American Council of the Blind, Michael Godino, et al. v. Keenwawa, Inc., d/b/a Eatsa
In September 2017, Disability Rights Advocates announced a settlement of its federal lawsuit on behalf of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) and members of the blind community against eatsa, a growing, national fast-casual restaurant chain.
eatsa utilizes a high-tech service model in which customers order meals via its smartphone app or at an in-store iPad kiosk. When the order is ready, the meal appears in a cubby where the customer retrieves the order. The settlement follows negotiations among eatsa, the ACB and several of its members, represented by Disability Rights Advocates, and blind Californians, Serena Olsen and Darian Smith, represented by Timothy Elder of the TRE Legal Practice, and Stuart Seaborn.
As a result, eatsa has agreed to incorporate accessible design features into its software and hardware that will allow blind users to use the system independently. Under the agreement, eatsa will:
- Make its mobile applications accessible through common smartphone screen readers. (Screen readers are software that enables blind individuals to operate computers, smart phones, and other devices by converting the text displayed graphically on the screen into audible, synthesized speech or outputting that information on a digital braille display.)
- Utilize technology to give blind customers independent access to eatsa’s in-store ordering
- Implement an order notification process so that blind customers who order through an in-store kiosk or via eatsa’s mobile applications can independently retrieve their orders through eatsa’s food pick-up system