Calorie Counter

You are currently viewing the message boards in:

Domino’s takes its case for non-accessible design to the Supreme Court

24

Replies

  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 8,948Member Member Posts: 8,948Member Member
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    There are existing Technologies available for people to order pizza in addition to using a touch screen or phone app. I really don't see why it would be necessary to have everything available to everyone. Hell, there are still places I can't get a cell signal around here.
    To me it sounds like a business decision based on cost, and if it's not cost-effective you shouldn't do it. Bottom line.

    This is the whole reason why the ADA exists. If disability accessibility was left up to "business decisions", society would still be completely inaccessible to disabled people. The ADA is what allows many disabled people to live independent lives.

    I have a friend who is blind and a disability rights lawyer, so this has been an issue she has been talking about a lot. If you exempt the internet from the ADA, you are essentially taking a huge step backwards for a society that is accessible, especially as more and more of our daily lives become dependent on the internet.

    The law still calls for "reasonable accommodation", so in these situations, there is always a determination that needs to be made if the accommodation is reasonable. It's why some buildings don't have to be wheelchair complaint, for example. But it would be hard for me to imagine that a company as large as Domino's can really make a good faith argument that making so it so blind people can order a pizza off their website is an unreasonable accommodation.

    That isn't the argument though Mike.
    Parties on both sides of this and several previous lawsuits have pointed out that the law itself is unclear. The ADA doesn't have any specific provisions dealing with Web or mobile storefronts because it became law in the long-ago era of 1990, before such services existed.
    The Justice Department has changed its position on the question several times in the intervening decades, but it never actually issued a final rule or a unified guidance either way, leaving the matter to be handled in court.

    Accessibility technology firm UsableNet said in a recent report that more than 2,200 lawsuits related to Web accessibility issues were filed nationwide in 2018, with a combined 49 percent of those suits filed against retail and food service businesses.

    These suits are a "no-win scenario" for companies on the receiving end, Domino's said. "And it is also a no-win scenario for individuals with disabilities, because defendants faced with these suits overwhelmingly enter into piecemeal monetary settlements with individual plaintiffs or eliminate their online offerings instead of trying to keep up with moving-target compliance standards" that evolve as technology changes.

    It's a money sink for the companies being sued due to the fact that it's quite easy for the plaintiff to move the goal posts. There is currently no hard and fast standard for what constitutes "Reasonable accommodation" on the web.

    Say Dominos loses this suit. They retool their site and app per court order. To most folks who have no challenging disability, a fix for the blind is a fix for the blind. But what if blind person B finds that they have trouble navigating what's acceptable now to blind person A? Another lawsuit?

    The courts need to spell out line item by line item what is acceptable accommodation for the masses. If they don't, things will continue as they are, courts disagreeing on what's legal or right and where to draw the line.

    How is making text available to screen readers and not using gray text on a gray background going to make it harder for other blind people?
    edited August 6
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,839Member Member Posts: 1,839Member Member
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    There are existing Technologies available for people to order pizza in addition to using a touch screen or phone app. I really don't see why it would be necessary to have everything available to everyone. Hell, there are still places I can't get a cell signal around here.
    To me it sounds like a business decision based on cost, and if it's not cost-effective you shouldn't do it. Bottom line.

    This is the whole reason why the ADA exists. If disability accessibility was left up to "business decisions", society would still be completely inaccessible to disabled people. The ADA is what allows many disabled people to live independent lives.

    I have a friend who is blind and a disability rights lawyer, so this has been an issue she has been talking about a lot. If you exempt the internet from the ADA, you are essentially taking a huge step backwards for a society that is accessible, especially as more and more of our daily lives become dependent on the internet.

    The law still calls for "reasonable accommodation", so in these situations, there is always a determination that needs to be made if the accommodation is reasonable. It's why some buildings don't have to be wheelchair complaint, for example. But it would be hard for me to imagine that a company as large as Domino's can really make a good faith argument that making so it so blind people can order a pizza off their website is an unreasonable accommodation.

    That isn't the argument though Mike.
    Parties on both sides of this and several previous lawsuits have pointed out that the law itself is unclear. The ADA doesn't have any specific provisions dealing with Web or mobile storefronts because it became law in the long-ago era of 1990, before such services existed.
    The Justice Department has changed its position on the question several times in the intervening decades, but it never actually issued a final rule or a unified guidance either way, leaving the matter to be handled in court.

