[NFB-NM] Domino's Pizza app must be accessible to blind people - BBC News
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Sat Mar 2 15:44:20 UTC 2019
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Domino's Pizza app must be accessible to blind people
16 January 2019
Image copyright GETTY IMAGES
Domino's is accused of failing to make its app fully compatible with Apple's
Domino's Pizza has been told its website and app must be made fully
accessible to blind people, after losing a legal case in the US.
It follows a complaint from a blind customer who said he first struggled to
change toppings and then was unable to complete a pizza's purchase using the
company's iPhone app.
The plaintiff's case was initially dismissed in 2017 but was successful on
It may now set a precedent for others.
Guillermo Robles began his legal action against the restaurant chain in
He highlighted that Apple's smartphones featured built-in screen-reading
software to help their visually impaired owners use the internet.
However, the software relies on images and other visual elements within a
website or app being tagged with text.
In Domino's case, Mr Robles said both the company's app and website lacked
the labelling required for him to use its Pizza Builder facility or to
complete an order.
In addition, he said, he was unable to make use of discount vouchers.
This, he argued, put the company in breach of the Americans With
Disabilities Act of 1990, which says it is unlawful for businesses to deny
individuals with disabilities access to their goods and services unless the
effort involved places them under an "undue burden".
In 2017, a Pasadena federal court judge dismissed Mr Robles's claim on the
grounds that the government had yet to issue regulations about what apps and
websites had to do to be compliant with the law.
But a three-judge appeals panel reversed that decision on Monday, saying
that the lack of specific rules did not mean that the food chain escaped its
responsibility to provide "full and equal enjoyment" of its services to
In doing so, the judges sent the case back to the district court, which must
now issue a fresh ruling based solely on whether the app adequately
communicates its functions to blind users.
Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Mr Robles had complained that it was difficult to customise the toppings on
One disability rights campaigner celebrated the decision on her blog, where
she urged other companies to spend money on making their online services
accessible instead of on legal fees.
"I hope this strong opinion... will put an end to many of the fights over
legal issues in the accessibility space," wrote Lainey Feingold.
In the UK, the Royal National Institute of Blind People also welcomed the
"All organisations have a responsibility under the Equality Act 2010 to
ensure that their websites and apps can be used by blind and partially
sighted people, including those who use screen readers," a spokeswoman told
"It's a perennial problem here in the UK and one we continue to address by
working with companies to provide consultancy around web accessibility, as
well as challenging them where necessary."
A spokeswoman for Domino's was unable to comment.
The Courthouse News press agency has reported that there is another similar
case pending in the US in which a blind man has claimed his screen-reading
software was unable to properly interpret a supermarket chain's website.
Tonia Trapp, secretary
National Federation of the Blind of New Mexico
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