In the world of healthcare, accessibility is critical, and the same is true for your website. The term ‘accessibility refers to ensuring that your website is open to all users, including those with disabilities.
Accessibility is graded on a scale of one to ten. The basic concept is that anybody who wants to consume your website’s content should be able to do so. Consider the following scenario:
- If the user is blind, they should be able to access the web using a screen reader.
- A user should access the web using their keyboard if they cannot use a mouse.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law in 1990 and extended to all corporations, is known as the ADA. Its central tenet is that any company must be accessible to the public.
Being ADA compliant in a brick and mortar company may mean providing wheelchair ramps or handicapped-accessible bathrooms. However, some recent court decisions have suggested that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also extends to websites, including yours!
Several federal courts have recently ruled that websites, including supermarkets, offices, and other business establishments, are “places” of business under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This means that, in addition to having sufficient handrails and parking spaces, a company should also have a website design accessible to disabled people.
What are the ADA Accessibility Standards?
There are no hard and fast guidelines when it comes to ADA website enforcement. But businesses are still required to have an accessible website that accommodates users with disabilities.
Although the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not have specific requirements for website enforcement, many businesses adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). This is not a legal requirement but rather a guide for businesses looking to enhance their digital accessibility.
Why is it vital for your website to be ADA compliant?
1. It is morally right.
In 2018, there were over 25 million visually disabled individuals in the United States. Visually affected people have a vision that is less than or equal to 20/20. Wouldn’t you want a company to make modest improvements to their website so that it was accessible if you or a friend had a disability?
2. You are legally obligated to comply.
Over the past ten years, legal precedent has been established that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to websites. You are violating the law and face civil class action litigation if your website is not ADA compliant.
3. You won’t need to rush to comply
It’s not unusual for a court to order a company to correct ADA compliance problems by a specific deadline. This sometimes results in a mad rush to get things fixed before the deadline. This frantic scramble has actual, negative consequences for your business goals. Get your website complaint before it’s forced on you.
4. You will attract more patients
In the United States, there are over 25 million individuals who are visually impaired. About 30 million people in the United States suffer from hearing loss, affecting one out of every eight people. About 55 million people are affected by these two disabilities alone. That’s more than 17% of the population of the United States.
Suppose you don’t make sure your website is compliant for any other reason. In that case, you could miss out on doing business with or serving nearly 20% of the US population.
5. It’s good for your SEO
Did you know that by adhering to usability best practices, your SEO will improve as well? Ensuring your website complies with the ADA allows you to reach a wider audience while also improving your search engine rankings. This is because most of the elements required to make your website ADA compliant are also SEO best practices.
Although ADA compliance isn’t the most exciting aspect of running a website, it is crucial and the right thing to do. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you get your site up to speed!