The U.S. Supreme Court decided on Monday to reject an appeal over whether Domino’s Pizza should make its websites and apps compliant with federal disabilities law.
In 2016, Guillermo Robles, who is blind, said that the screen-reading software he used to access the internet did not work on Domino’s website or app. Following the Supreme Court’s order, Domino’s will have to face Robles’ claims in court.
A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Robles, writing 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.”
Robles’ attorneys argued that the Americans with Disabilities Act requires businesses with physical stores to make their online components accessible for those with disabilities.
Domino’s basically said that Robles and others should just call the store to order, which actually isn’t a good reason for excluding people from a website. Personally I despise ordering food over the phone because I’m terrified my high-pitched phone voice will be misheard. There’s zero good reason to exclude customers from the fastest path to pizza.
Robles argued: “Domino’s offers these online options because many customers find them more convenient and they ensure that orders are more accurate. And Domino’s provides some discounts exclusively online.”
The company said in its appeal that the ADA “does not demand full accessibility for each and every means of accessing the goods or services a public accommodation provides to the public,” focusing instead on “combined means of access to those goods or services.” So, like, what, the standard is that people with visually impairments aren’t literally turned away as customers?
A spokesperson for the restaurant chain said in a statement: “Although Domino’s is disappointed that the Supreme Court will not review this case, we look forward to presenting our case at the trial court.”
It seems to me that someone with a disability could really benefit from being able to quickly and easily get food delivered to their house. Domino’s even has a special delivery tracker that is supposed to tell you exactly what’s happening with your meal. Again, that could be super beneficial to someone with a visual impairment who isn’t sure when there will be someone at the door with pizza. These are just more people who to buy your pizza, Domino’s! Please calm down!
Robles’ attorney, Joe Manning, said in a statement: “The blind and visually impaired must have access to websites and apps to fully and equally participate in modern society—something nobody disputes. This outcome furthers that critical objective for them and is a credit to our society.”