Businesses, including dental practices, are increasingly being named in lawsuits for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act with respect to the accessibility of their websites. Since 2013, federal lawsuits related to AwDA and website accessibility have more than tripled with around 10,500 cases filed in 2019, according to data published in February by JD Supra.
CDA has also heard from dental practices that have received demand letters from attorneys.
A dental practice’s website is a private entity’s public accommodation and service and is therefore subject to AwDA requirements, meaning the website must be accessible to people with disabilities.
The webinar “Three Keys to Website Accessibility” happening Tuesday, July 27, and hosted by WEO Media, a CDA Endorsed Services partner, will cover all that dentists need to know about three major website components named in lawsuits and demand letters and the steps they can take now to bring those components into compliance. The three components are:
“The waters can get really muddy with respect to how the federal AwDA applies to website accessibility,” said Cory Roletto, co-founder and partner at WEO Media, a CDA Endorsed Services partner. “We need definitions or standards to understand whether we must be compliant and how to be compliant,” said Roleto, who will present the upcoming webinar.
The courts generally refer to a set of industry standards known as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines when applying the AwDA to website accessibility. Roletto will explain how those guidelines apply to websites and show dental practices how to bring their websites into compliance ― and maintain compliance.
For example, AwDA-compliant website code encompasses not just font color and size but descriptions of visual content and the organization of content, while fillable forms and PDFs must not only be HIPAA-compliant but AwDA compliant. Individuals with disabilities must have a way to fill out the form without using a mouse.
“We often think of the visually impaired, but we must remember that a range of disabilities, including those with hearing or mobility impairments, can also make it difficult to impossible to navigate a website,” Roletto said.
The webinar will also cover:
Register now for “Three Keys to Website Accessibility” through CDA Presents 360°, CDA’s new destination for year-round learning. The webinar will take place 5:30-6:30 PDT on July 27 and is available at no cost to CDA members. Registrants can access the recorded webinar for 30 days after the live presentation.