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Ordering Food Must Be Accessible To Everyone

Food delivery app on two side-by-side smartphones

Have you ever tried ordering food online or with a mobile app? How about navigating your computer browser menu without a mouse, or your mobile phone without touching the screen? Try this! Remove or disable your mouse and try navigating the website of your favorite restaurant using the keyboard only (tab key + arrow keys + enter or space bar). Could you order? How seamless was it for you? Now, imagine how it must be for people with vision, physical or cognitive impairments.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left the food and service industry devastated, as bars, restaurants, and other retail establishments temporarily shut down their businesses. A large segment of restaurants are hiring food delivery services to sustain their businesses and provide solutions to homebound Americans. Doordash, Instacart, GrubHub, Uber Eats, and the likes are fulfilling millions of incoming orders from restaurants across the country. Instacart is adding 300,000 new full-service shoppers to fulfill incoming orders and customer demand.

With the transition to grab-and-go or delivery, the ability to order online will benefit millions of able-bodied citizens, but millions of people with disabilities will not be able to do so. 1 in 5 people live with a disability in the U.S. … over one billion people worldwide. People with disabilities can easily be excluded from fully participating due to the lack of accessible websites and mobile apps. The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination in a place of public accommodation. Websites and mobile apps are an example of public accommodations. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is the international standard meant to give people with disabilities equal access to websites, and is also used to audit mobile apps. This includes the ability to order food online or on a mobile app, especially in times like these.

As proven by the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses should evaluate the accessibility of their websites. Making websites accessible will not only make them ADA compliant but bring millions of new prospects to their businesses. Furthermore, businesses stand to benefit from this market segment, as they wield a significant purchasing power.

To learn more about digital accessibility, visit www.accessible360.com and get a free website accessibility assessment.

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