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USA: Supreme Court denies Domino's Pizza petition to hear case over inaccessibility of website for visually impaired people

Author: Aaron Mark, Slate, Published on: 14 October 2019

"The Supreme Court Denies Domino’s Petition in a Win for Disability Rights," 7 Oct 2019

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 winfor 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.

...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.

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Related companies: Domino's Pizza