Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Domino's Pizza Must Make Website Accessible

Domino's Pizza Sign

On October 7, 2019 the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case on whether or not Domino's pizza is required to make its website accessible to people using screen readers.  In deciding not to hear the Domino's Pizza case, the Supreme Court has left in place the ruling of the Ninth Circuit court, which determined that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to online spaces.  This is considered to be a victory for disability rights groups.

Guillermo Robles, who is blind, claimed in U.S. District Court in California that the pizza maker Domino's violated the federal disability requirements because he couldn't order a pizza on his iPhone, since the website didn't work with his screen-reader software.  The lawsuit argued,  "In today's tech-savvy world, blind and visually-impaired people have the ability to access websites and mobile applications using keyboards in conjunction with screen access software that vocalizes the visual information found on a computer screen or displays the content on a refreshable Braille display."  

“Blind people, like everyone else, engage in multiple online interactions and transactions daily. These include much more than ordering pizza: online banking and bill payment, applying for jobs, using internet-based services as part of an existing job, taking online courses or using online components of traditional education at all levels, accessing medical records, and much more,” Chris Danielsen, director of public relations at the National Federation of the Blind, told The Hill.

“Had Domino’s succeeded in getting a ruling that the ADA does not cover the Internet, the ability of blind people to participate in 21st century society would have been in jeopardy. The denial of Domino’s petition means that accessibility law remains where it is now,” Danielsen added.

"The Domino's case is really about whether disabled Americans will be able to fully participate in society, as goods and services are increasingly accessed online. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires that places of public accommodation (including restaurants, hotels, and retail stores) are accessible to disabled customers," Matthew Cortland, a disabled disability rights lawyer based in Massachusetts, told The Hill.

"In this case, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had to decide whether the ADA applies to the websites and apps of a place of public accommodation (i.e. Dominos pizza) and not just its physical locations," he added.

The decision specifically holds that websites connected to a physical business are covered by the ADA, Danielsen added.  

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