Ensuring Section 508 Compliance in Health-Tech
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The wearables market is growing at an exponential speed; at a CAGR of 17.60%, to be precise. Although, a lack of digital accessibility may hinder your business to reach its true potential. No matter how amazing the design and functionality you developed, if you are not addressing the needs of disabled users, you are losing a huge segment of your target audience!
With evolving technologies like remote patient monitoring and healthcare analytics, a large number of healthcare organizations are agreeing to make their websites and digital assets more approachable by adhering to Section 508 accessibility standards.
Embracing accessibility principles is not only a legal obligation. In the evolving health-tech landscape, Section 508 compliance facilitates a more inclusive and technologically advanced health-tech future. Accessibility can drive transformative change in the healthcare ecosystem. With deliberate integration of Section 508 compliance standards, digital accessibility is attainable. Indeed, every facet of health-tech design and development should emphasize inclusivity. Let’s learn more about the potential benefits of the journey toward health-tech accessibility.
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to individuals with disabilities. Originally, Section 508 pertained to federal agencies only, now the principles of accessibility extend beyond the government sector. Therefore industries, including healthcare developing information and technology offerings with Section 508 and ADA compliance.
Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has also issued accessibility guidelines to further support Section 508 compliance.
Ensuring Section 508 compliance entails designing, developing, and maintaining digital platforms, applications, websites, and electronic documents that can be effectively used by individuals with disabilities. Anyone who is engaged with your health-tech products, be it patients, healthcare providers or any other stakeholder, should be able to enjoy barrier-free access.
The digital landscape is ever-evolving, hence, developing technologically advanced solutions is crucial for survival. Moreover, prioritizing inclusivity offers a range of benefits. Section 508 accessibility is imperative for health-tech businesses due to several crucial reasons:
Barrier-free Access: Imagine your health-tech business develops a telemedicine app for convenient remote consultation. Without digital accessibility compliance, you may not be able to serve the needs of visually impaired users. On the other hand, compliance with Section 508 ensures that your app has easy navigation. In simple words, individuals with disabilities can access and use health-tech products on an equal basis.
Legal Compliance: Section 508 compliance is a legal requirement for federal agencies and organizations receiving federal funding. If an organization develops a platform for electronic health records they may not secure a contract with federal agencies if the platform lacks Section 508 accessibility standards. Platforms that are receiving federal funding are already at the risk of lawsuits and potential penalties. A group of healthcare professionals with disabilities, who use your developed EHR system can also file a lawsuit against the start-up.
Enhanced Market Research: Highly advanced health tech products may gain popularity among general consumers, but accessible products recognize the untapped potential of catering to individuals with disabilities.
When you are able to cater to a wider user base, your product gets positive word of mouth. Satisfied users share their experiences with friends, family, and online communities, generating positive word of mouth that further boosts the company’s reputation. Assuring accessibility, demonstrates social responsibility and ethical commitment. It enhances your brand reputation and results in market expansion.
Future-Proofing: Regulatory and industry standards are evolving continuously. Ensuring that your products remain relevant and competitive is always beneficial. Integration Section 508 compliance guidelines in your products foster great user engagement and make your brand future-ready.
Now that you know the potential benefits of adhering to Section 508 accessibility norms, you might be searching for a roadmap to digital inclusivity. Ensuring Section 508 compliance in a health-tech businesses requires a proactive and comprehensive approach.
It is best to incorporate accessibility considerations from the initial stages of product development. Consider accessible design principles for the user interface and experience. Prioritize fully navigable interfaces with keyboard inputs. This ensures barrier-free access for users with motor disabilities.
In addition to this, accessibility testing is paramount. Consult experts for comprehensive accessibility audits. They can help you in identifying potential barriers and actionable solutions. Continuous testing and swift issue resolution maintain a consistently high level of accessibility, reinforcing an inclusive user experience for all.
Accessibility audits can be done for the usability of assistive technologies. This includes screen readers, magnification tools, and voice recognition software. Although software scans are quick, the results are only 30%. Hence, opt for user-centered approach for accessibility testing. Manual interventions by accessibility experts help uncover real-world accessibility issues and guide for improvements.
Ideally, you should go with the hybrid approach of manual accessibility testing and software testing. Ensure consistency in accessibility testing. It should be an ongoing process, where
any identified accessibility issues should be resolved promptly to maintain a high level of accessibility over time.
Section 508 compliance is not only a regulatory requirement, but it can also be the strategic imperative to expand your market reach and enhance your brand reputation. Reap the benefits of improved customer satisfaction levels and social responsibility by investing in accessibility testing.
ADACP Section 508 Experts
Our accessibility specialists have a deep understanding of ADA and section 508. We can help you meet the unique needs of the healthcare sector. Moreover, we’re committed to crafting an inclusive online experience for everyone, regardless of abilities. Connect with ADACP to establish a more accessible and equitable digital healthcare landscape.