The Supreme Court Denies Domino’s Petition in a Win for Disability Rights

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On Monday, the Supreme Court handed down an order announcing it would not take up a petition from the Domino’s pizza chain to appeal a lower-court decision dictating that the company must make its website and app accessible to people with disabilities. The decision is a major win for disability rights advocates, who have been arguing that the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to websites, digital platforms, and other nonphysical spaces.

In 2016, a blind man named Guillermo Robles filed a lawsuit against Domino’s, alleging that he couldn’t see the company’s website or delivery app even with screen reader software and was thus unable to order a pizza. Title III of the ADA states that buildings open to the public, such as restaurants, must be accessible to people with disabilities. Domino’s lawyers argued that the ADA, which was passed in 1990, wasn’t written with online spaces in mind, so it was unclear how the act applied to its platforms. The plaintiff contended that making websites and apps inaccessible to people with disabilities would shut them out of the digital economy, which has become integral to peoples’ lives. A California federal judge originally dismissed the suit, partly because the Justice Department had not yet released guidance on how websites should comply with Title III. In 2018, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Domino’s and other retailers must make its online services accessible. The appeals court sent the suit back down to the lower court, but Domino’s was hoping to challenge that decision in the Supreme Court.

“The blind and visually impaired must have access to websites and apps to fully and equally participate in modern society—something nobody disputes,” Robles’ attorney said in a statement after it was announced that the Supreme Court would not be hearing the case right now. “This outcome furthers that critical objective for them and is a credit to our society.”

The Supreme Court may still take up the case at a later date, but for now, Domino’s will have to face Robles in a lower court. “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 company 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.”

Trade groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Retail Federation, had been urging the Supreme Court to issue a ruling on the case, arguing that applying the ADA to websites would spur a flood of lawsuits, be prohibitively expensive, and might even deter companies from having an online presence. However, the lawsuit’s supporters pointed out that people with disabilities would lose out on a number of opportunities without accessible websites, such as gig economy jobs and essential financial services.

As Richard Supple wrote in Slate, “If companies and other organizations are not required to make their websites and apps accessible, people like me would be unable to access our bank accounts, look up or pay our utility bills, or buy household essentials from Amazon or other retailers.”

Original article 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