    Accessibility technology firm UsableNet said in a recent report that more than 2,200 lawsuits related to Web accessibility issues were filed nationwide in 2018, with a combined 49 percent of those suits filed against retail and food service businesses.

    These suits are a "no-win scenario" for companies on the receiving end, Domino's said. "And it is also a no-win scenario for individuals with disabilities, because defendants faced with these suits overwhelmingly enter into piecemeal monetary settlements with individual plaintiffs or eliminate their online offerings instead of trying to keep up with moving-target compliance standards" that evolve as technology changes.

    It's a money sink for the companies being sued due to the fact that it's quite easy for the plaintiff to move the goal posts. There is currently no hard and fast standard for what constitutes "Reasonable accommodation" on the web.

    Say Dominos loses this suit. They retool their site and app per court order. To most folks who have no challenging disability, a fix for the blind is a fix for the blind. But what if blind person B finds that they have trouble navigating what's acceptable now to blind person A? Another lawsuit?

    The courts need to spell out line item by line item what is acceptable accommodation for the masses. If they don't, things will continue as they are, courts disagreeing on what's legal or right and where to draw the line.

    How is making text available to screen readers and not using gray text on a gray background going to make it harder for other blind people?

    Will the availability of text for screen readers be the only modification required? I haven't dug into this and don't know....
  • heybalesheybales Posts: 16,876Member Member Posts: 16,876Member Member
    Aside from any of the website/app accessibility - it's not like *DOMINO'S* isn't accessible. They still accept phone orders, so it's not like anyone is denying pizza to the blind.

    Right after I thought that, though, I remembered the Slice of the Pie Rewards program that incentivizes web orders. But my husband reminds me that that was the whole point of a rewards program - to incentivize web orders. It frees up whichever employee from constantly taking orders over the phone so that they can save money on labor and eliminate a job!

    He asks "what's next? Lawsuits against the Fine Arts Museum because it's not accessible to the blind? Against the Symphony because it's not suited to the hearing impaired?"

    Against a National Park say Yosemite because all the loop trails aren't wheelchair accessible to view some of the incredible sites?
    edited August 6
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,839Member Member Posts: 1,839Member Member
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    There are existing Technologies available for people to order pizza in addition to using a touch screen or phone app. I really don't see why it would be necessary to have everything available to everyone. Hell, there are still places I can't get a cell signal around here.
    To me it sounds like a business decision based on cost, and if it's not cost-effective you shouldn't do it. Bottom line.

    This is the whole reason why the ADA exists. If disability accessibility was left up to "business decisions", society would still be completely inaccessible to disabled people. The ADA is what allows many disabled people to live independent lives.

    I have a friend who is blind and a disability rights lawyer, so this has been an issue she has been talking about a lot. If you exempt the internet from the ADA, you are essentially taking a huge step backwards for a society that is accessible, especially as more and more of our daily lives become dependent on the internet.

    The law still calls for "reasonable accommodation", so in these situations, there is always a determination that needs to be made if the accommodation is reasonable. It's why some buildings don't have to be wheelchair complaint, for example. But it would be hard for me to imagine that a company as large as Domino's can really make a good faith argument that making so it so blind people can order a pizza off their website is an unreasonable accommodation.

    That isn't the argument though Mike.
    Parties on both sides of this and several previous lawsuits have pointed out that the law itself is unclear. The ADA doesn't have any specific provisions dealing with Web or mobile storefronts because it became law in the long-ago era of 1990, before such services existed.
    The Justice Department has changed its position on the question several times in the intervening decades, but it never actually issued a final rule or a unified guidance either way, leaving the matter to be handled in court.

    Accessibility technology firm UsableNet said in a recent report that more than 2,200 lawsuits related to Web accessibility issues were filed nationwide in 2018, with a combined 49 percent of those suits filed against retail and food service businesses.

    These suits are a "no-win scenario" for companies on the receiving end, Domino's said. "And it is also a no-win scenario for individuals with disabilities, because defendants faced with these suits overwhelmingly enter into piecemeal monetary settlements with individual plaintiffs or eliminate their online offerings instead of trying to keep up with moving-target compliance standards" that evolve as technology changes.

    It's a money sink for the companies being sued due to the fact that it's quite easy for the plaintiff to move the goal posts. There is currently no hard and fast standard for what constitutes "Reasonable accommodation" on the web.

