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Website Accessibility Under Title II of the ADA

ADAMany people with disabilities use assistive technology that enables them to use computers. Some assistive technology involves separate computer programs or devices, such as screen readers, text enlargement software, and computer programs that enable people to control the computer with their voice. Other assistive technology is built into computer operating systems. For example, basic accessibility features in computer operating systems enable some people with low vision to see computer displays by simply adjusting color schemes, contrast settings, and font sizes. Operating systems enable people with limited manual dexterity to move the mouse pointer using key strokes instead of a standard mouse. Many other types of assistive technology are available, and more are still being developed.

In order to make your practice website compliant with the ADA, several areas need to be addressed, including:

  • Adding a text equivalent to every image (“alt tags” or “longdesc tags”)
  • Providing accessible versions of PDF forms
  • Enabling “screen reader” audio version of all text
  • Enabling font size adjustment
  • Enabling background and text color contrast adjustment

For an example of how many of these features work, see the Screen Reader element at the bottom of each page of our website. Select any text block and click on the “Play” button, click on the “Increase” button to enlarge the text, or click on any of the “Toggle High Contrast” buttons to change the color contrast.

The ADA requires that all organizations with a “public presence” make their websites accessible - current maximum penalties for non-compliance are $75K for the first offence and $150K for subsequent violations.