Americans with Disabilities Act

ADA Guidelines for Practice Success | Managing Professional Risks

Dental practices are required to give reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities and must make a reasonable attempt to respond to the request. This requirement applies to both current and prospective patients as well as to current and prospective staff.

  • Always recognize a request for an accommodation.
    • You may request documentation of a disability but may not request medical information.
    • The process is triggered when an employee says they need accommodation.
  • Be mindful that all disabilities apply under the Act.
  • Your employee policy manual should include definitions and policy statements regarding accommodations.
  • Accessibility to the practice’s website can also a matter of AwDA compliance if the dental practice is covered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) final rule under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.
    • The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division enforces the AwDA and has interpreted Title III of the Act to require businesses to make their websites accessible to individuals with disabilities.
      • At the time this information was developed, the DOJ had not yet issued a final rule on standards for website accessibility under Title III of the AwDA.
      • DOJ Website Accessibility under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act
      • Consider discussing this issue with your website developer and consider requiring that person or company to ensure that your practice’s website meets existing standards, such as the Title II standards and/or the Web Accessibility initiative (W3C) Web Content Accessibility (WCAG) 2.0 requirements Level AA.
      • The Web Accessibility Initiative offers helpful resources, including How to Meet WCAG 2.0