    Say Dominos loses this suit. They retool their site and app per court order. To most folks who have no challenging disability, a fix for the blind is a fix for the blind. But what if blind person B finds that they have trouble navigating what's acceptable now to blind person A? Another lawsuit?

    The courts need to spell out line item by line item what is acceptable accommodation for the masses. If they don't, things will continue as they are, courts disagreeing on what's legal or right and where to draw the line.

    How is making text available to screen readers and not using gray text on a gray background going to make it harder for other blind people?

    Will the availability of text for screen readers be the only modification required? I haven't dug into this and don't know....

    I did a little more reading up on this, specifically "How does a visually impaired person use a website?" and landed on this one, out of quite a few...I do not know if this is what the plaintiffs in all those cases are hoping for. I'm just trying to learn a bit more about the issue.

    https://mashable.com/2011/04/20/design-for-visually-impaired/

    1. Make Allowances For Enlarged Text
    2. Contrast is Key
    3. Be Mindful of Colors for Action Items
    4. Let Desktop Users Browse Your Mobile Site
    5. Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Aid Navigation

    Maybe @NorthCascades ...could you weigh in on how difficult this might be to implement, assuming this is in line with what compliance would look like? Thanks
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,839Member Member Posts: 1,839Member Member
    Aside from any of the website/app accessibility - it's not like *DOMINO'S* isn't accessible. They still accept phone orders, so it's not like anyone is denying pizza to the blind.

    Right after I thought that, though, I remembered the Slice of the Pie Rewards program that incentivizes web orders. But my husband reminds me that that was the whole point of a rewards program - to incentivize web orders. It frees up whichever employee from constantly taking orders over the phone so that they can save money on labor and eliminate a job!

    He asks "what's next? Lawsuits against the Fine Arts Museum because it's not accessible to the blind? Against the Symphony because it's not suited to the hearing impaired?"

    I understand where you're coming from, but I'm personally viewing this from a "Not all lawsuits are frivolous" angle. For better or worse, we're rapidly becoming an internet based economy, if not culture. Kind of a "How would I feel as an independent adult who can't do something as simple as ordering a pizza through an app?"

    It isn't a huge issue to me to be honest, but then again I am very gratefully not blind either...
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 8,948Member Member Posts: 8,948Member Member
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    There are existing Technologies available for people to order pizza in addition to using a touch screen or phone app. I really don't see why it would be necessary to have everything available to everyone. Hell, there are still places I can't get a cell signal around here.
    To me it sounds like a business decision based on cost, and if it's not cost-effective you shouldn't do it. Bottom line.

    This is the whole reason why the ADA exists. If disability accessibility was left up to "business decisions", society would still be completely inaccessible to disabled people. The ADA is what allows many disabled people to live independent lives.

    I have a friend who is blind and a disability rights lawyer, so this has been an issue she has been talking about a lot. If you exempt the internet from the ADA, you are essentially taking a huge step backwards for a society that is accessible, especially as more and more of our daily lives become dependent on the internet.

    The law still calls for "reasonable accommodation", so in these situations, there is always a determination that needs to be made if the accommodation is reasonable. It's why some buildings don't have to be wheelchair complaint, for example. But it would be hard for me to imagine that a company as large as Domino's can really make a good faith argument that making so it so blind people can order a pizza off their website is an unreasonable accommodation.

    That isn't the argument though Mike.
    Parties on both sides of this and several previous lawsuits have pointed out that the law itself is unclear. The ADA doesn't have any specific provisions dealing with Web or mobile storefronts because it became law in the long-ago era of 1990, before such services existed.
    The Justice Department has changed its position on the question several times in the intervening decades, but it never actually issued a final rule or a unified guidance either way, leaving the matter to be handled in court.

    Accessibility technology firm UsableNet said in a recent report that more than 2,200 lawsuits related to Web accessibility issues were filed nationwide in 2018, with a combined 49 percent of those suits filed against retail and food service businesses.

    These suits are a "no-win scenario" for companies on the receiving end, Domino's said. "And it is also a no-win scenario for individuals with disabilities, because defendants faced with these suits overwhelmingly enter into piecemeal monetary settlements with individual plaintiffs or eliminate their online offerings instead of trying to keep up with moving-target compliance standards" that evolve as technology changes.

