Domino’s Supreme Court Decision Spotlights Online Web Accessibility

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When it comes to QSR and mobile innovation, pizza seller Domino’s has earned itself a leading position. Now, thanks to a court case brought against the chain by a blind consumer, we can probably expect more innovation in the coming years to make eCommerce more accessible to people with disabilities.

On Monday (Oct. 7), the U.S. Supreme Court decided it would not hear a case brought against Domino’s by Guillermo Robles, who filed the suit three years ago. The suit accused the food chain of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because the company’s website lacked the software that would enable a blind consumer to order.

The Supreme Court’s order, according to reports, essentially opens the door to other such lawsuits – and could serve to increase the pressure on eCommerce operators to make their online and mobile stores accessible to consumers with disabilities.

Domino’s reportedly said it was disappointed with the decision and that it plans to keep fighting the case in lower courts. “Attorneys for Domino’s, backed by a range of business groups, had argued that the ADA does not apply to online platforms that were not envisioned when the law was passed in 1990,” according to CNBC. “And, they said, no clear rules exist for how to make their platforms properly accessible.”

Rise in Cases

That outlet and others reported that cases involving website accessibility – or the lack thereof – are on the rise.

Some 2,220 such suits were filed last year in federal court, according to accessible software provider UsableNet. That’s a 181 percent increase over 2017. The reasons, according to that company’s research? A lack of federal standards about how to apply ADA protections to the online and mobile worlds, and the lack of action toward accessibility on the part of businesses – which itself is becoming more of an issue as more people, including those with disabilities, come to rely on the web for daily activities and needs.

“They affect companies large and small over a wide range of industries in communities at home and abroad. Insufficient progress toward accessibility by industry and unclear government guidance have only contributed to the problem,” the company said in a summary of its research on this issue. “Although many industries are involved across the cases, six stand out for the additional attention they get. Retail, food service, travel/hospitality, banking/financial, entertainment and leisure, and self-service have the majority of cases, reflecting a general pattern over 2017 and 2018 toward these types of organizations.”

Domino’s Innovations

Domino’s stands out for its retail innovations. Drivers craving pizza while on the road are gaining the ability to order Domino’s right from their car touchscreens, according to reports. Millions of connected cars with compatible touchscreens will have the Domino’s AnyWare ordering platform loaded in the coming months, according to plans. Domino’s partnered with Xevo for the service, which will be available in some GM and Hyundai models. The touchscreen platform can also find nearby stores and call in orders through the vehicle interface.

Domino’s has been pushing into all kinds of new technologies, including ordering from smartwatches, TVs, Alexa and Google Home. It also delivers to non-traditional locations like zoos, beaches and park benches. In addition, the chain recently partnered with addressing company what3words to deliver to places and regions without easily discernible address locations.

More Services for Disabled People

Other digital players are also making inroads in serving people who have disabilities. For instance, Google has announced the launch of Action Blocks, a new tool that allows people with cognitive disabilities to build Google Assistant commands. “Think about the last time you did something seemingly simple on your phone, like booking a rideshare. To do this, you had to unlock your phone, find the right app and type in your pickup location,” Ajit Narayanan, staff software engineer for accessibility, wrote in a blog post. “The process required you to read and write, remember your selections and focus for several minutes at a time. For the 630 million people in the world with some form of cognitive disability, it’s not that easy. So we’ve been experimenting with how the Assistant and Android can work together to reduce the complexity of these tasks for people with cognitive disabilities.”

He went on to explain how a Googler named Lorenzo Caggioni used the Assistant to create a device called DIVA for his brother, who is legally blind, deaf and has Down syndrome. The device enables people with disabilities to interact with the Assistant in a nonverbal way. As Narayanan pointed out, DIVA was the starting point for Action Blocks, which allows a person to add Assistant commands to the home screen of their Android phone or tablet with a custom image that serves as a visual cue. For example, an image of a cab can serve as the icon for a command such as ordering a rideshare.

This recent case involving Domino’s could lead to more such moves by digital players.

Originally found here

Working on a website can be difficult. Adding new media and updating pages is chore, even though you know your company website needs to evolve and become more accessible to the many users you are trying to reach. Maybe when you first built it, accessibility wasn’t even really discussed. But now you’ve taken a step back, looked at your customer base with a desire to include everyone and you’ve realized just how important it is to make your site accessible. However, the thought of building a robust site that can do all the things you want it to do is overwhelming.

