Practis Website Accessibility Program
Section 508 of The Rehabilitation Act requires federal government agencies to make all of its electronic information usable by people with disabilities. Effective January of 2018, all healthcare organizations who receive funds from the federal government also need to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA for their websites, electronic documents, and software. Under ACA’s Section 1557, most healthcare organizations are also required to address the accessibility of their digital communications.
WCAG Accessibility & Performance Program
To help healthcare organizations better achieve and maintain website accessibility, Practis designed a comprehensive WCAG Accessibility and Performance Program. This program will:
- Perform website testing for accessibility and page speed. As an expert in WCAG Accessibility, Practis will test your website against compliance standards* and overall page speed performance.
- Provide a written report with recommendations. Following our initial assessment of your website, we would provide you with a written report of needed updates.
- Remediation of issues. Based on our findings and recommendations, Practis can perform updates to your site to better comply with WCAG standards and improved page speed performance.
- Ongoing testing and maintenance. Accessibility compliance and testing for website page speed is not a single event, but an ongoing process. As you make ongoing changes to your site, ongoing testing and maintenance is needed to keep your site compliant. Practis will continue to run quarterly reports to identify any new issues that need to be addressed and, if authorized, work to address issues as they arise.
*Review specific standards that we test for. Please note that some accessibility issues require human judgment and cannot be tested automatically.
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Interested in knowing how your healthcare site complies with WCAG Accessibility requirements?
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What you need to know
- Understand what’s required to comply. Review Section 508 and WCAG AA rules. Updates may be needed to change color contrast on your website, add alternative text to images, table labels, captions and transcripts for website videos.
- Understand the degree of changes needed. Some changes such as changing “learn more” or “click here” links may be pretty straightforward, while other changes could impact design or your ability to utilize your current content management system (CMS). Depending on the degree of changes needed, it may even mean a redesign of your site.
- Consult with your web and digital marketing agency. Reach out to your digital agency for guidance and to understand how to make your site more accessible and improve its pagespeed performance.
- Accessibility for compliance is ongoing. As you make new updates to your site, these changes could impact your site’s compliance and performance. Ongoing testing against standards and maintenance is needed.
Why it’s important to make your healthcare website accessible and optimized
Legal issues aside, when people are researching a healthcare provider or a health service in their area, today they typically go online to do so and often from a mobile device. A healthcare organization’s website is often an opportunity to make a positive first impression for those new and prospective patients. But if that website is not accessible or it takes too long to load, you may be putting up barriers to those with a disability or who use a mobile device. Finally since accessible content and optimized content are both machine readable, there’s also an SEO benefit for following accessibility best practices.
Get started today.
We welcome an opportunity to discuss your accessibility needs and help you with your website WCAG compliance and performance. Practis offers a comprehensive program that will enhance the accessibility and performance of your website, identify issues to update and proactively monitor compliance to standards.