ADA Compliance for Medical and Dental Practices
ADA for Doctors and Surgeons
Many medical practices do not realize that their websites have anything to do with the ADA. While ADA non-compliance can come with extensive social and economic ramifications, complying is also the right thing to do for those in the health sector.
Close to 5,000 Title III ADA lawsuits were filed in the U.S. federal courts in the first half of 2018 alone , an astonishing 33% uptick from the same time in 2017. Interestingly, 21% of these cases were website accessibility lawsuits, a large portion of which targeted healthcare businesses and organizations. It is evident that ADA lawsuits will be filed at a record pace in 2019.
Whether a small clinic or an established network hospital, public or private, it is important to be aware that turning a blind eye to ADA website compliance is a violation that is being fiercely pursued by the DOJ.
How to make your medical practice website ADA accessible:
- Have text written and displayed on a page in a way in which someone who is visually impaired can use a reading device to convert it into audio.
- Have an option for making font size larger or smaller so it’s easier for those who are visually impaired to read.
- If you post job positions and/or have an employment application for your practice on the website, the information must be readable, and the application must be able to be completed for someone who is disabled.
- All videos have closed-caption subtitles to enable those who are hearing impaired to read along while watching the images.
As doctors, there is an elevated ethical standard expected, so ADA compliance is extra important, so that everyone has access to your website.
Of course, there are myriad other reasons to ensure your website is ADA compliant:
- If you aren’t compliant, your practice risks losing contracts, funding, and assistance from municipal, local and federal government agencies.
- It’s good for your practice’s reputation and credibility as a healthcare facility. Scrambling to fix your noncompliance when discovered, as opposes to already having your website compliant can have an adverse effect on how patients and the general public perceive your business.
- You’ll lose customers and patients with a disability, numbering more than 25 million in the US alone.
- Staying one step ahead of compliance regulations will help you keep costly ADA lawsuits and possible decisions against your practice at bay.
Additionally, a large part of health practices’ clientele are older people, ages 65 and up. Making your website ADA compliant will also be making it easier for an aging population. As the Population Reference Bureau reports, “the number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060”. This makes up a lot of potential traffic and every internet-user, regardless of age, has experienced the frustration of trying to read too small text or make sense of a complicated navigation menu. Accessible design for your practice’s website also helps the temporarily restricted: users who have misplaced their reading glasses, have an arm in cast, or are viewing your website on smaller screens or accessing through a slower internet connection.
Making your website ADA digitally compliant essential for patients and clients that need the extra help.