First off, what is digital accessibility?
Digital accessibility is the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with websites and apps for people living with disabilities. In a practical sense, it means that websites, apps, and documents must be programmed in a way that provides methods for accessible technology to access this content.
Many people are just learning of the importance of this issue, but healthcare organizations have been legally required to ensure their digital products are accessible since 1998 due to the important Section 504 amendments to the Rehabilitation Act. In this new decade, pleading ignorance is no defense. Below are tips on how to get started on becoming compliant.
Bonus Tip: Stay Accessible
Remember, people and processes change over time and it is important to be diligent in protecting your current investment in digital accessibility and continuing to be compliant in the future. Your site and apps are not standing still, and each change may contain accessibility issues. While this doesn’t need to be overly costly, it does mean regularly training your staff, monitoring your properties, and ensuring that proper quality assurance processes are in place to review for issues during releases.
If your website is not constructed to comply with the WCAG success criteria, your company is exposed to several risks, including legal actions, user experience issues, and losing traffic. With 61 million Americans (1 billion people worldwide) having a disability, accessibility compliance is important for individuals to have an equal footing in the modern world. Simply put, meeting compliance is the right thing to do.
Accessible360, the nation’s leading court-certified Live-User Auditing firm, has partnered with O8 because this agency is a proven thought leader, has industry expertise in healthcare, higher education, and other relevant verticals, and is committed to providing accessible design and development for all of their clients.
“We’re thrilled to join forces with O8. This will be a big year for this topic because, on July 26th, we’ll celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the signing of the American’s with Disabilities Act and this compliance issue will be top of mind for healthcare,” says Michele Landis, Co-Founder of Accessible360, on their partnership with the Minneapolis-based digital agency.
Guest Blog Post Written By: Michele Landis, Accessible360