This story is making the rounds on social media this morning:
Domino’s will ask the Supreme Court to reverse the 9th Circuit decision that their website should be accessible to the blind.
In court docs, Domino’s revealed it would’ve cost $38,000 to make it accessible.
They’re fighting this.https://t.co/5M8cpAKPWu
— Jared Spool (@jmspool) August 1, 2019
This is kind of remarkable, for a variety of reasons.
Let’s start with the obvious:
- There’s no earthly reason why a mass-audience company like Domino’s would want to exclude any potential customers. And that’s what happens when a website isn’t accessible for people with vision impairments.
- $38,000 sounds like a lot of money… but that’s change under the floor mats when compared with what it costs to take a case to the Supreme Court.
Domino’s position makes no sense based on those factors alone. But there’s another aspect to this, one that is truly infuriating.
Accessibility isn’t very difficult to implement.
Screen readers and other assistive technologies rely on properly formatted and tagged HTML to work properly. They look for ALT tags on photos and heading/subheading tags in text, but they have trouble with text that’s built into images. They’re built to read and interpret textbook, “Web design 101” code. (For a more detailed rundown of requirements and recommendations, consult w3.org’s reference materials.)
If those requirements sound familiar to you, it’s because you’ll see them in every guide to search engine optimization. Optimization for accessibility and optimization for Google go hand-in-hand.
So really, the corporate suits at Domino’s are paying something on the order of 10 times the cost of fixing the problem, just to have a website that excludes some customers and doesn’t index as well for search.
I’m no MBA, but that’s a real head-scratcher.
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