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Domino’s Insists Website Is User-Friendly But Supreme Court Isn’t Hearing It Out
By Mikelle Leow, 08 Oct 2019
Image via chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com
Domino’s Pizza is turning red as a tomato as the US Supreme Court has refused to hear its appeal about whether the chain’s website and app are friendly for disabled customers.
Since the Supreme Court isn’t taking the case, the decision formerly made by a lower court now applies. The ruling supported a decision by a customer, Guillermo Robles, to take legal action against the restaurant under the Americans with Disabilities Art (ADA) for not designing a website fully navigable through screen-reading software.
This means that Domino’s Pizza, as well as other businesses, will be forced to make their web services accessible.
The decision is a win for people with visual disabilities, who could ultimately be able to surf the web with the same convenience as sighted users.
On the flip side, it’s a blow for companies that are worried about getting sued by nitpickers who claim they do not have enough accessible features on their sites and apps.
Domino’s argues in a statement that its web services are indeed “accessible,” and covers the ability to order through voice-activated devices as well as via its proprietary voice-assisted digital service, Dom, on its website and apps, in addition to keeping a 24/7 hotline that customers using screen readers can reach.
“Although Domino’s is disappointed that the Supreme Court will not review this case, we look forward to presenting our case at the trial court,” it adds. “We also remain steadfast in our belief in the need for federal standards for everyone to follow in making their websites and mobile apps accessible.”
The chain justified with the Supreme Court that the ADA, which was formed in 1990, didn’t cover websites and apps since the law was implemented before the modern internet. Additionally, businesses had not been given regulations on making their web services accessible.
The Supreme Court is on Robles’ side, explaining that the ADA was created to help people access “the services of a public accommodation,” which, in this instance, was in reference to Domino’s website and app.
The customer’s lawyer, Joe Manning, tells CNBC that people with visual impairments should “have access to websites and apps to fully and equally participate in modern society.” The ruling “is a credit to our society,” he adds.
Telling Mashable, Christina Brandt-Young, managing attorney at Disability Rights Advocates, says the ADA has always persisted for “effective communication between businesses and their customers.” Since Domino’s website aims to “communicate with their customers,” Brandt-Young agrees the law applies to the chain’s online services too.
Domino’s Pizza, concludes on its website that “creating a nation-wide standard will eliminate the tsunami of website accessibility litigation that has been filed by plaintiffs’ lawyers exploiting the absence of a standard for their own benefit, and chart a common path for both businesses and non-profit institutions to follow in meeting the accessibility needs of the disabled community.”
The company confirms that it will proceed to pursue the matter at a trial court.
[via Mashable, cover image via chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com]
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