    It's a money sink for the companies being sued due to the fact that it's quite easy for the plaintiff to move the goal posts. There is currently no hard and fast standard for what constitutes "Reasonable accommodation" on the web.

    Say Dominos loses this suit. They retool their site and app per court order. To most folks who have no challenging disability, a fix for the blind is a fix for the blind. But what if blind person B finds that they have trouble navigating what's acceptable now to blind person A? Another lawsuit?

    The courts need to spell out line item by line item what is acceptable accommodation for the masses. If they don't, things will continue as they are, courts disagreeing on what's legal or right and where to draw the line.

    How is making text available to screen readers and not using gray text on a gray background going to make it harder for other blind people?

    Will the availability of text for screen readers be the only modification required? I haven't dug into this and don't know....

    I did a little more reading up on this, specifically "How does a visually impaired person use a website?" and landed on this one, out of quite a few...I do not know if this is what the plaintiffs in all those cases are hoping for. I'm just trying to learn a bit more about the issue.

    https://mashable.com/2011/04/20/design-for-visually-impaired/

    1. Make Allowances For Enlarged Text
    2. Contrast is Key
    3. Be Mindful of Colors for Action Items
    4. Let Desktop Users Browse Your Mobile Site
    5. Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Aid Navigation

    Maybe @NorthCascades ...could you weigh in on how difficult this might be to implement, assuming this is in line with what compliance would look like? Thanks

    This is a pretty good list. I work on desktop app but it's basically the same stuff (except #4 doesn't apply).

    #2 and #3 are trivially easy. With any well designed site, all the colors are together in one place in the same file (a "style sheet.") There is software that measures the contest ratio between text and background and can automatically file a bug for everything it finds out of spec.

    #4 I assume means make the mobile and desktop site available regardless of how you visit? That mostly just requires a link.

    #5 is very easy, maybe not trivial because you have to decide what key does what, and you can't use the same one twice. 🙂 This is important for people with motor control impairments.

    #1 can be the most tricky in a worst case, because bigger text can affect the whole visual design, so you often need a designer and not just a coder to weigh in on that.

    And they didn't mention it but #6 is don't put text in pictures as part of your site. Style the text instead. Screen readers can't do images. This is already done for just about any commercial site because it's also part of search engine marketing.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 8,948Member Member Posts: 8,948Member Member
    heybales wrote: »
    Aside from any of the website/app accessibility - it's not like *DOMINO'S* isn't accessible. They still accept phone orders, so it's not like anyone is denying pizza to the blind.

    Right after I thought that, though, I remembered the Slice of the Pie Rewards program that incentivizes web orders. But my husband reminds me that that was the whole point of a rewards program - to incentivize web orders. It frees up whichever employee from constantly taking orders over the phone so that they can save money on labor and eliminate a job!

    He asks "what's next? Lawsuits against the Fine Arts Museum because it's not accessible to the blind? Against the Symphony because it's not suited to the hearing impaired?"

    Against a National Park say Yosemite because all the loop trails aren't wheelchair accessible to view some of the incredible sites?

    You can't use imaginary events to counter real things in a debate.

    And a suit like this would never go anywhere because the law requires REASONABLE accommodation.

    Besides, humans built Domino's website, unlike the terrain of Yosemite Valley.

    I don't think that disabled people wanting to be included in modern life is frivolous or stupid right off the bat.
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,839Member Member Posts: 1,839Member Member
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    There are existing Technologies available for people to order pizza in addition to using a touch screen or phone app. I really don't see why it would be necessary to have everything available to everyone. Hell, there are still places I can't get a cell signal around here.
    To me it sounds like a business decision based on cost, and if it's not cost-effective you shouldn't do it. Bottom line.

    This is the whole reason why the ADA exists. If disability accessibility was left up to "business decisions", society would still be completely inaccessible to disabled people. The ADA is what allows many disabled people to live independent lives.

    I have a friend who is blind and a disability rights lawyer, so this has been an issue she has been talking about a lot. If you exempt the internet from the ADA, you are essentially taking a huge step backwards for a society that is accessible, especially as more and more of our daily lives become dependent on the internet.

    The law still calls for "reasonable accommodation", so in these situations, there is always a determination that needs to be made if the accommodation is reasonable. It's why some buildings don't have to be wheelchair complaint, for example. But it would be hard for me to imagine that a company as large as Domino's can really make a good faith argument that making so it so blind people can order a pizza off their website is an unreasonable accommodation.

