As a modern medical professional, you must provide a universally accessible experience for anyone who visits your website, online content, and online services. Whether your website is a resource for existing patients, designed to attract new patients, or both, compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures that everyone who visits your website will receive an excellent experience.
Below you’ll learn more about accessibility guidelines, why they are important to your practice, and how you can ensure no patients get left behind.
What is website accessibility?
Website accessibility is the practice of making a website fully meaningful to and usable by as many people as possible.
The first step to ensuring that your medical practice website is accessible to all visitors is to ensure it meets the legal requirements. The ADA requires that all websites be accessible to people with disabilities, including those who rely on screen readers and other assistive technologies.
Follow WCAG best practices
Familiarize yourself with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), widely accepted as the industry standard for accessibility online. WCAG provides best practices on how websites and web content can be ADA-compliant and more accessible to people with disabilities:
- Build your website to be responsive across standard devices, including tablets and mobile devices, ensuring all visitors have a consistent experience.
- Use consistent navigation throughout your website to ensure clarity when people try to access any part of your site.
- Use straightforward language, and define technical phrases or specific medical terminology where they are unavoidable.
- Choose a font style and color that is easy to read when contrasted against your website background.
- Ensure written content is easily distinguishable from graphics or other non-content displayed on your website.
- Provide descriptive alternative text (alt text) for images, videos, and other non-text content so that people with visual impairments can fully understand it.
- Include closed captions and transcripts for multimedia content, such as how-to videos or podcast interviews, allowing people with hearing loss to access helpful information.
Understand why you need to meet accessibility standards
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27% of Americans currently live with a disability. Building an accessible website isn’t a bonus — it’s a baseline for effective communication and quality care.
Website visitors need to easily navigate between web pages, read content, and use tools such as online scheduling or digital intake forms. An accessible website benefits all visitors. When you invest in accessibility, prospective patients are more likely to understand why they should choose your practice, and view your web presence as a reflection of your care and professionalism.