The Importance of Digital Accessibility
Over 4 million (1 in 5) Australians are living with some form of disability. Therefore, the Australian Government has a responsibility to make websites, especially those that fulfil a public function, accessible for those with disabilities. Digital accessibility allows people with disabilities to effectively consume information from a website or web content. As more functions are optimised for digital platforms and business is increasingly conducted online, it is essential that no one is disadvantaged or excluded from participating.
Context of Dominos case
On 7th October, a blind man named Guillermo Robles sued Domino’s pizza chain as he was unable to order food on their website and mobile app. Domino’s was sued for discrimination by not providing accessible websites. This comes as a surprise for most people as websites and mobile apps are screen-reading software. However, the Domino’s case is just one of many brought to the attention of lawsuits. With others such as Beyonce’s official website facing the same lawsuit.
What happened in the Dominos case
Robles states his many challenges in trying to order customised pizzas using Domino’s digital tools. Many businesses have made complaints regarding these lawsuits as the federal government has not put out rules governing how to make digital tools ADA compliant. Dominos petitioned for a hearing to decide whether websites must be accessible to the disabled, which was denied by the Supreme Court.
The decision not to grant the case has huge implications for companies all around the world. To not cater for disabled people would be an act of discrimination as addressed in court: ‘the blind and visually impaired must have access to websites and apps to fully and equally participate in modern society – something nobody disputes’. Disabled people currently account for 1 in 5 Australians and could be effectively shut out of substantial portions of the economy if they cannot access digital tools like everyone else.
Impacts for your business
With cases like Dominos becoming the norm, companies must consider how they can improve their website for disabled people. If your website is not accessibility compliant, contact the experienced team at TWMG! We are a full service web development and digital marketing agency in Sydney, with over 15 years experience in designing web solutions for government, corporate, not for profit and SME websites. Give us a call on 1300 911 772 or Contact Us today.