    That isn't the argument though Mike.
    Parties on both sides of this and several previous lawsuits have pointed out that the law itself is unclear. The ADA doesn't have any specific provisions dealing with Web or mobile storefronts because it became law in the long-ago era of 1990, before such services existed.
    The Justice Department has changed its position on the question several times in the intervening decades, but it never actually issued a final rule or a unified guidance either way, leaving the matter to be handled in court.

    Accessibility technology firm UsableNet said in a recent report that more than 2,200 lawsuits related to Web accessibility issues were filed nationwide in 2018, with a combined 49 percent of those suits filed against retail and food service businesses.

    These suits are a "no-win scenario" for companies on the receiving end, Domino's said. "And it is also a no-win scenario for individuals with disabilities, because defendants faced with these suits overwhelmingly enter into piecemeal monetary settlements with individual plaintiffs or eliminate their online offerings instead of trying to keep up with moving-target compliance standards" that evolve as technology changes.

    It's a money sink for the companies being sued due to the fact that it's quite easy for the plaintiff to move the goal posts. There is currently no hard and fast standard for what constitutes "Reasonable accommodation" on the web.

    Say Dominos loses this suit. They retool their site and app per court order. To most folks who have no challenging disability, a fix for the blind is a fix for the blind. But what if blind person B finds that they have trouble navigating what's acceptable now to blind person A? Another lawsuit?

    The courts need to spell out line item by line item what is acceptable accommodation for the masses. If they don't, things will continue as they are, courts disagreeing on what's legal or right and where to draw the line.

    How is making text available to screen readers and not using gray text on a gray background going to make it harder for other blind people?

    Will the availability of text for screen readers be the only modification required? I haven't dug into this and don't know....

    I did a little more reading up on this, specifically "How does a visually impaired person use a website?" and landed on this one, out of quite a few...I do not know if this is what the plaintiffs in all those cases are hoping for. I'm just trying to learn a bit more about the issue.

    https://mashable.com/2011/04/20/design-for-visually-impaired/

    1. Make Allowances For Enlarged Text
    2. Contrast is Key
    3. Be Mindful of Colors for Action Items
    4. Let Desktop Users Browse Your Mobile Site
    5. Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Aid Navigation

    Maybe @NorthCascades ...could you weigh in on how difficult this might be to implement, assuming this is in line with what compliance would look like? Thanks

    This is a pretty good list. I work on desktop app but it's basically the same stuff (except #4 doesn't apply).

    #2 and #3 are trivially easy. With any well designed site, all the colors are together in one place in the same file (a "style sheet.") There is software that measures the contest ratio between text and background and can automatically file a bug for everything it finds out of spec.

    #4 I assume means make the mobile and desktop site available regardless of how you visit? That mostly just requires a link.

    #5 is very easy, maybe not trivial because you have to decide what key does what, and you can't use the same one twice. 🙂 This is important for people with motor control impairments.

    #1 can be the most tricky in a worst case, because bigger text can affect the whole visual design, so you often need a designer and not just a coder to weigh in on that.

    And they didn't mention it but #6 is don't put text in pictures as part of your site. Style the text instead. Screen readers can't do images. This is already done for just about any commercial site because it's also part of search engine marketing.

    Thanks for the insight! To my non-coder educated self it seems the primary hurdle would be monetary? Just curious. As stated before I don't have a personal stake in any of this, although I do have issues with companies/corporations refusing to spend a little to make their consumers a bit more comfortable and able.

    I also have issues with frivolous lawsuits, but I'm not sure yet which this is lol.
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,839Member Member Posts: 1,839Member Member
    heybales wrote: »
    Aside from any of the website/app accessibility - it's not like *DOMINO'S* isn't accessible. They still accept phone orders, so it's not like anyone is denying pizza to the blind.

    Right after I thought that, though, I remembered the Slice of the Pie Rewards program that incentivizes web orders. But my husband reminds me that that was the whole point of a rewards program - to incentivize web orders. It frees up whichever employee from constantly taking orders over the phone so that they can save money on labor and eliminate a job!

    He asks "what's next? Lawsuits against the Fine Arts Museum because it's not accessible to the blind? Against the Symphony because it's not suited to the hearing impaired?"

    Against a National Park say Yosemite because all the loop trails aren't wheelchair accessible to view some of the incredible sites?

