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By Mandi Joyner, Account Manager, VGM Forbin

Requirements, laws, restrictions, or recommendations are nothing new to the HME industry, but as technology continues to advance and touch all facets of our lives, accessibility guidelines are impacting the industry in ways people once thought were unimaginable.

Websites, which use to be seen as a “nice to have,” are now a key component to owning and operating a business and are being held to higher standards as we became acutely aware two years ago through the acronym WCAG.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is a technical standard developed to make web content accessible for people with disabilities. In April 2016, publically held companies were required to comply with WCAG 2.0.

What This Means for You

As a business owner, the growing expectation is to allow for all users to have the same experience when using your website, no matter if they are hearing or seeing impaired or have no disability at all.

This could range from adding a text alternative to videos on your website to making sure there is more than one way to find a page on your website. WCAG 2.0 includes 12 guidelines grouped together under four key principles:

  • Perceivable
  • Operable
  • Understandable and
  • Robust

Websites are scored with an A, AA, or AAA level. The AA level is considered a “passing” level, with A not complying, and AAA being above and beyond expectations. 

At VGM Forbin, we have seen through our work with businesses in both the financial and health care industries that the expectations are not for your website to be perfectly compliant – because most websites continue to grow each month – but more importantly, that you have a plan for updating your website in a way that aligns with the WCAG 2.0 guidelines.

What You Can Do

To make sure you are providing a consistent website experience for all users, you should have your site digitally and manually audited for compliance. After determining what needs to be addressed, the appropriate ongoing plan for compliance can be put in place.

For more information on WCAG 2.0 and meeting compliance, please contact VGM Forbin.

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