In February of 2021, we heard about the first doctor being sued over ADA accessibility of their website. Goldman Marketing Group immediately took action. Although we are not lawyers, we could help our clients make accommodations on their websites for visual impairment or other disabilities. Our goal was to show a ‘good faith effort’ to lower the risk for potential lawsuits for our clients.
The efforts we made proved that even small businesses like a medical practice can comply with ADA accessibility. We recommend these good faith steps to business owners who want to show good faith in compliance with their own websites. Keep in mind that we are not able to offer specific legal advice and encourage you to schedule a consultation with your attorney for more detailed information.
How GMG Can Help You Become More ADA Compliant
We immediately researched possible solutions and began updating our website and clients’ websites with a widget to point out potential regulatory issues. We quickly discovered some steps we could take with our clients to improve their compliance:
- We reviewed websites with this free tool, WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool), to locate any significant ADA issues, and then prioritize and ‘fix’.
- Updated footer messages to include an accessibility statement and call to action.
- Included closed captioning on any videos embedded on the website.
- Installed a compliance widget such as Userway.
ADA compliance is a complex task for many business owners. It helps to have a professional team on your side to review your website and identify potential issues. The team at Goldman Marketing Group has helped dozens of our clients become more ADA accessible. If you decide you need a new creative direction to your website as well, GMG is the industry expert. Top medical practices worldwide trust us to build beautiful and comprehensive websites that will help attract new high-quality patients, increase per-patient revenue, and retain patients for life.
What is ADA Compliance?
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires businesses to provide access to people with disabilities, stating:
“No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages or accommodations of any place of public accommodation.”
Simply put, it is against the law not to have an accessible website.
ADA and 508 regulations both have similar goals but are often confused. 508 regulations only apply to government procurement. It’s important to note that ADA compliance is more like civil law and mandates everyone, including people with disabilities, to be included in all areas of public life. Any public place such as the workplace, schools, and transportation falls under this category. These regulations also work in conjunction with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). However, the WCAG is more about providing guidelines for improving accessibility. With WCAG, the primary focus is HTTP accessibility throughout all platforms.
ADA compliance applies to any “Title I” or “Title III” business.
ADA Title I relates to private employment generally and requires that employers provide their employees with equal opportunities to enjoy the benefits of employment. Disability discrimination is also prohibited.
Title I employers are:
- Engaged in an industry affecting commerce,
- Employing 15 or more full-time employees each working day,
- For at least 20 or more calendar weeks in the year.
Title III businesses considered “public accommodations” are required to comply. This includes the following:
- Restaurants and bars
- Laundromats and dry cleaners
- Accountants and lawyers’ offices
- Health care providers’ offices
- Social service centers
As our marketing agency works exclusively within the healthcare space, most of our clients fall under Title III and must comply with ADA regulations.
Why Do You Need ADA Compliance?
Beyond the stated legal requirements, there are several other reasons why you need to make your website ADA compliant.
There are over 25 million people in the U.S. who are visually impaired. To put that into perspective, that is over 1-in-10 Americans. Not making your website accessible to such a large number of people not only risks alienating them but can also cost you a substantial amount of business from those in need of accessible medical advice and care.
The unfortunate truth is that most people don’t realize they’re not in ADA compliance until they find themselves involved in a lawsuit. This can result in a massive fine ($75,000 for a first offense) and a mad scramble to fix your website immediately. ADA notices are widespread at the moment. Netflix, Amazon, the NBA, and Nike have all had to institute changes or pay massive fines for their lack of ADA compliance.
Increase Your Practice Revenue with Solutions from Our Marketing Agency
In addition to assisting with ADA compliance, Goldman Marketing Group can serve as your Chief Marketing Officer. Unlike most companies, our business model is all-encompassing, so we handle all aspects of your marketing strategy. This comprehensive approach makes it easy to implement a customized marketing and business development strategy with measurable results. Whether you want to go out-of-network with insurance, grow your revenue, or expand your scope of services, Goldman Marketing Group is your solution to develop your business and increase your practice revenue.
Contact Goldman Marketing Group today if you’re looking to get your website up to compliance or just have questions on how to improve your branding.