For many providers, including medical care providers, ADA compliance is an unknown. You may not realize that your website needs to be ADA compliant, especially if you have not had to worry about it in the past. However, ADA compliance is a growing threat to any organization with a consumer-facing website—and it’s particularly a problem for medical practices since they often attract lawsuits due to the perception of having deep pockets.

It all started with the Domino’s Pizza lawsuit when the court found that Dominos had violated the ADA by failing to have a website that was accessible to the blind plaintiff. Since then, more than 11,000 suits have been filed against inaccessible website owners, with an average settlement of $50,000.

An inaccessible website can make your website impossible for individuals with disabilities to use. Unfortunately, as many as 98% of the top websites around the world cannot pass the ADA accessibility test. Your medical practice’s website should not be one of the ones that creates an accessibility problem for its users.

Inaccessible Websites Could Deny Users With Disabilities Access to Your Website and Your Practice

According to the CDC, 61 million adults across the United States live with some type of disability. That is approximately 1 in 4 people, which means that chances are, it includes a significant portion of your target demographic. Other figures include:

  • 6% of adults struggle with blindness or difficulty seeing.
  • 8% struggle with cognition problems.
  • 7% have mobility-related concerns.

As a medical practice, you want to be sure that your website is as accessible as possible for people with disabilities who may want to access your website. Today’s medical practice websites often include features like allowing users to make an appointment directly from the website or providing more information about after-care practices. When patients cannot access that essential information, it can compromise their quality of care or cause them to choose, where possible, a different medical care provider.

There Are a Number of Accessibility Devices Used to Access the Average Website

People with disabilities may use a variety of tools and assistive devices to help them access websites. For example, they may use:

Screen Readers

These common devices read the words on the screen, including using alt text to describe images.

Captioning

Do you have videos on your website? Deaf or hard of hearing users may prefer to use captions to make it easier for them to understand everything that is going on.

Voice Recognition Software

People who struggle with mobility concerns may prefer to use voice recognition software to navigate the internet, rather than relying on a clunky mouse or touchscreen.

Many Medical Practices Create Barriers to Access Without Realizing It

There are a lot of little details that can make a big difference when it comes to people with disabilities accessing your website. For example:

Website Colors

Many people with visual challenges struggle with differentiating between two very similar colors. If your website doesn’t use high-contrast options, it could prevent people from effectively accessing your website.

Alt Text

People who use screen readers rely on alt text for images, captions, and other content to let them know what’s taking place on the screen. Alt text may be particularly important for infographics, which may lay out critical information for your patients. The better the picture you paint with your alt text, the more fully individuals with disabilities can take in all the information presented on your website.

Descriptive Link Names

It can prove incredibly frustrating for people with disabilities to navigate online, especially if they keep inadvertently choosing the wrong link or content. Using descriptive link names can make it easier for them to access that vital content on their first try.

Inclusive Forms

On your medical website, it’s incredibly crucial to make sure that your forms are inclusive. Make sure you can navigate them via keyboard or voice command and that the content on those forms is as easy as possible to see and fill in. Also, avoid asking for unnecessary information or insisting on having those forms filled out virtually before an appointment since those can pose barriers to your patients.

Navigation

Check to make sure that your website is as easy as possible to navigate. Your patients need to be able to navigate via keyboard or voice command whenever possible to streamline use.

Is Your Website ADA Compliant?

As a medical practice, you want to be accessible to patients with disabilities as well as those without them. Ensuring that your website follows ADA compliance is one critical way to ensure that the patients who need you most can access your practice as easily as possible. There are a number of technology solutions available that can help remedy the solution and mitigate the risk you may face. For example, a widget called accessiBe, which costs around $50 a month, is designed to ensure accessibility across your website. By reviewing your website regularly, you can continue to ensure that it meets the needs of your disabled patients.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.