Website Accessibility for People with Disabilities

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that all website content be accessible to people with disabilities. This applies to Web applications, Web pages and attached files.

The frequency of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III lawsuits filed in federal court has increased, including website accessibility litigation. Health centers must practice due diligence in their compliance efforts. There are preventive measures and risk mitigation strategies a health center may adopt as part of its larger corporate compliance obligations to ensure website accessibility for people with disabilities.

Health centers are considered places of “public accommodation” for purposes of the ADA and are prohibited from discriminating against individuals on the basis of disability. This means that all individuals must have equal access to services provided by the health center, including public websites.

Resources
Memo on ADA Demand Letters

Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell law group provide background information and mitigation strategies for health centers on the issue surrounding health center website accessibility for people with disabilities. Learn more.

How to Build and Manage Compliant Websites

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides user-friendly checklists and job aids on how to be compliant with legal requirements under Section 508. Learn more.

Section 508 Requirements and Responsibilities

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) provides background on the accessibility standards for Information and Community Technology (ICT) and resource guides on how to implement these standards. Learn more.

Technical Assistance from the U.S. Access Board

The Access Board, created in 1973, is an independent federal agency that promotes equality for people with disabilities through leadership in accessible design and the development of accessibility guidelines and standards. The Board is a leading source of information on accessible design. It provides technical assistance and training on accessibility requirements and standards. Learn more.

Section 508 Checklist

Interpretation of Section 508 web standards resulting in a pass/fail criteria checklist to assist with web redesign compliance efforts. Learn more.

Risk Management Resources

Risk management is a systematic process of identifying, assessing, and reducing risk associated with patient, employee or visitor injuries, property loss or damages, and other sources of potential legal liability. It may also encompass controlling cost, enhancing reporting to management, and a better use of resources. Eliminating possible discrimination barriers for people with disabilities, for example, website accessibility, is a component of risk management. Learn more.

For more information, please contact Gina Capra, Associate Vice President, Training and Technical Assistance, at (301) 347-0400.

 

This page covers an emergent topic facing health centers and is updated periodically to be responsive to those issues. This provides general information and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney who can advise your organization based upon local, state and federal laws.