Is Your Website Accessible to Customers With Disabilities and Why You Should Care!
Think of how many tasks you can accomplish using company websites and apps. For any Ravens fan – you can purchase that new Lamar Jackson jersey you’ve been meaning to order, buy tickets to the big game, and even order pizza delivery for when you watch the game at home. Imagine – you have a vision/mobility impairment and when you go to order a pizza on the restaurant’s online delivery platform, you cannot navigate through the page with your assistive technology. Your Ravens game watch party just took a big hit.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court considered a petition for certiorari in a case similar to the above scenario. On October 7, 2019, the Supreme Court rejected the petition for certiorari filed by Domino’s Pizza seeking review of a 9th Circuit decision which held that Guillermo Robles, a blind man who sued the pizza chain claiming that its website and mobile app were inaccessible to him because they did not work with screen-reading software, could maintain his lawsuit against the company. What are the implications for business owners with websites and apps?
- Robles brought his case under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires that places of public accommodation remove barriers to access for individuals with disabilities. Seek legal advice to determine if your business is a place of public accommodation.
- The Ninth Circuit sided with Robles and found that the “alleged 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” and the ADA Title III “applies to the services of a place of public accommodation, not services in a place of public accommodation.” If your business is a place of public accommodation, take steps now to ensure your website and apps are accessible.
Adam E. Konstas is an Attorney in PK Law’s Employment and Education Group. He represents private sector employers, local school boards, superintendents, private schools and colleges before federal and state courts, and federal and state civil rights agencies on a variety of matters, including employment discrimination litigation, teacher and student discipline, collective bargaining, and sexual harassment. Mr. Konstas can be reached at 410-339-5786 or firstname.lastname@example.org.