Dominos has suffered a Court loss in America over its failure to properly tag its images with appropriate names. Apple smartphones have a built-in feature that reads screens for those who are vision impaired. However the feature is reliant on images being tagged correctly. Without the correct tagging, vision impaired users do no have sufficient guidance to complete tasks such as entering discount codes or use the Pizza Builder facility.
That put Domino’s in breach of the Americans With Disabilities Act 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”.
Mr Robes, the complainant, initially lost the case on the basis that there is no regulation requiring the labelling. However he successfully appealed wherein a three judge panel stated that just because there is no regulation does not mean that the chain escaped responsibility to provide “full and equal enjoyment” of its services to blind people.
The issue has been remitted back to court on the issue of whether the Dominos app adequately communicates its functions to blind users.
This is a lesson to website owners that the appearance of a website may not be sufficient to give each and every user the same experience.
Within Australia, Domino’s uses a voice controlled ordering assistant. Thus vision impaired persons wouldn’t need to solely rely on correct image tagging. However, using that voice control is a “work around” for the problem not a solution. It is equivalent to putting a ramp into the side of a building so people in wheelchairs have to enter via a side door – that just isn’t respectful or good enough.
So does forcing disabled people to order a different way to the able bodied people would constitute “full and equal enjoyment” of a website?