Domino’s Pizza faced an accessibility lawsuit after Guillermo Robles, a blind man, was unable to use either the Domino’s website or app to order food. Robles sued Domino’s on the grounds that both their website and app were unable to be used by blind customers.
The court ruled in favor of Robles, but Domino’s opted to petition the Supreme Court in the hopes that the decision would be overturned and handled on a national level. The Supreme Court declined to hear Domino’s case meaning the original lower court ruling still stands.
The Domino’s accessibility lawsuit is doing much to bring digital accessibility to the forefront of discussion regarding disabled rights. Though the Supreme Court opted not to hear Domino’s case, this is just as damning to the company as the Supreme Court accepting the case and ruling still in Robles’s favor.
Many companies are now scrambling to try and fix their own accessibility issues in the hopes of avoiding a public scandal like the Domino’s accessibility lawsuit. Luckily, despite Domino’s flimsy excuses on why they shouldn’t have to be disability accessible, there are many ways to increase accessibility.
What Domino’s Did Wrong
The Domino’s accessibility lawsuit is the result of several easily avoidable mistakes.
Did Not Act Immediately
Robles began his case against Domino’s three years before the court ruled in his favor. During this time period, Domino’s should have immediately started working to rectify their accessibility issues. Instead, Domino’s trusted that their lawyers would be able to make a case that they were under no obligation to make their websites disability accessible.
Even if the court during the Domino’s accessibility lawsuit had ruled in Domino’s favor, the company would still have had to deal with the public backlash from customers and disability advocates. Arguing that a blind man shouldn’t have the right to access their service regardless of the laws currently in place would always result in negative PR even if they won the court case.
By waiting until they were legally obligated to act, Domino’s labeled itself as another callous corporation unconcerned with the people it claims to serve.
Used Loopholes to Defend Themselves
While defending themselves during the accessibility lawsuit, Domino’s claimed that they had no legal obligation to make their website and app accessible to users with disabilities. The accessibility precedents they cited were from the pre-internet era and did not have guidelines in place to facilitate digital accessibility.
The Americans Disabilities Act does stipulate that websites qualify as public spaces, meaning that they do need to be accessible, but during the Domino’s accessibility lawsuit, the company claimed that because guidelines on how to do this were not present, they did not have to comply.
Ignored Accessibility Until Now
Accessibility has been an ongoing conversation in American society. While the internet and digital technology are newer advancements, the fight to increase accessibility predates both of these phenomena. Meaning, regardless of government stipulations, it is the responsibility of companies to continue pursuing accessibility and how to apply accessibility to new technology.
If Domino’s were to open a new brick and mortar establishment, they would be sure to comply with regulations such as making entrances wheelchair accessible and providing menu alternatives to those with vision impairments. Why was the creation of Domino’s website not treated with the same level of care?
Didn’t Hire An Expert
The Domino’s accessibility lawsuit as a whole could have been avoided if they though to invest more in user accessibility. Instead of hiring lawyers to devise flimsy excuses as to why they are not required to be accessible, Domino’s should have consulted an expert to both analyze their current online accessibility and dispense actionable advice on how to further improve their accessibility.
Avoiding a situation like the Domino’s accessibility lawsuit can be a simple process when you have the help of an expert. Interested in making sure your website is fully accessible? Speak to one of our web accessibility experts today.