If you have heard that your organization needs to be 508 compliant but you are unsure what that entails, you are not alone. Many health and medical organizations don't have a full understanding of what is required to obtain 508 compliance.
You must know what Section 508 is, how it applies to your organization, and the types of documents that are subject to compliance in order to create an effective compliance strategy for the future.
What Is Section 508?
Section 508 refers to an amendment passed by Congress. This amendment alters the Rehabilitation Act, and requires that all federal agencies make their electronic and information technology accessible to individuals with a disability.
Section 508 is intended to make opportunities and information readily available to all persons, regardless of their disability status. The Americans with Disabilities Act is closely related to Section 508, as are communications regulations.
How Does Section 508 Apply to You?
Some organizations become confused by the wording of Section 508. They believe that compliance is only required by federal agencies, not private organizations. The fact of the matter is that any organization doing business with a federal agency is required to maintain Section 508 compliance.
This means that if your healthcare organization receives federal funding or if you work with federal healthcare employees, you will be required to be in compliance with Section 508 at all times.
What Documents Are Subject to Section 508 Review?
Section 508 is designed to be an umbrella regulation that covers a variety of documents. Essentially, any type of electronic communication that you create between the public and your organization's doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals must be Section 508-compliant. This includes your organization's website content, any emails that you might send out on a regular basis, any apps that you develop to help patients interact with your organization, any computer software patients will use, and any PDF documents that you create for patient distribution.
Accessibility is required for all electronic and information technology utilized by your organization under Section 508.
If your organization does not become and remain Section 508 compliant, you could be facing some serious consequences. You run the risk of losing your federal agency funding, you open your healthcare organization up to lawsuits, and you can alienate patients who need your help. Some organizations may even be required to pay fines as a result of their non-compliance with Section 508 accessibility standards. Reach out to a company like Kaffeinated Kodemonkey to learn more.
My name is Shawna Banks and this is a blog that focuses on health issues that affect women. I became interested in women's health when my sister began having medical problems. After her condition worsened, she went to see a doctor. After her diagnosis and successful treatment, I helped her research the different kinds of health conditions that are common in women. By becoming knowledgeable about these types of problems, we can keep ourselves healthier. I hope that when you read this blog, it will help you to identify symptoms that shouldn't be ignored. If necessary, you can schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible.