Archive for the "ADA" Topic

Accessibility Legislation in the Healthcare Industry: Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act

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Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Section 1557 is not intended to stand alone but works in conjunction with other Federal anti-discrimination and civil rights legislation. Specifically, the law reiterates the prohibitions for discrimination already present in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. To that extent, it can be argued that everything covered under Section 1557 is already covered under current laws. We did an extensive series about Section 1557 in late 2016, which… Read More

The Impact of Trump’s Executive Order on Web Accessibility

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On January 30, President Trump signed an executive order to curtail regulations and the cost associated with them. One of the notable provisions in the executive order mandates “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination.” The executive order will have significant impact on digital accessibility. As a recent post on Seyfarth Shaw’s ADA Title III blog points out, new Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations for public accommodation websites, originally anticipated for 2018, will likely be stalled. We concur with Seyfarth Shaw’s assessment that the lack of clear guidelines for public accommodation websites… Read More

Recent Legal Activity in the Healthcare Industry

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The past few years have been very busy in terms of litigation and structured settlements regarding accessibility and healthcare. There are great strides being made to provide more equal access to healthcare for persons with disabilities. The following cases are relevant to SSB’s area of expertise, that is, information and communications technology. US Health and Human Services In February 2016, the National Federation for the Blind (NFB) and other disability advocates filed a lawsuit in Massachusetts. They claimed that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and their sub-contractors violated the civil rights of blind and low vision Medicare… Read More

Accessibility and Healthcare: Challenges for Patients and Providers

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One out of every five people in the U.S. – that’s 56 million Americans – has a disability, and those individuals need access to healthcare. But often those disabilities create challenges in accessing healthcare services and technology. In this new blog series we’ll examine some of the most important issues related to accessibility and the health care industry. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we discuss: Challenges with Healthcare Technology Although new technology makes many aspects of healthcare easier for patients, that new technology is not always accessible to persons with disabilities. For example, many healthcare providers are switching… Read More

What Will a Trump Presidency Mean for Digital Accessibility?

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In the wake of Donald Trump’s election to the presidency, many are wondering how the new administration will affect the digital accessibility space. In the short term, we see it as unlikely that a Trump presidency will have a major impact on the status quo. The Americans with Disabilities Act Donald Trump has never specifically addressed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), so it is difficult to predict what his stance would be. In the past, scaling back rights for people with disabilities has proven to be politically unpopular. Given that neither advancing nor curtailing the ADA is among Trump’s… Read More

ADA and the Internet: ADA Settlements – Customer Service

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This is the 7th and final installment in the ADA and the Internet Series. Settlements will typically contain language about providing customer service to users with disabilities. This includes a requirement that you provide a method for users with disabilities to access customer service as well as a requirement to train your customer service representatives so they understand how to properly handle and escalate issues related to accessibility. For example, when someone contacts customer service and says “I have an issue using the site in JAWS,” we don’t want the response to be “What is JAWS?” Representatives should also know… Read More

ADA and the Internet: ADA Settlements – Testing and Bug Fixing

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This is the 6th installment in the ADA and the Internet Series. Automated Web Accessibility Testing Purchasing and deploying an automated web accessibility testing tool is a key part of any web accessibility program. As part of the settlement, most clients will need to secure and use an automated testing tool that covers web, mobile and electronic documents. Automated testing is another basic requirement we see in most agreements. While this can be done internally, most clients outsource this and have SSB run automated tests. There is no material cost associated with this approach as we can allocate a few… Read More

ADA and the Internet: ADA Settlements – Policies, Public Statements, and Personnel

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This is the fifth installment in our ADA and the Internet Series Web Accessibility Policy Most settlements have a requirement for a web accessibility policy and DoJ settlements have been including them for some time. Generally, we would agree that requiring a defined, written, and widely distributed digital accessibility policy is a best practice. One item we would recommend to include is the ability to update the policy upon written notice to the other party. If they choose not to object, the new policy would go in place. If they choose to object, you get together and sort it out…. Read More

ADA and the Internet: ADA Settlements – Third-Party Solutions and WCAG Carve-Outs

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This is the fourth installment in our ADA and the Internet Series Third Party Solutions Third party services and content are often carved out in agreements to allow for time to evaluate new and alternative solutions. We have also seen ads and non-functional components of websites be carved out for similar reasons. A reasonable commitment for most parties is that when evaluating, purchasing, or renewing third party solutions, accessibility will be evaluated as part of the process. One way to ensure delivery of accessible solutions by third-party providers is to revise your new contract language reflecting your organization’s policy on… Read More

ADA and the Internet: ADA Settlements – Fitting Accessibility Compliance into Your Product Lifecycle

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This is the third installment in our ADA and the Internet Series If your organization is involved in web-related ADA litigation, one of the most important things your legal counsel can do is fight for a realistic accessibility compliance timeline. We have seen settlements with timelines in the 1-2 year range. In our experience, trying to get a system into a high level of compliance with WCAG 2.0 AA standards in anything less than two years is exceptionally difficult. Our general recommendation would be a five-year remediation period as that allows for the best cost efficiency and quality while still… Read More

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