The SCOTUS decision not to hear the case is a loss for the company and a win for inclusion advocates, who have argued that if businesses do not have to maintain accessible sites, disabled people could be effectively shut out of substantial portions of the economy. As Robles’ lawyer put it, “The blind and visually impaired must have access to websites and apps to fully and equally participate in modern society - something nobody disputes. This outcome furthers that critical objective for them and is a credit to our society.”
Businesses in every sector of the economy are thus put on notice. But the healthcare industry is especially vulnerable. Not long ago, a consulting company used an automated testing tool to check the accessibility of 10 major healthcare websites. They selected the top five for-profit and top five non-profit healthcare providers in the nation. These organizations operate hundreds of institutions across the U.S. and, each year generate more than 160 billion dollars in net-patient revenue. These are organizations with big, big budgets – and yet the accessibility of their respective websites was a big, big disappointment. In the final analysis, it was found that every one of these 10 websites failed to comply with WCAG 2.0 and Section 508 compliance.
On average, there were 28 problems meeting Level "AA" success criteria and 13 problems at Level "A". This means that all 10 of these healthcare institutions are failing to comply with the law, and failing patients with disabilities. It might be time for all healthcare institutions to consider holding up a mirror and examining their own level of accessibility. This isn’t simply hypothetical. In September, 2019, Jamal Mazrui, a blind retired federal employee now living in the Seattle area, filed a lawsuit against the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and one of its major health insurance contractors, the Chicago-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), because he could not access or interact with information about his federal health benefits on fepblue.org, the website maintained by BCBSA for its federal employee program.