In a major victory for the disabled community, the Supreme Court has dismissed Domino’s appeal to throw out a ruling that would force the pizza chain to make its website and app accessible for people with disabilities.
Three years ago, a blind customer, Guillermo Robles, attempted to order a pizza. He was unable to navigate their website or app with a screen reader, as it was not accessible. He filed a civil litigation claiming that the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA clearly states that any public building must have accommodations. Here is the catch. The ADA predates the internet.
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Domino’s is arguing that the hallmark legislative work for people with disabilities does not cover internet sites. They were hoping the Supreme Court would reverse the decision of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that retailers must make their online websites accessible.
The company is speaking out claiming their hands are clean but the legal representatives for the plaintiff are calling them out for not being welcoming to people with disabilities.
“The blind and visually impaired must have access to websites and apps to fully and equally participate in modern society — something nobody disputes,” Joe Manning, Robles’ attorney, said in a statement. “This outcome furthers that critical objective for them and is a credit to our society.”
As they wait for the higher court to render a decision, Domino’s is trying to pull off some crisis management by claiming that they are calling for federal regulators to force companies to have websites that people with disabilities could navigate their site.
“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,” a Domino’s spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”
Some people argue that forcing companies to comply with accessible websites will deter them from having an online presence at all.