News from Northwest ADA Center – Idaho
ADApt your Website!
After some recent DOJ cases regarding web accessibility and the ADA, companies are all on “fair notice” that the ADA applies to websites connecting customers to goods and services offered at a physical location. Because technology changes so fast, it was hard to put in language that provided specific blueprints as to what those accommodations must be.
This need was illustrated by a plaintiff who is blind, and brought suit against Domino’s Pizza for failing to design, construct, maintain and operate its website and app to be fully accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. This violates the ADA. Screen reading software was unable to read successfully the customized pizza ordering app.
In short, if a company’s website or app offers a direct link to services offers at a physical location, the ADA applies – period. Domino’s main argument was that it did not receive fair notice on the specific guidance on how to make the website and app accessible. But since the court had already decided Title III applies to websites as public accommodations, they determined not knowing how to make a website or app accessible does not eliminate your obligation. (rather like saying “I don’t know how to build a ramp, so I don’t have to)
Websites that are not linked to a physical place that supplies goods and services are not required by the ADA to be accessible at this time. But all others are given “fair notice” that the ADA applies to them without dictating how. The accommodations must be “effective”. Immediately after this lawsuit, Domino’s added a hotline to the app to assist disabled customers, but that hasn’t been determined to be “effective” yet. So let’s just all be mindful of the ADA when designing websites and apps!
Dana Gover, MPA, and ACTCP Certification, ADA Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator
For more information about ADA Technical Assistance visit the NW ADA Center Idaho website: nwadacenter.org/idaho
Phone: Voice and Text 208-841-9422
Idaho Relay Service: 7