Striving to make websites accessible

Sites maintained by myDentalHost.com are automatically checked for accessibility by using different tools on the internet that evaluates the pages we maintain, create and archive for our clients. Making sites accessible for a range of visually impaired persons and other disabilities will increase search engine ranking by following standards on accessibility.

Why does this matter? There have been discussions lately about how the Americans with Disabilities Act pertains to websites, especially medical and dental websites. Medical and dental offices already fall under the ADA as "places of public accommodations". Recently, some lawyers have been sending letters to practices claiming that their websites do not comply with the ADA and threaten legal action unless settled out of court for money.

Today, there is no legal definition for an ADA compliant website, but that does not stop us from building accessible websites that all users can interact with. Our CSS and design style follow the standards WCAG 2.0 Level AA. This level of of compliance is higher than most Federal Agency's have to follow by law (Section 508). We also place a notice on sites that explain our goal towards accessibility enabling anyone with an issue accessing a site to express their concerns.

Web Accessibility Checker

AChecker is used to evaluate HTML content for accessibility problems by entering the location of a web page, uploading an html file, or by pasting the complete HTML source code from a Web page.

AChecker produces a report of all accessibility problems for your selected guidelines. AChecker identifies 3 types of problems:

  1. Known problems: These are problems that have been identified with certainty as accessibility barriers. You must modify your page to fix these problems;
  2. Likely problems:These are problems that have been identified as probable barriers, but require a human to make a decision. You will likely need to modify your page to fix these problems;
  3. Potential problems: These are problems that AChecker cannot identify, that require a human decision. You may have to modify your page for these problems, but in many cases you will just need to confirm that the problem described is not present.

Eliminating known problems and evaluating likely and potential problems benefits not only users that may have disabilities but also improves search engine ranking.