Making your dental practice’s website ADA compliant can seem daunting, but it’s essential to ensure that all of your patients can access your website, regardless of ability.
In this blog post, you’ll learn how to make your website ADA compliant and some best practices to follow.
Keep in mind that having an ADA compliant website is not only beneficial for patients but can also help protect your dental practice from any legal issues. So, read on to learn more.
What Is the ADA?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including websites. The ADA standards for website accessibility are set by the Department of Justice (DOJ), and they must be met by all businesses, regardless of size or industry.
What Are the Requirements for an ADA-Compliant Website?
There are three main types of web content that must be accessible to those with disabilities:
- Static content: This includes things like images, videos, and infographics. All static content must be tagged appropriately so that screen readers can interpret it correctly.
- Dynamic content: This includes forms, drop-down menus, and other interactive elements. Dynamic content must be properly coded to be used with assistive technologies such as screen readers.
- Navigation: Websites must have clear and consistent navigation so that users can easily move around the site, regardless of ability. This includes things like breadcrumb trails, headings, and alt text.
In addition to these three types of content, there are also some general design principles that all ADA compliant websites must follow. These include using large fonts, high contrast colors, and simple layouts.
What if my website isn’t ADA compliant?
If your website is not ADA compliant, you could face severe consequences. These include lawsuits and damage to your reputation.
So, if your website is not ADA compliant, what can you do? The first step is to assess what needs to be done to make your website compliant. Once you’ve done that, you can start making changes to your site.
If you’re not sure how to make your website ADA compliant, there are a few things you can do. You can hire a web developer who specializes in ADA compliance, or you can use an online tool like the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Checklist.
What is the WCAG2?
The WCAG2 is a set of guidelines that helps businesses make their websites more accessible to those with disabilities. The guidelines are broken down into three levels: A, AA, and AAA.
- Level A is the most basic level of compliance and requires that all static content be appropriately tagged, and all dynamic content be appropriately coded.
- Level AA is the next level up and requires that all navigation be clear and consistent, as well as adding captions to all videos.
- Level AAA is the highest level of compliance and requires that all website content meets the needs of those with the most severe disabilities.
No matter what level you choose, following the WCAG2 guidelines will help make your website more accessible to those with disabilities.
Benefits of an ADA-compliant website
There are many benefits to having an ADA compliant website, including:
- Improved accessibility: An ADA-compliant website is more accessible to those with disabilities, which can help you attract and retain more patients.
- Increased search engine ranking: Websites that are compliant with the WCAG2 guidelines often rank higher in search engines, which can help you attract more visitors to your site.
- Reduced legal risk: By making your website ADA compliant, you can reduce the risk of being sued for discrimination.
- Improved patient experience: An ADA-compliant website provides a better experience for all users, not just those with disabilities. This can lead to increased patient satisfaction and loyalty.
Making your dental practice’s website ADA compliant can be a bit of work, but it’s worth it. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it can also help you attract and retain more patients.
Tips for ADA Compliance
Here are a few tips to help you make your website ADA compliant:
- Use clear and consistent navigation: All of your website’s links should be easy to find and use. Ensure all pages are correctly linked and that your menus are easy to understand.
- Use large font sizes: Small font sizes can be challenging to read, especially for those with vision impairments. So, make sure all of the text on your website is large enough to be easily readable.
- Use high contrast colors: Using contrasting colors can help make sure your website is easily readable for those with vision impairments. For example, you might want to use a dark color for your text and a light color for your background.
- Use simple layouts: Complex layouts can be confusing and frustrating for users with disabilities. So, stick to simple designs that are easy to follow.
- Add alt text to all images: Alt text describes images for those who can’t see them. So, make sure all of the images on your website have alt text that accurately describes the image.
- Add captions to all videos: Just like images, videos should also be captioned for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. This way, they can still understand what’s going on in the video.
- Use forms and drop-down menus: Forms and drop-down menus can be challenging to use for those with disabilities. So, make sure they’re adequately coded and easy to understand.
- Use an accessibility checker: Several free and paid tools will scan your website and identify any accessibility issues.
- Review your code: If you’re comfortable working with code, you can review your source code to look for potential accessibility issues.
- Test your site: One of the best ways to ensure that your site is accessible is to test it yourself. Use a screen reader or other assistive technology to navigate your site, and see if you can access all the content.
Making your dental practice’s website ADA compliant is not only the right thing to do, but it can also help protect your practice from legal issues.
ADA Compliant Websites from The Dental SEO Experts
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