Since its implementation in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act, better known as the ADA, has created a scenario for people with special needs having accommodations provided across the country. This can range from ramps and elevators to aisle clearance in stores. However, it has also consistently provided headaches for business owners, as compliance and rules are neither consistent nor well defined. While everyone knows the simple rules, such as 36-inch clearance in all public spaces, other rules are simply stated as "reasonable." The definition of reasonable varies, sometimes from town to town, making compliance difficult for many.
Nowhere is the compliance issue more confusing than in the digital world. In fact, the question as to whether or not the ADA applies to digital storefronts is not even firm. Lawsuits have been filed all across the country, with courts, including federal courts, making distinctly different determinations on identical issues. A surprising company has decided to try and get a final ruling on the issue, asking the US Supreme Court to hear their case. The company is Domino's - the pizza company.
As the company's mobile app has grown in popularity for ordering pizza, it has not just become the primary ordering method, they have stopped taking orders over the phone in many cases. This has caused an issue for customers who are blind, as the app and website are not really setup for screen reading, leaving blind customers without a way to order. As Domino's points out in its petition to the Supreme Court, there is no legal consensus on whether or not they have a duty to spend the time and money to add accessibility features to their platforms.
Federal courts have ruled almost 50/50 on similar cases, which is why the company hopes to get guidance for itself, as well as all other companies with digital storefronts, once and for all.