    You can't use imaginary events to counter real things in a debate.

    And a suit like this would never go anywhere because the law requires REASONABLE accommodation.

    Besides, humans built Domino's website, unlike the terrain of Yosemite Valley.

    I don't think that disabled people wanting to be included in modern life is frivolous or stupid right off the bat.

    And that.
  • tcunbelievertcunbeliever Posts: 6,922Member Member Posts: 6,922Member Member
    It seems like the biggest issue is, there is no clearly defined rules for compliance. No large company wants to make a compliance change more than once, and multiple suits in different courts have netted different rules for what qualifies as compliant or if web/mobile sites even should require compliance.

    I agree that this is the perfect case for the Supreme Court. There needs to be a unified ruling regarding what is or isn't compliant in terms of companies offering web/mobile items to disabled users. That's what the Supreme Court can do, set a clear structure around this that the lower courts can then use to make individual decisions consistently.
  • bennettinfinitybennettinfinity Posts: 851Member Member Posts: 851Member Member
    Is the app the *exclusive* means by which to place an order? If not, I don't see the problem.
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,839Member Member Posts: 1,839Member Member
    It seems like the biggest issue is, there is no clearly defined rules for compliance. No large company wants to make a compliance change more than once, and multiple suits in different courts have netted different rules for what qualifies as compliant or if web/mobile sites even should require compliance.

    I agree that this is the perfect case for the Supreme Court. There needs to be a unified ruling regarding what is or isn't compliant in terms of companies offering web/mobile items to disabled users. That's what the Supreme Court can do, set a clear structure around this that the lower courts can then use to make individual decisions consistently.
    Agreed. Compliance is difficult at best if there are no clear cut standards to comply with...
  • autumnblade75autumnblade75 Posts: 1,281Member Member Posts: 1,281Member Member
    heybales wrote: »
    Aside from any of the website/app accessibility - it's not like *DOMINO'S* isn't accessible. They still accept phone orders, so it's not like anyone is denying pizza to the blind.

    Right after I thought that, though, I remembered the Slice of the Pie Rewards program that incentivizes web orders. But my husband reminds me that that was the whole point of a rewards program - to incentivize web orders. It frees up whichever employee from constantly taking orders over the phone so that they can save money on labor and eliminate a job!

    He asks "what's next? Lawsuits against the Fine Arts Museum because it's not accessible to the blind? Against the Symphony because it's not suited to the hearing impaired?"

    Against a National Park say Yosemite because all the loop trails aren't wheelchair accessible to view some of the incredible sites?

    You can't use imaginary events to counter real things in a debate.

    And a suit like this would never go anywhere because the law requires REASONABLE accommodation.

    Besides, humans built Domino's website, unlike the terrain of Yosemite Valley.

    I don't think that disabled people wanting to be included in modern life is frivolous or stupid right off the bat.

    The option of calling and ordering over the phone isn't reasonable accommodation?
  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 5,848Member Member Posts: 5,848Member Member
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    It seems like the biggest issue is, there is no clearly defined rules for compliance. No large company wants to make a compliance change more than once, and multiple suits in different courts have netted different rules for what qualifies as compliant or if web/mobile sites even should require compliance.

    I agree that this is the perfect case for the Supreme Court. There needs to be a unified ruling regarding what is or isn't compliant in terms of companies offering web/mobile items to disabled users. That's what the Supreme Court can do, set a clear structure around this that the lower courts can then use to make individual decisions consistently.
    Agreed. Compliance is difficult at best if there are no clear cut standards to comply with...

    This has been the model the US has used for ages - the industry is expected to police themselves based upon guidances instead of rules since the 90s when every regulation became such a political hot button and nothing can get passed through congress. There's a good deal of risk assessment and mitigation involved which boils down to three primary elements:

    1. Serve the public trust (your customers)
    2. Show your work (data integrity)
    3. Show improvements to process (continuous improvement)

    If you can demonstrate these three core values then you'll be fine.

  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 2,875Member Member Posts: 2,875Member Member
    From the article linked in the OP:

    "Parties on both sides of this and several previous lawsuits have pointed out that the law itself is unclear. The ADA doesn't have any specific provisions dealing with Web or mobile storefronts because it became law in the long-ago era of 1990, before such services existed....

