Progress for Digital Accessibility in Domino's Pizza Case Denial
PD: Zoe sitting at a desk looking at a laptop. Her paw is on the keyboard, and she is wearing glasses so it looks like she is hard at work!
On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States denied an effort by Domino's Pizza to hear its case and potentially overturn a lower court opinion that required them to make its online pizza delivery accessible. The case was brought by a blind man named Guillermo Robles, who sued Domino's for not providing digital accessibility on their website or mobile app, preventing Robles from being able to order pizza. Robles pointed out that this was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in places of public accommodation (businesses that are generally open to the public). However, here's the catch-- the ADA was passed in 1990, before the rise of the Internet or digital platforms and services, and does not explicitly call out web or mobile accessibility. The lower court sided with Robles, stating that the "inaccessibility of Domino’s website and app impedes access to the goods and services of its physical pizza franchises—which are places of public accommodation.” On Monday, the Supreme Court denied the petition to hear the case, which is a HUGE win for the blind community! This means that the Court will not hear the case and there is no opinion or any way of knowing if any of the Justices disagreed. The lower court’s strong opinion on web accessibility is good law!
One of my favorite quotes from the Appeals Court Opinion was,
“Domino’s has received fair notice that its website and app must provide effective communication and facilitate “full and equal enjoyment” of Domino’s goods and services to its customers who are disabled. Our Constitution does not require that Congress or DOJ spell out exactly how Domino’s should fulfill this obligation.”
The case will now go back to the lower court in California if the parties don’t settle. However, the Supreme Court denial should increase the pressure on other eCommerce operators to make their online and mobile stores accessible to consumers with disabilities.
To the blind community, this case was not about getting pizza delivered. Imagine all the things you have bought online in the past year—shopping online—ordering meals, groceries, medicines, clothes, gifts, and more—is an essential part of our society that everyone should have access too. Huge sigh of relief for this news! #ZoesPack #SeeingZoe #A11y #accessibility #webaccessibility