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A recent opinion of a panel of justices at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal is sending the ADA case against Domino's Pizza's website and app back to the district court to be litigated.
The case had been dismissed because the district court simply didn't seem to know what to do with the case. It explained that because the DOJ had not promulgated regulations on what constituted ADA compliance when it came to a public accommodation's website, the court could not actually do anything. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit disagreed, reversed, and remanded the matter.
When it comes to the Americans with Disabilities Act's access requirements for public accommodations, architectural barriers can be digital too. Unfortunately for businesses, the DOJ has not promulgated regulations on accessible websites, like those for physical barriers such as non-wheelchair accessible entrances, bathrooms, aisleways, tables, and parking.
However, despite the DOJ's lack of guidance, the Ninth Circuit ruled that businesses can be held liable for failing to comply with the ADA's access requirements when it came to the goods and services offered via their websites.
Notably, the case against Domino's was filed by a blind individual alleging that the Domino's website and app both failed to work with his adaptive software. The plaintiff pointed to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to help the pizza giant become more accessible, as these guidelines, while not law, have become widely accepted in the industry in order to ensure individuals with disabilities can participate equally.
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