communications with others.
KFOR has reached out to Service Oklahoma for a statement. They sent the following:
Service Oklahoma received the findings report today and is committed to doing everything in our power to meet the accessibility needs of our fellow Oklahomans. We are not the official contracted entity for the OK Mobile ID App, it was inherited though the transition of services on November 1, 2022. Service Oklahoma discontinued any promotion, integration or development efforts on the OK Mobile ID App and have been working with the vendor to address some of the issues outlined in the report. As the necessary corrections are extensive, we are also exploring the option of decommissioning the app altogether due to lack of use cases with the current product.