Making Your Dental Website Accessible

Over the past year, inquires have surfaced about the need for dental practice websites to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (AwDA).

In fact, in the fall of 2016 numerous dental and medical practices received letters from attorneys threatening legal action if the practice did not update their website to be AwDA compliant. Earlier this year, the American Dental Association issued a write-up about how to ensure your practice’s website meets the requirements of Accessibility for disabled persons.

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act provides that “[n]o individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any private entity who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation.”

A dental practice is considered a place of public accommodation, as is the access to information about the practice via its website. The World Wide Web Consortium provides guidelines for making a website accessible to those with disabilities, which include considerations such as:

  • The website should provide alternate descriptions of graphical elements
  • The website should properly format forms that require user input so fields can be identified by screen readers
  • Tables that contain data should include column and row headers
  • The website should embed closed captioning or another means to ensure deaf or hearing-impaired users can understand a website’s audio content
  • The website should have high-contrast between background and text colors

At ProSites, we recently launched a new Accessibility option for all of our dentists. This new feature is included with every website at no additional charge. It is optional to implement and designed to meet the requirements of Website Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.

When the feature is enabled, an Accessibility tab is visible on all web pages. If a user selects this tab, they will be taken to an accessible version of the website.  They also note that enabling the Accessibility Mode will not impact the standard operation or appearance of the website.

To learn how to implement this new feature on your website, click here. If you have additional questions about this feature, please contact ProSites at (888) 932-3644.