Domino's Pizza is at the center of the internet's accessibility reckoning
A years-long legal battle between Domino's Pizza and a man who is blind named Guillermo Robles over whether the pizza chain is required by law to make its website accessible to the disabled could make it all the way up to the Supreme Court in 2019. Should the case go that far, its outcome could forever change the way the internet is regulated — and determine how accessible the internet will be in the future for the roughly 20% of Americans with a disability. Domino's is petitioning the Supreme Court to take up the case after a federal appeals court sided with Robles in 2016. The pizza giant argues that compliance to the American Disabilities Act (ADA) is costly and unnecessary, since the law doesn't explicitly include internet provisions. The disabled community argues that online coverage is implied in the ADA. "When we wrote the bill and it passed nearly 30 years ago, obviously, the internet was not up and alive," says former Rep Tony Coelho (D-CA), a disabilities advocate who authored the ADA. "But when we say that the bill covers all public accommodations, we believe that applies today to the internet. And I believe that if it got to Supreme Court, it would say it does, too." Inconsistent court rulings and regulatory positions on the issue over the years have brought little clarity on whether businesses have to legally update their software, leaving millions of Americans unable to access retail and consumer websites. When the Supreme Court returns from summer recess, it will decide whether it will take up the case or not. If it does, experts expect it to be reviewed by the end of 2019.
The internet's accessibility reckoning