(Newswire.net — February 6, 2019) Chicago, IL — If you’re work for a large company, chances are you’ve already heard of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
You probably understand several parts of it very well, such as how to protect yourself against lawsuits by making physical establishments accessible to everyone with a disability.
When it comes to website ADA compliance, however, many companies prefer to ignore that it exists instead of making changes necessary under the law.
For a long time, ADA compliance for websites was not enforced.
There was no definitive ruling on what should and shouldn’t be done to make websites ADA complaint until new rules were released in 2018.
Before 2018, most cases were being thrown out of court on technicalities. The new rules, however, make it impossible to escape a lawsuit if you’re found to be in violation of the regulations, because they apply to every single piece of website content and design online.
As a organization, it’s more important than ever to make sure your website is ADA compliant. Not sure it if is, simply go through the checklist in this article to figure out the answer and next steps.
Not just to avoid a lawsuit, but also to make sure that your services are accessible by all of your potential customers.
It’s probably going to be the case that your organizations website, at one point or another, will be visited by someone with a disability.
Do you really want to wait until it’s too late and you’re sitting in a courtroom to hear your fate to make changes?
You might think it won’t happen to you.
The amount of websites being sued for ADA noncompliance has risen to over 10,000 last year alone.
Still don’t believe us?
Here are just four well known cases of healthcare organizations that failed to make the necessary changes and paid a dear price!
Four Healthcare Companies That Were Sued For Not Following The Rules
Tenet Healthcare are a Texas based company in charge of operating hospitals located in and around the Florida area.
They aim to implement measures to improve the delivery of medical services and patient experiences, but it seems they fell short of this when it came to delivering to people with disabilities who visited their website.
On behalf of a group of people with visual impairments, Tenet Healthcare was taken to court accused of violating the ADA by lacking screen-reader technology.
Those who sued the company claimed that this made the website inaccessible as they were not able to navigate the site and have equal access to the information available on it as those without a visual impairment.
Anthem is the largest for-profit managed health care insurance plan provider in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
While still operating under their previous name of WellPoint, this company was sued for failing to meet ADA compliance standards.
Although no monetary fines were made in this case, the company were ordered by the judge to make necessary modifications to their websites and mobile apps to make sure they became compliant.
If they didn’t become compliant within an allocated time frame, it is likely that a monetary fine would have been attached, as well as a further demand to make the website and apps ADA compliant.
CAC Florida Medical Centers
CAC Florida Medical Centers is a company that specializes in providing holistic treatment for senior citizens.
This company claims to have expert knowledge of the medical and physical changes someone goes through in older adulthood, but this didn’t factor into their design decisions when creating their website.
Eventually, this company was sued by the Federal District Court in Florida following allegations from an individual with a visual impairment who claimed he could not access the full website.
Changes have since been made, and the website appears to be completely ADA compliant.
HCA Healthcare is one of the nation’s leading providers of healthcare services, managing 178 hospitals and 119 freestanding surgery center located in 20 U.S states and the UK.
They were sued by law firm Carlson Lynch in Federal Court after allegations surfaced that revealed that over 100 websites belonging to hospitals and healthcare facilities owned by the company were not ADA compliant.
Like with many of the other complaints, this lawsuit was specifically made after claims that the website was not accessible to people with visual impairments.
They were found to be in violation on Title 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Could You End Up Like Them?
If you’re healthcare website isn’t currently accessible, or doing everything it can to become ADA compliant, then it’s important that you start thinking about how you can change this.
After all, when the Federal Court has shown no leniency when it comes to dealing with those whose websites are non ADA compliant, you really don’t want to be caught short.
What Happens If You Are Caught?
It’s difficult to find information on the outcome of lawsuits like those we’ve mentioned above as the fear of being sued is usually enough to encourage the healthcare organization to make necessary changes.
The first case in many of these ADA non-compliance lawsuits, however, is to give the offending owners of the website the opportunity to correct their mistakes.
To do this, you must make as many changes as is needed to comply with the law, no matter how expensive this might be for your company.
There is so guarantee that a judge at your healthcare organizations trial will be so lenient, however.
In fact, websites that are taken to court for being ADA non-compliant can face fines of up to $75,000… and that’s just for your first offence!
For any further violations of the online ADA regulations, you will be fined an eye watering sum of $150,000.
Even if you are a big healthcare organization, losing money like that is going to hurt your business.
It’s so much easier—and cheaper—to learn about the ADA regulations and implement them on your website as soon as possible instead.
Are you curious if your website is ADA compliant? Digital Authority Partners can provide a free assessment to answer that question. And we can help you fix all outstanding issues as well.