Is your healthcare practice website ADA compliant?
When it comes to healthcare provider websites, HIPAA compliance is usually the dominant concern. But if you’re not also conforming to requirements set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act, you could find yourself in a heap of unnecessary trouble.
To avoid that, let’s take a look at what it means to be ADA compliant on the web, and what you can do with your website to make it friendlier to people with disabilities.
ADA and Your Website
You already know the ADA stipulates that physical locations must provide reasonable accommodation for those with disabilities. But did you know this applies to your website, too?
In recent years, advocacy groups have been driving a bigger push to make the web more accessible for people with disabilities, encouraging businesses to adopt a series of measures on their websites that make it easier for those with a variety of disabilities to use and navigate.
It’s a bit of a challenge because the recommendations are not necessarily intuitive or obvious. That’s why it’s so important to work with a web design and development agency that has a lot of experience creating ADA-compliant websites. While easier to take care of when building a site from the ground up, a web agency can also audit your existing healthcare practice website and retroactively implement many of the recommendations.
How to Make Your Website ADA-Compliant
Unlike GDPR requirements, ADA measures can be a little trickier to try and implement on your own. We’ve listed a few of the most helpful website updates that can make a big difference to ADA accessibility. But a lot of other measures are quite technical, as this article explains.
- Confirm that it is fully navigable using only a keyboard
- Make sure every image has a title and alt text
- Use descriptive text links instead of a generic “learn more”
- If your site uses video with audio, be sure that each video has closed captions
- All colors for important features (such as buttons) need to be high-contrast so users can figure out their purpose
- Form error messages should explain what the error is
As you can see, some requirements speak to design and user experience (UX) choices rather than simple changes or updates, in which case you’ll need a knowledgeable web agency to take care of those fixes.
Why You Need to Be ADA Compliant Now
Much like with HIPAA compliance, ADA compliance issues can leave your practice open to lawsuits and fines. If you aren’t sure if your website is following ADA guidelines, check in with your web team or find a specialist who can make your site a pleasure to use for people with disabilities.