Might vs Right???

Yesterday, I received an email from our friend Scott (sklawlor), asking if I would use my voice, small though it is, to bring something to the attention of the public, or at least those who read my blog.  After researching the issue, I agreed.

At issue is whether online retailers have an obligation, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities, such as blindness.  From an article in The Verge:

Domino’s, the leading US pizza chain that pinned its remarkable turnaround nearly a decade ago on an investment in technology, is currently waging a legal battle so that it does not have to make its website accessible to the blind. The case, which began three years ago as a lawsuit by blind US resident Guillermo Robles, may go all the way to the US Supreme Court, CNBC reports. The eventual result could become a landmark decision over the rights of people with disabilities and the responsibility of companies to retrofit mobile apps and websites for accessibility.

At the core of case is Domino’s insistence that it should not have to make its website, the predominant platform for ordering pizza from its physical stores, accessible to people with visual impairments. Specifically, Domino’s is contesting Robles’ claim that Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers mobile apps or websites, which effectively did not exist in modern form when the ADA was passed in 1990. Robles alleged the ADA does cover the web and software, so long as the business contains physical locations in the US and is soliciting customers over the internet. A federal court agreed.

Domino’s is now arguing against the judgement, and the company petitioned the Supreme Court to weigh in with a 35-page document designed to get the court to accept the case.

The importance of this issue is in the precedent it will set.  If Dominos wins their case, will more companies feel free to limit accessibility to the blind or the deaf on their websites?  Almost certainly so.  Dominos is a multi-million dollar company whose net income has steadily increased over the past several years.Dominos net income

Although there is a Dominos just down the street from us, we don’t care for their pizza, but rather we typically order from a local pizzeria whose website is designed to be accessible to those with both visual and auditory impairments.  If a small company can do it … ???

Per Scott …

“I would encourage you all to write to this company and voice your disdain for their willful practice of blatantly ignoring accessibility options which clearly exclude a large segment of the population from partaking in their services. Sure, you can always call them to place an order, which I have done, but will no longer do just on principle, but that’s not the point of this in the first place.  If they lose enough customers, maybe they’ll reconsider so I would appreciate it if you would share this, and maybe between all of us, or those of us who see the post, we can make it go viral.”

These days we seem to live in an era of nearly unregulated, unfettered capitalism, an era when what matters most seems to be profit, profit, profit, without regard for the environment or people.  The only way, it would seem, to make our voices heard is through our wallets.  If a company cannot spend a small amount to accommodate those of us who have special needs, then why should we give them our hard-earned money?  I hope that if this case is heard by the Supreme Court, they will see it in the same light.

Thanks to Scott Lawlor for bringing this to our attention!

36 thoughts on “Might vs Right???

  1. I think if other pizza companies go the extra distance to give disability access Web assistance to their customers, they will take all of Domino’s business. What a horrible company. I don’t eat pizza any more (gluten problems), but I used to eat Pizza Hut or home made pizza. I always thought Dominoes pizza was soggy and not worth the money anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m surprised, actually, that Dominos has grown as much as it has, for I’ve tried their pizza and it’s about as tasty as cardboard. We like the local pizzeria just fine, their website is relatively easy to use, they deliver on time, and their drivers are always super friendly. What more can you ask?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, quite simply, this does not need a major workaround. Addressing this issue could be as simple as designated units to talk with people or a voice activated menu and ordering system. Doing nothing is a PR faux pas. Fighting the change is a PR disaster. Domino’s has made an effort to improve their market share and they can throw those efforts out the window. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed so … it’s reminiscent of a child spending more time trying to get out of doing something than it would have taken him to just do it. I strongly suspect there is more at issue than meets the eye.

      Like

    • You and I know this, but … I suspect, the more I think about it, there is more at stake here than meets the eye. I think the precedent is the big thing … if the plaintiff wins this one, it may open a big door for other lawsuits against companies whose online presence is not in compliance with ADA rules. Just a thought, but otherwise it makes no sense that Dominos would be spending a fortune in legal fees when it would be much cheaper just to renovate their website.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Two things: Domino’s is spending thousands of times more money on lawyers than on what it would cost to change their website. Why? Do they not think people with accessibility impairments belong in America? Didn’t some bitch in Trump’s administration already say that! Or is there something wrong with money offered by the deaf or blind? There is no reason to turn anyone away.
    Second, for Scott, the less contrast between text and background, the less I can read it, regardless of colors. I am not colour-blind, but I am light sensitive. The duller or softer the colours, the more trouble I have to read it. But I think most people see better than me, so I don’t know it that is the kind of info you are asking for.
    Good luck!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. we have a very small, family owned pizza place here in town. Their teen-aged son designed a website for them to use to hopefully bring in more sales. The FIRST thing this young man did was make the site accessible to blind or hearing impaired people. It “cost” him almost nothing and increased their traffic by a rather high percentage. If this family, struggling to make a buck can do it, i should imagine a nationwide business could easily do the same!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thumbs up to the teen-aged son!!! You’re quite right … if a small, family-owned pizzeria can do it, then why can’t a big company, who has access to far more resources do it? And another point that rg made is that the company is spending far more on lawyers to fight this suit than it would cost them to simply hire somebody to make their web-site accessible to the visually impaired! Big corporate greed, arrogance and ignorance hard at work once again.

      Like

  5. I can’t believe this. at the bottom of the Domino’s website is this text which I haven’t noticed before.
    “If you are using a screen reader and are having problems using this website, please call 800-252-4031 for assistance.”
    I wonder what kind of rage from the public would ensue if I developed a website, but created it in such a way where only the keyboard could be utilized for navigation and to access the site, you had to turn on windows narrator because visually, it was (someone help me out with a good color combination that sighted people can’t see) I was thinking black on black but I really don’t know.
    suppose then the only text that was visually apparent to the sighted user was “If you rely on a video display and mouse and are having problems using this website, please call 800-252-4031 for assistance.”. How many sighted people would then go to twitter and Facebook and rightly call me out on creating a barrier to their right to access the information? Yet, we the disabled are supposed to not complain, after all, technology has advanced greatly over such a short period of time and we have access to more information than ever.

    I’m going to email them but before I do, I’d like to make sure that I have a color combination to reference which would make their site unusable to sighted people so thanks for giving suggestions if you have any.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Being nearly deaf, I am often put off by videos that have no closed-captioning. As for a colour combination … I think anything is hard to read on a grey or very dark background. Say, dark grey on black. Or blue on purple?

      Did you read Suze’s comment? She makes such a good point! I’ll respond to your email in a bit … I’ve been out most of the afternoon and just now trying to catch up.

      Hugs!

      Like

      • yes, I read her comment and I’m sure some teenager would love to have even a temporary summer job and could fix it pretty easily. My wife works in technology as a consultant and we’re both well aware that doing this sort of thing after the fact could break something which is just another reason for people to build it in initially when it isn’t such a big issue.

        Those lawyers don’t want domino’s to fix it because it’s more money in their pockets as well for consulting, discovery, and whatever other useless things these lawyers do while charging people hefty fees for what they call services.

        Liked by 1 person

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