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Revealing Global Government Health Website Accessibility Errors During COVID-19 and the Necessity of Digital Equity

13 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2020

See all articles by Amiel A. Dror

Amiel A. Dror

Galilee Medical Center - Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

Eli Layous

Galilee Medical Center - Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

Matti Mizrachi

Galilee Medical Center - Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

Amani Daoud

Galilee Medical Center - Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

Netanel Eisenbach

Galilee Medical Center - Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

Nicole Morozov

Tel Aviv University

Samer Srouji

Bar-Ilan University - Azrieli Faculty of Medicine

Karen B. Avraham

Tel Aviv University - Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry

Eyal Sela

Galilee Medical Center - Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

More...

Abstract

Background: Many government websites and mobile content are inaccessible for people with vision, hearing, and cognitive disabilities. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted these disparities when health authority website information, critical in providing resources for curbing the spread of the virus, remained inaccessible for disabled populations. 

Methods: The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide comparatively universally accepted guidelines for website accessibility. We utilized these parameters to examine the number of countries with or without accessible health authority websites. 

Findings:The resulting data indicate a dearth of countries with websites accessible for persons with disabilities. Fewer than 5% of all countries had health authority websites fully accessible according to the WCAG. 

Interpretation: Methods of information dissemination must take into consideration individuals with disabilities, particularly in times of global health crises. Government health websites can be considered the most trustworthy sources of preventative healthcare information and therefore must be accessible to all, regardless of ability. Nations should seek to improve website compliance with the WCAG.

Funding Statement: The authors report no funding sources.

Declaration of Interests: The authors have no other competing interests to declare.

Suggested Citation

Dror, Amiel A. and Layous, Eli and Mizrachi, Matti and Daoud, Amani and Eisenbach, Netanel and Morozov, Nicole and Srouji, Samer and Avraham, Karen B. and Sela, Eyal, Revealing Global Government Health Website Accessibility Errors During COVID-19 and the Necessity of Digital Equity. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3685998 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3685998

Amiel A. Dror (Contact Author)

Galilee Medical Center - Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery ( email )

Israel

Eli Layous

Galilee Medical Center - Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery ( email )

Israel

Matti Mizrachi

Galilee Medical Center - Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery ( email )

Israel

Amani Daoud

Galilee Medical Center - Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery ( email )

Israel

Netanel Eisenbach

Galilee Medical Center - Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery ( email )

Israel

Nicole Morozov

Tel Aviv University ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel-Aviv, 6997801
Israel

Samer Srouji

Bar-Ilan University - Azrieli Faculty of Medicine ( email )

Ramat Gan, 5290002
Israel

Karen B. Avraham

Tel Aviv University - Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry ( email )

Ramat Aviv
Tel-Aviv, 6997801
Israel

Eyal Sela

Galilee Medical Center - Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery ( email )

Israel

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