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Retailers, Take Note: Putting a Price Tag on Lack of Digital Accessibility

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The Click-Away Pound Survey studied online shopping in the United Kingdom by customers with disabilities. The 2016 report revealed some startling numbers: 71% of disabled shoppers will click away from your website if it is too difficult to use. The majority (81%) of these consumers will pay more money for the same item on a competitor’s website if that site is more accessible. These “click-away” customers accounted for around 10% of UK online shopping revenue in 2016—roughly £75 billion in the UK alone. Bringing your websites and apps into compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 is the… Read More

ADA and the Web – What Retailers Need to Know

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Twenty-five years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law, prohibiting discrimination based on disability. Most retailers understand that physical spaces must conform to specific design requirements for accessibility under the ADA, but in recent years the scope of the law is being interpreted more broadly. The argument has effectively been made that online services constitute “public accommodations.” The Department of Justice’s (DoJ) policy on website accessibility states that Title III of the ADA addresses businesses that are places of public accommodation, and as a result, the effective communication rule applies to entities that use the internet as… Read More

EU Directive 2016/2102/EU: What is Covered?

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European Union Directive 2016/2102/EU, creating a set of standards for EU public sector bodies, was approved on October 26, 2016. But what exactly is covered under the Directive? Let’s talk about what is covered as well as some notable exclusions from the Directive. What is Covered? The Directive applies to websites and mobile applications under the control of public sector bodies. Public sector bodies are defined in the Directive as bodies governed by public law, including State, regional, and local authorities. Public sector bodies also include associations formed by those authorities, if the associations are formed for fulfilling general interest… Read More

The Path to Digital Accessibility for Healthcare Organizations

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Where do you even start when it comes to digital accessibility? It’s often helpful to look at the result and work backward, so let’s look at the results of structured negotiation by a large insurance provider as an example of what accessibility entails. WCAG 2.0 Level AA Standards The organization will consider their web content accessible if it meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0 Level AA. Their content is tested during production and then monitored regularly to ensure compliance and usability. WCAG 2.0 Level AA concepts include: Ensure that a page is designed so it can be… Read More

EU Directive 2016/2102/EU: The Private Sector

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European Union Directive 2016/2102/EU, creating a set of standards for EU public sector bodies, was approved on October 26, 2016. The Directive explicitly affects public sector bodies, but the private sector may also be impacted by the Directive. The Directive encourages Member States to extend the Directive to private entities that offer facilities and services which are open or provided to the public. Some examples of industries that provide services to the public include: healthcare; childcare; social inclusion; social security; and electronic communication. The Directive also calls attention to services referred to in Directive 2014/25/EU, which creates standardized procurement rules… Read More

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

EU Directive 2016/2102/EU: Important Dates and Deadlines

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European Union Directive 2016/2102/EU, creating a set of standards for EU public sector bodies to make public sector websites and mobile applications more accessible across the EU, was approved on October 26, 2016, and was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on December 2, 2016. The Directive entered into force on the 20th day following its publication (December 22, 2016). The Member States will see the following deadlines: By September 22, 2018, Member States must enact laws, regulations, and administrative provisions that implement the requirements. By this date, Member States must also inform the European Commission (“the… 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

EU Directive 2016/2102/EU: Technical Standards

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European Union Directive 2016/2102/EU, creating a set of standards for EU public sector bodies, was approved on October 26, 2016. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the technical standards that websites and apps are required to meet. The Requirements For the functional accessibility requirements for information and communications technology products and services, the European standardization organizations have adopted European standard EN 301 549 V1.1.2 (2015-04). The standard can be used in public procurement or to support other policies and legislation. The accessibility requirements in the Directive conform with clauses 9, 10, and 11 of the standard. The commission has the power to easily… Read More

New Healthcare Tech is Amazing… Unless You Can’t Use It

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The healthcare industry is quickly becoming digitized, making data collection easier and more convenient for patients and doctors. Unfortunately, many of these amazing, time-saving solutions are not accessible to people with disabilities, particularly those who are blind or low vision. Digital Paperwork for New Patients Some medical offices are beginning to use kiosks or tablets to allow patients to sign in and complete required paperwork. This eliminates the hassle of reading messy handwriting and insurance hang-ups due to human error (ever had them get your birthday wrong? It’s a major pain!). However, it creates a privacy problem for blind or… Read More

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