When Warner Hospital & Health Services in Clinton, IL, asked for help with an ADA Compliance Audit and Compliance Strategy for their website, the McD Digital team was ready…
The team here at McDaniels Marketing admires Warner Hospital’s commitment to providing excellent care to their community in DeWitt County, IL. They have been providing medical care and expertise to those who need it since 1842. To continue this tradition of caring for anyone who comes their way, the team at Warner decided to extend that tradition into the digital realm by taking the first step to make their website ADA compliant: a professional ADA audit.
ADA compliance is important in any industry, but it is especially true in healthcare. Not only does it better serve the people who are coming to your website, it can also:
Many organizations want to be complaint, but it can be confusing to figure out exactly what the requirements are. To really get a sense of what you need to update, it is best to refer to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), but it would be nearly impossible, not to mention time consuming, to catch everything yourself. That is why McDaniels Marketing recommends you get a professional ADA audit for your website.
When the McD Digital team assisted Warner with their own website ADA audit, we partnered with Be Accessible, an organization that provides manual accessibility audits. Their audits give customers a picture of how well their websites meet requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 508 Standards, and the WCAG. Here’s how it went:
The first step was for the experts at Be Accessible, Inc. to manually go through the Warner website and create a personalized accessibility report. This detailed report not only listed the accessibility issues on their site, it also made recommendations to fix the specific identified issues.
Once the report was created, the McD Digital team, in conjunction with our Creative Design team, worked to implement the necessary changes. For example, a few issues that Be Accessible identified were:
1) Color Contrast Errors — In order to accommodate users with color-related visual impairments, Google recommends a site’s color scheme to be high contrast so that your content is easy to read, no matter who is navigating your site. An example of this on the Warner site was found in their dropdown menu. Notice the text in the image on the left (before) is slightly harder to read than when we darkened the color on the text in the image on the right (after).
2) Alt-Image Tags — Alt-image tags provide a description of what is in the content of an image. This improves the user experience by making sure that anyone can understand an image, whether they are using a screen reader or if your images don’t load properly for some reason. Alt-image tags also help Google know what is on an image, giving the search engine a better idea of what your website is about, hopefully leading your content to be ranked higher in the search results.
3) Descriptive Links - Any link that uses nonspecific phrases like “Click Here” or “Learn More” should be edited to let the user know where that link will take them when they click on it. There were a few examples of this on the Warner site like in the image below. The recommended solution was simply to move the link to the phrases “COVID-19 FROM THE CDC” and “COVID-19 FROM THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH”, eliminating the need to the “CLICK HERE” phrase at the end.
In total, the experts at Be Accessible found 32 "defects" with recommended changes on the Warner website. Warner Hospital & Health Services took this as an opportunity to continue to serve their community while also staying on the cutting edge of digital marketing and user experience. Simply by making this effort, Warner received an accessibility statement that they can put on their website that denotes that they are an organization that prioritizes accessibility.
McD Digital loves finding opportunities like this to help bolster our clients in any industry, positioning them well to be the best that they can be. Take your digital strategy to the next level. Contact Jenna Ferrell at email@example.com or call 309-346-6974 for more information.