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How Does Accessibility (or Lack of) Negatively Impact my Dental Practice?

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Some people hear “inaccessible website” and think of lawsuits and dollar signs. At this stage, it's something that cannot be ignored. Businesses need to sit down with their web agency and figure out a way to address this, whatever way works for them. But one thing’s for sure: doing nothing about your web accessibility is no longer a reasonable option.

What if every time you had to make an appointment, you had to rock climb up a sheer cliff face to do it? What if getting in and out of your car meant you had to do twenty pull ups, twenty pushups, and a mile run? Instead of a couple of evenly spaced steps leading down from your front door, what if it was an eight-foot drop? For someone with a disability, simple tasks are that difficult. 

If you can imagine, website accessibility is a rapidly developing business sector. Like most new things or ideas, there is a learning curve. Outreach education, like this blog post and our webinars, is about creating awareness surrounding this topic. I think dental practices, like many other businesses, really don’t have a strong understanding of what web accessibility really is and how they can address it. They’re just not in the know. Because of this knowledge gap, a web agency like TheWebpageSite.com has to come forward and say, “We’re paying attention to this because this is our expertise.” We want to make sure that the sites that we build and manage are up to date with today’s and tomorrow’s standards, and we see that this is a standard that is becoming more and more prevalent. We can bring it to your attention and hopefully have a discussion about it to see how we can integrate this in your website. 

There are two factors playing into this. The first is from a realistic point of view. Certain dental practices can unfortunately get wrapped up in litigation. Preventative and more proactive approaches have always yielded more positive outcomes, so in dealing with this evolving situation, having an accessibility solution in place just makes good business sense. This is a new reality that dental practice owners need to address. 

The second factor is from an inclusive standpoint. If a dental practice isn’t making that effort, the community will notice that and say, “Well, why not?” Being part of the health care community means being inclusive. 

From both of those standpoints, there are potential negatives in not addressing this issue. If you have been keeping up with the news, you don’t have to be an economist to see that the economy is in trouble. An economy in trouble means people are looking for all sorts of ways to make money. One way to potentially make money is by attacking these dental practices, right? Some people hear “inaccessible website” and think of lawsuits and dollar signs. People think that if they send a demand letter to an inaccessible cosmetic dentistry practice, they can walk out of that exchange with an extra $40,000 in their pocket. The sad reality is that unfortunately, they are not entirely wrong.In this day in age, this is not something that can be ignored. Practice owners need to sit down with their web agency and create an action plan to address how they will make their website accessible. Savvy practice owners closely watching this business area would more than likely agree that doing nothing about web accessibility is no longer a reasonable option. 

Why haven’t they made their websites accessible already? 

The issue of web accessibility has been around for as long as the internet has been around. Personally speaking, I recall a few years ago, being on the fringes of web design. People were talking about getting their websites remade to be accessible. Prior to the accessibility software innovations using artificial intelligence, you would use manual remediation. That means you would hire a developer for $100 to $200 an hour or more to spend hours and hours going through your entire site and making manual adjustments to make the website accessible to the disabled community. You might have even heard horror stories about developers who took the money and ran or never finished the site. Even if it all worked out, that process could easily run a business with ten, fifteen, or even twenty thousand dollars for a relatively simple website. It was financially completely infeasible for most people! 

But then along comes accessibility with this AI tool that turns that all upside down. It runs efficiently, and it’s cost-efficient. Best of both worlds! Having a tool backed by a globally trusted brand makes a huge difference. It cuts the cost and allows you to know you’re getting exactly what it says on the box, so to speak. Nowadays, with tools like accessible, it’s nowhere near that ten to twenty grand price range, but the perception that it’s prohibitively expensive has definitely stuck around. We are still busting that myth with programs like our webinars and client education. The issue of accessibility is a complex one, so finding ways to streamline this process and use things like AI to minimize the time and headache it takes to create an accessible website is so important. 

We are on a mission to help 500 cosmetic dental practices double their revenue by 2026, and we want yours to be one of them. Now that you know how website accessibility can help you find your next patient, would you be interested in a free consultation for your dental practice


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