The American Council of the Blind has sued Eatsa, a fast-food chain that uses automated self-service kiosks and ordering apps, over insufficient access, according to a press release. Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), a national nonprofit legal center, filed
It’s pretty simple providing some access for the blind, doesn’t have to be every single machine. Somebody did not think this thru…
Eatsa, for example, uses iPads for its in-store kiosks, according to its website. And Apple has for years included screen-reading accessibility technology — which can dictate on-screen items to blind people — in its iOS devices, and has made those tools available to developers.
But “Eatsa has configured its systems so that the [screen reader capability] is not usable on the iPad,” said Rebecca Serbin, an attorney with Disability Rights Advocates, the nonprofit representing the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit. “So the technology to make Eatsa accessible exists, but Eatsa just didn’t care enough to include that in their design.”
Adding things like a tactile keypad with braille, or making the iPad’s headphone jack accessible — currently obstructed by the frame it’s mounted on — would allow customers with vision impairment to still use Eatsa’s ordering system, according to the complaint.
Though it’s possible for customers at the restaurant to never interact with a human worker, each location does have a staff person or two in the front to assist customers if needed. But the suit further points out that the way customers can request help from one of these employees is also via a button on the iPad, which is not accessible to blind and low-vision customers.
Even the cubbyholes where food is served have no way to opt for audible cues. The whole process is silent, thus making it inaccessible, the lawsuit claims.