This week, the Supreme Court decided not to hear the Domino's Pizza case, which means that the Ninth Circuit court ruling stands: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to online spaces. The Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling mirrors a Department of Justice opinion expressed in a letter to Congress last year, that "this interpretation is consistent with the ADA's title III requirement that the goods, services, privileges, or activities provided by places of public accommodation be equally accessible to people with disabilities."
As the chief consulting solutions officer for the American Foundation for the Blind, I was relieved that common sense and long-standing precedent carried the day. We know that full participation in American life requires using the Internet—and job applications in particular have become increasingly digital in nature. Research shows that many online employment websites are inaccessible to users with blindness or low vision, preventing these individuals from even applying for jobs online. We are heartened that the U.S. Supreme Court recognized the importance of the civil rights protections of the ADA and put to rest the idea that accessibility is optional.
We were disappointed to read that Domino's plans to pursue its case at the trial court, continuing to challenge the rights of individuals with disabilities who wish to buy their pizza. Domino's stated, "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."
But the standards for making websites fully accessible are already known, well-documented, and can be readily achieved with proper training and usability testing to ensure that websites and apps are accessible to all customers. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are the gold standard businesses should follow.
If you or your organization need help in making sure that your digital services and products are fully accessible, AFB Consulting is here to help through user testing, accessibility conformance audits, training, VPATs, and more. Please partner with us today to help create a world of no limits for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.