What is Web Accessibility

A practice of designing and coding the website in order to provide complete compatibility in accessing it by people with disabilities. In addition, it is a way to improve search engine optimization only an ADA Compliant Web Designer will help you to make your website Compliant. Is your website compatible? By going through the checklist below, you can get the answer.

Assessing Current Web Pages and Content

  • The website must include a feature like a navigation link at the top of the page. These links have a bypass mechanism such as a “skip navigation” link. This feature directs screen readers to bypass the row of navigation links and start at the web page content. It is beneficial for people who use screen readers to avoid to listen to all the links each time they jump to a new page.
  • All the links should be understandable when taken out of the context. For example, images without alternative text and links without worded as “click here”.
  • All the graphics, maps, images, and other non-text content must provide text alternatives through the alt attribute, a hidden/visible long description.
  • All the documents posted on the website should available in HTML or another accessible text-based format. It is also applicable to other formats like Portable Document Format (PDF).
  • The online forms on the website should be structured so assistive technology can identify, describe and operate the controls and inputs. By doing this, people with disabilities can review and submit the forms.
  • If the website has online forms, the drop-down list should describe the information instead of displaying a response option. For instance, “Your Age” instead of “18-25”.
  • If the website has data charts and tables, they should be structured so that all data cells are associated with column and row identifiers.
  • All the video files on the website must have audio descriptions (if necessary). This is for the convenience of blind people or for having a visual impairment disability.
  • All the video files on the website must have synchronized captions. People with hearing problems or deaf can access these files conveniently.
  • All the audio files on the website should have synchronized captions to provide access to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • All web pages should be designed so that they can be viewed using visitors’ web browser and operating system settings for color and font.

About Website Accessibility Policy and Procedures

  • One must have a written policy on website accessibility.
  • The website accessibility policy must be posted on the website at a location where it can be easily found.
  • The procedure should be developed to ensure that content is not added to the website until it has been made accessible.
  • It should be confirmed that the website manager has checked the code and structure of all new web pages before they are posted.
  • While adding the PDFs to the website, these should be accessible. Also, the text-based versions of the documents should be accessible at the same time as PDF versions.
  • Make sure that the in-house and contractor staff has received the information about the website accessibility policy and procedure to confirm the website accessibility.
  • It should be confirmed that in-house and contractor staff has received appropriate training on how to ensure the accessibility of the website.
  • The website should have a specific written plan if it contains inaccessible content. Also, it should include timeframes in place to make all of the existing web content accessible.
  • A complete plan to improve website accessibility should be posted along with invited suggestions for improvement.
  • The homepage should include easily locatable information that includes contact details like telephone number and email address. This is useful for reporting website accessibility problems and requesting accessibility services with information.
  • A website should have procedures in place to assure a quick response to the visitors with disabilities who have difficulty in accessing information or services available on the website.
  • Feedback from people who use a variety of assistive technologies is helpful in ensuring website accessibility. So make sure to ask disability groups representing people to provide feedback on the accessibility of your website.
  • Testing the website using a product available on the internet is helpful, These tools are of free cost and check the accessibility of a website. They may not identify all accessibility issues and flag issues that are not accessibility problems. However, these are, nonetheless, a helpful way to improve website accessibility.

Checklist of Action Items for Improving the Accessibility of a Website

In addition, while considering the above suggestions, the following checklist initially prepared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Federal Agencies provides further guidelines on ways to make websites more accessible for persons with disabilities.

This practical advice, as well as another checklist, are available at:

Satisfying all of these items does not necessarily mean that a website complies with ADA, but it will improve the website’s accessibility and decrease the risk of litigation. Again, an Expert or Web Accessibility Consulting & Services provider should be engaged to conduct a comprehensive review of your website.
Nothing brings you closer to reality than actually facing it. This is the premise of my latest attempt to spread awareness about Web Accessibility.
For better understand, here is a link in which a practical example is shown to make the websites’ user experience better by following the guidelines. Also, it tells the issues affecting various users on the internet with solutions.
You can make your website ADA compliant in an easy way by consulting the professionals, who can do this job effortlessly. Also, you can get a quick website audit from To Be ADA Compliant that offers complete web accessibility consulting & services in California, USA.

Resource: https://dev.to/chinchang/an-interactive-and-practical-introduction-to-web-accessibility-22o1