Many doctors are rightly concerned about having their websites comply with the standards outlined in the Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA). We too want our websites to be as accessible and easy to use as possible for patients with visual, hearing and other impairments. It’s not as daunting as it sounds, since most ADA standards have long been the website industry’s best practices. When your website is professionally designed to the latest web design standards using modern web technology, it is reasonable to say that it will meet the majority of the ADA compliance standards.
I suspect that many websites that have problems with ADA compliance were built with poor design judgement and old deprecated technologies such as Flash, which has always been a bad practice.
The ADA Compliance Guidelines
The purpose of the ADA guidelines is to ensure that websites can be used by people with a wide range of disabilities. For example, websites must have content that can be read and viewed by assistive technologies. To be compliant, doctors should refer to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards for website accessibility. These guidelines are highly technical and go above and beyond the current legal standards outlined by the ADA. At the time of writing, the legal requirements for medical and dental practice websites have not been clearly defined yet.
Websites by Nina Interactive have always been built according to the web industry’s best standards. We strive to create beautiful websites that bring new patients to your practice and are fully accessible to everyone. Therefore, we are continually working to ensure that our websites meet the standards set forth in the WCAG 2.0 Levels A and AA.
Our Compliance Process
We employ the following practices to make your website ADA-compliant and help patients with disabilities use your site:
- We use the latest web technology and best practices when designing your website.
- We check your website for ADA compliance using industry-standard WC3 Accessibility Checklist and a few internal test instruments.
- We add an “Accessibility” link at the bottom of each page on your website. This link directs readers to the Accessibility page that tells individuals with disabilities what to do if they can’t access something on your website.
- We put an Accessibility widget at the bottom of each page on your website that helps individuals with disabilities alter the display of content on your website according to their needs.
Many ADA compliance solutions are implemented by third-party technologies that we integrate in our websites. For example, YouTube typically provides an auto-generated textual transcript for your embedded videos. Likewise, if you use a service for online patient forms, that service should make the forms accessible.
A website is a technology-dependent medium that is accessed by a multitude of different visitors on a wide variety of devices and screens and using different networks with varying speeds. Websites look and work differently for different people, and it’s impossible to make a website work and display exactly the same across all platforms and technologies. For that reason, it’s unrealistic to make a website equally accessible to everyone. The best any website company can do is to make the website as accessible as possible.
Nina Interactive works diligently to make our websites accessible to everyone. However, we are not lawyers or compliance officers and we cannot solve legal issues related to ADA compliance. We will always do our best to stay on top of current web design policies and trends. If you have any concerns or questions about your Nina Interactive website’s ADA compliance, please contact us. Should you have legal questions about your ADA compliance, please consult your state board or your attorney.