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Accessibility is making headlines … again

by Kalev Peekna October 7, 2019

The last time we wrote about web accessibility, we used the Kardashians to get your attention. Now accessibility is back in the news, and this time it concerns something almost everyone can relate to: pizza.

Domino’s Pizza recently appealed a landmark accessibility case to the US Supreme Court, which it today denied. At issue is a question that has been unsettled since the topic of web accessibility first started gaining steam more than a decade ago – does the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) apply to “virtual” accommodations like websites?

It seems like a fair question. After all, the ADA was passed in 1990, while the first web browser didn’t exist until 1993. There’s no way the authors of the ADA could have imagined how important the web would become to the way we live and work. And unlike the UK, EU and many other global jurisdictions, the US hasn’t passed any explicit regulatory guidelines regarding web accessibility. However, the Supreme Court’s decision today to not to hear the case means the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in favor of Guillermo Robles’s right to sue Domino’s Pizza for not making its website and app accessible will stand.

Although the outcome of Roble’s case against Domino’s Pizza in the lower courts could set the precedent for future lawsuits and have implications for many organizations moving forward, our take is that the importance of accessibility shouldn’t depend on the outcome. Web accessibility is a core aspect of inclusive design, and taking care of it should be a critical element of your firm’s corporate responsibility. As many court-watchers have begun to comment, ensuring full access for your website is good for both your brand and your bottom line.

Kalev Peekna
Managing Director, Chief Strategist

Kalev Peekna is the Chief Strategist at One North. He brings a cross-platform, user-focused approach to innovations in brand development, design, data analysis and technology, and helps clients apply those innovations to their strategic aims.

If I were a vegetable: I would be broccoli. Because I have always wanted someone to call me “cruciferous.”

Most unusual job: Cocktail bartender at a Cabaret