    ADA compliance and enforcement is far from perfect in physical spaces, but at least the law exists. But courts are indeed badly split over whether digital spaces—rapidly becoming a dominant sector of the US economy—also fall under Title III protections.

    The Justice Department has changed its position on the question several times in the intervening decades, but it never actually issued a final rule or a unified guidance either way, leaving the matter to be handled in court.

    Accessibility technology firm UsableNet said in a recent report that more than 2,200 lawsuits related to Web accessibility issues were filed nationwide in 2018, with a combined 49 percent of those suits filed against retail and food service businesses.

    These suits are a "no-win scenario" for companies on the receiving end, Domino's said. "And it is also a no-win scenario for individuals with disabilities, because defendants faced with these suits overwhelmingly enter into piecemeal monetary settlements with individual plaintiffs or eliminate their online offerings instead of trying to keep up with moving-target compliance standards" that evolve as technology changes."

    These seem like good reasons to try and get the SC to weigh in, especially as Domino's is national and could be sued in multiple jurisdictions with different interpretations of the ADA and the internet. It's not just do one easy thing to comply, as there are a variety of possible (and existing) claims about what needs to be done, and are likely to be more in the future. Clarity is good (and largely what Domino's seems to want is for the DOJ to clarify what the website must do to be in compliance).

    Also of interest is this synopsis of the 9th Cir ruling: https://www.adatitleiii.com/2019/01/ninth-circuit-allow-the-robles-v-dominos-website-and-mobile-app-accessibility-lawsuit-to-move-forward/

    "The Ninth Circuit concluded by making clear that it was not expressing any opinion about whether Domino’s website or mobile app comply with the ADA. The court instructed the district court to proceed with discovery and then decide whether Domino’s website and app comply with the ADA’s effective communication and full and equal enjoyment mandates.

    From the defense perspective, there are several useful points in the decision.

    First, the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed its position that, to be covered by the ADA, a website or mobile app must have a nexus to a physical place of public accommodation. The court stated that this nexus was “critical” to its analysis in the Domino’s case where 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.” The Ninth Circuit said in a footnote that it was not deciding whether “the ADA covers the websites or apps of a physical place of public accommodation where the inaccessibility does not impede access to the goods and services of a physical location.”

    Second, the Ninth Circuit left open the possibility that a 24/7 toll-free phone line could be a way to provide access in lieu of an accessible app or website. The court did not have to consider the question of whether a telephone hotline could be an adequate alternative to an accessible website or mobile app because the district court’s holding was not based on the phone line. However, the Ninth Circuit said in a footnote that “the mere presence of a phone number, without discovery on its effectiveness, is insufficient to grant summary judgment in favor of Domino’s.” This statement suggests that, with discovery on the effectiveness of the phone line, summary judgment for Domino’s could be a possibility."

    There's more, but those struck me as worth quoting here.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 8,948Member Member Posts: 8,948Member Member
    It seems like the biggest issue is, there is no clearly defined rules for compliance. No large company wants to make a compliance change more than once, and multiple suits in different courts have netted different rules for what qualifies as compliant or if web/mobile sites even should require compliance.

    I agree that this is the perfect case for the Supreme Court. There needs to be a unified ruling regarding what is or isn't compliant in terms of companies offering web/mobile items to disabled users. That's what the Supreme Court can do, set a clear structure around this that the lower courts can then use to make individual decisions consistently.

    I think this is pretty common, for the law to lag behind tech. Congress people aren't tech experts, and laws take longer to make than technological progress. I mean for example Facebook has been in business long before anybody thought about whether there even should be laws about the data they capture, how it can be used and shared, etc.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 2,875Member Member Posts: 2,875Member Member
    It's more about the relevant regs than expecting Congress to add to the law.

    https://www.ada.gov/2010_regs.htm
    edited August 6
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 8,948Member Member Posts: 8,948Member Member
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    There are existing Technologies available for people to order pizza in addition to using a touch screen or phone app. I really don't see why it would be necessary to have everything available to everyone. Hell, there are still places I can't get a cell signal around here.
    To me it sounds like a business decision based on cost, and if it's not cost-effective you shouldn't do it. Bottom line.

    This is the whole reason why the ADA exists. If disability accessibility was left up to "business decisions", society would still be completely inaccessible to disabled people. The ADA is what allows many disabled people to live independent lives.

