Peapod and parent company Ahold have entered into a settlement with federal authorities over allegations that the Peapod.com website was not accessible to people with certain disabilities.
Under the agreement, Peapod is required to adopt measures to ensure that users with disabilities are able to fully and equally enjoy the various goods, services, facilities and accommodations provided through Peapod including:
- Ensuring that Peapod designates an employee as web accessibility coordinator.
- Retaining an independent website accessibility consultant, who will annually evaluate the accessibility of the website and its mobile applications.
- Adopt a formal web accessibility policy.
- Providing a notice soliciting feedback from visitors on how website accessibility can be improved.
- Providing automated accessibility testing by individuals with a variety of disabilities.
- Providing mandatory annual training on website accessibility for Peapod’s website content personnel.
“This agreement ensures that people with disabilities will have an equal opportunity to independently and conveniently shop online for groceries,” Vanita Gupta, acting assistant attorney general for the U.S. Justice Department’s civil rights division, said in a statement. “We applaud Peapod for working cooperatively with the department and for its commitment to customers with disabilities.”
Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by public accommodations in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages and accommodations of places of public accommodations. Title III of the ADA also requires public accommodations to take necessary steps to ensure individuals with disabilities are not excluded, denied services, segregated, or otherwise treated differently because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services, such as accessible electronic information.
The agreement resolves the department’s allegations that Peapod is not accessible to some individuals with disabilities, including individuals who are blind or have low vision, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and individuals who have physical disabilities affecting manual dexterity.
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