The Internet as a whole, and the Web, in particular, is becoming an increasingly valuable resource in many areas of our lives. That’s why many believe the Internet must be open to all to provide people with disabilities with fair access and opportunities. People with disabilities can benefit from an open Web by being able to engage more fully in society.
For many people with disabilities, such as those who cannot read print content, those who have trouble going to a physical store or mall, and others, having an open website is also the simplest way to do business. What you do for accessibility also intersects with other best practices like mobile Web design, usability, and search engine optimization (SEO).
Many people with disabilities benefit from having access to knowledge and engagement through an open website. Web technologies make it much easier to tackle print, audio, and visual media accessibility barriers.
Is there a chance I’ll be prosecuted for an ADA violation on my hearing practice website?
There’s a possibility you’ll be hit with an accessibility lawsuit, but it’s not a sure thing.
If you’re a small hearing aid business, odds are you’re not unique enough to warrant a plaintiffs’ law firm’s time and energy. However, the truth remains that the more commercial your website is, the more you open yourself up to web accessibility lawsuits. Since you have a physical hearing practice location, you’re more likely to be a target of a web accessibility lawsuit.
With this in mind, you may be wondering what it takes to make your website ADA compliant.
What are the ADA Standards for Accessibility?
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) are part of a collection of web accessibility guidelines issued by the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), the most extensive international standards organization on the Internet.
The WCAG 2.1 guidelines outline how digital resources and technologies can be made available to all, including those with the following disabilities:
- Thinking: those with dyslexia, autism, or learning disabilities vision.
- Sight: those who are seriously sighted impaired (blind), moderately sighted (partially sighted), or color-blind.
- Hearing: those who are deaf or hard of hearing those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Mobility: those who find it challenging to use an input device, such as a keyboard or mouse.
Why is ADA compliance so crucial for your hearing practice website?
It will prevent legal action.
It’s not difficult to argue that online accessibility is a civil right for people with disabilities as the Internet and other emerging technologies become more prevalent in everyday life.
People with disabilities must have fair access to public facilities and “places of public accommodation,” such as restaurants, movie theaters, and classrooms, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
You will reach a wider audience.
It’s just good business sense to make your website more available. While it is impossible to create a website that is open to all on the planet, a few simple changes will go a long way toward making the site more accessible to people with disabilities.
Furthermore, features such as transcripts and closed captions, mobile device support, and a straightforward, convenient web design would benefit all users, not just those who need them because of a disability.
You’ll look good!
Many consumers want businesses to share their views, ideas, and principles in this age of digital activism. For people with disabilities, their families, and disability rights advocates, web accessibility is critical. You’ll be laying the groundwork for a better brand image for your hearing practice if you take a stance on web accessibility.
People with disabilities who have had good experiences with your company are more likely to tell their families, colleagues, acquaintances, and social media contacts about you.
It’s better for your SEO
Creating an accessible website does more than making your site more usable; it also improves your search engine optimization, making your site more likely to be found in search engine results.
Since Google and other search engines are text-based, they won’t search through your video and audio content. Closed captions and transcripts help with SEO because they include text that Google and other search engines can locate and index, making it easier for users to find relevant information on your website.
Complying with ADA standards isn’t easy, but we can help in that regard. Contact us today to see how!