    I have a friend who is blind and a disability rights lawyer, so this has been an issue she has been talking about a lot. If you exempt the internet from the ADA, you are essentially taking a huge step backwards for a society that is accessible, especially as more and more of our daily lives become dependent on the internet.

    The law still calls for "reasonable accommodation", so in these situations, there is always a determination that needs to be made if the accommodation is reasonable. It's why some buildings don't have to be wheelchair complaint, for example. But it would be hard for me to imagine that a company as large as Domino's can really make a good faith argument that making so it so blind people can order a pizza off their website is an unreasonable accommodation.

    That isn't the argument though Mike.
    Parties on both sides of this and several previous lawsuits have pointed out that the law itself is unclear. The ADA doesn't have any specific provisions dealing with Web or mobile storefronts because it became law in the long-ago era of 1990, before such services existed.
    The Justice Department has changed its position on the question several times in the intervening decades, but it never actually issued a final rule or a unified guidance either way, leaving the matter to be handled in court.

    Accessibility technology firm UsableNet said in a recent report that more than 2,200 lawsuits related to Web accessibility issues were filed nationwide in 2018, with a combined 49 percent of those suits filed against retail and food service businesses.

    These suits are a "no-win scenario" for companies on the receiving end, Domino's said. "And it is also a no-win scenario for individuals with disabilities, because defendants faced with these suits overwhelmingly enter into piecemeal monetary settlements with individual plaintiffs or eliminate their online offerings instead of trying to keep up with moving-target compliance standards" that evolve as technology changes.

    It's a money sink for the companies being sued due to the fact that it's quite easy for the plaintiff to move the goal posts. There is currently no hard and fast standard for what constitutes "Reasonable accommodation" on the web.

    Say Dominos loses this suit. They retool their site and app per court order. To most folks who have no challenging disability, a fix for the blind is a fix for the blind. But what if blind person B finds that they have trouble navigating what's acceptable now to blind person A? Another lawsuit?

    The courts need to spell out line item by line item what is acceptable accommodation for the masses. If they don't, things will continue as they are, courts disagreeing on what's legal or right and where to draw the line.

    How is making text available to screen readers and not using gray text on a gray background going to make it harder for other blind people?

    Will the availability of text for screen readers be the only modification required? I haven't dug into this and don't know....

    I did a little more reading up on this, specifically "How does a visually impaired person use a website?" and landed on this one, out of quite a few...I do not know if this is what the plaintiffs in all those cases are hoping for. I'm just trying to learn a bit more about the issue.

    https://mashable.com/2011/04/20/design-for-visually-impaired/

    1. Make Allowances For Enlarged Text
    2. Contrast is Key
    3. Be Mindful of Colors for Action Items
    4. Let Desktop Users Browse Your Mobile Site
    5. Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Aid Navigation

    Maybe @NorthCascades ...could you weigh in on how difficult this might be to implement, assuming this is in line with what compliance would look like? Thanks

    This is a pretty good list. I work on desktop app but it's basically the same stuff (except #4 doesn't apply).

    #2 and #3 are trivially easy. With any well designed site, all the colors are together in one place in the same file (a "style sheet.") There is software that measures the contest ratio between text and background and can automatically file a bug for everything it finds out of spec.

    #4 I assume means make the mobile and desktop site available regardless of how you visit? That mostly just requires a link.

    #5 is very easy, maybe not trivial because you have to decide what key does what, and you can't use the same one twice. 🙂 This is important for people with motor control impairments.

    #1 can be the most tricky in a worst case, because bigger text can affect the whole visual design, so you often need a designer and not just a coder to weigh in on that.

    And they didn't mention it but #6 is don't put text in pictures as part of your site. Style the text instead. Screen readers can't do images. This is already done for just about any commercial site because it's also part of search engine marketing.

    Thanks for the insight! To my non-coder educated self it seems the primary hurdle would be monetary? Just curious. As stated before I don't have a personal stake in any of this, although I do have issues with companies/corporations refusing to spend a little to make their consumers a bit more comfortable and able.

    I also have issues with frivolous lawsuits, but I'm not sure yet which this is lol.

    I don't think this is frivolous, but I don't think it will win. I think Domino's is probably within their rights seeing as how they provide other, ADA compliant ways to get pizza. But I don't see any reason to think the person who wants accommodation isn't doing this in good faith. And I think it's for the best that it gets settled and everybody knows what to expect going forward.
Sign In or Register to comment.