Domino's Pizza loses court battle over app that prevented blind users ordering

Domino's has lost a court case brought by a visually impaired man who was unable to change pizza toppings or use discount codes.

The man had originally brought his case in 2016, but it was dismissed in 2017. A later appeal was allowed, which the pizza chain lost.

The ruling will force companies to make their apps and websites more accessible. Laws in both the US (where this case was heard) and the UK require that apps and websites do not discriminate against people with disabilities.

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Computers and smartphones often have features that allow them to read both visible text as well as that hidden in image tags or the site code. Screen readers, as they are known, rely on this information to help those with vision problems.

However in this case the site and app lacked the correct code to allow devices like the iPhone to read options to the user.

Guillermo Robles, the plaintiff, said that Domino's website and app both lacked the correct labeling to allow him to use the pizza builder or complete an order. He was also unable to use codes to get discounted pizza.

US citizens are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Companies must provide users with disabilities access to the same services as able bodied customers, it says, unless is places and undue burden on them.

In the UK the RNIB told the BBC that "All organisations have a responsibility under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that their websites and apps can be used by blind and partially sighted people, including those who use screen readers".

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