Healthcare providers, both private and public, are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to offer equal access to healthcare services and facilities, including websites and other digital information. To ensure that you are complying with the provisions of the act, ADA compliance testing is, to say the least, “recommended.”
With healthcare costs for people with disabilities reported to comprise 26.7% of all healthcare costs in the country, totaling approximately $400 billion per year, doing so makes sense from both a business and regulatory standpoint—And not doing so clearly impacts an enormous portion of patients who need healthcare services.
Given that not all websites have taken the steps necessary to make them accessible to people with disabilities, making their website ADA compliant offers healthcare providers the opportunity to
differentiate themselves from their competitors.
There has been significant publicity, in recent years, relating to the need to comply with Title III of the ADA, which states that places offering public accommodation must remove “access barriers” that would prevent a person with disabilities from accessing an organization’s services or products.
One example would be if an individual who is blind is unable to use screen-reading technology because a website hasn’t been designed to accommodate such software. Another would be if a person with a hearing disorder had to watch an instructional video with no closed captioning provided.
Similarly, a patient with manual dexterity challenges is likely to become frustrated using a website that doesn’t accommodate assistive technology.
If your website has barriers that prevent people with disabilities from easily accessing it, performing ADA compliance testing can help improve the patient experience. Following are four ways in which ADA compliance testing to make sure a website is compliant with WCAG 2.0 (Website Content Accessibility Guidelines):
Testing all of the above aspects of your website’s functionality enables you to make improvements where necessary, so it is easier for people with disabilities to use your site. This, in turn, can significantly improve the patient experience for those users.
There are a number of benefits you can derive from testing your site to make sure it is accessible to people with disabilities. These include:
Search engines gauge a site’s accessibility to users, among other factors, when determining how high a site rates in their rankings. By taking the necessary steps to make your website easily accessible by people with disabilities, you can also boost your site’s ranking with the search engines, helping you attract more business.
Not sure if your website’s compliant with ADA? User1st takes the first step towards compliance for you by analyzing your website to identify accessibility issues. Find out how accessible your website is today.
Written by Raegan Bartlo