Preprints with The Lancet is part of SSRN´s First Look, a place where journals identify content of interest prior to publication. Authors have opted in at submission to The Lancet family of journals to post their preprints on Preprints with The Lancet. The usual SSRN checks and a Lancet-specific check for appropriateness and transparency have been applied. Preprints available here are not Lancet publications or necessarily under review with a Lancet journal. These preprints are early stage research papers that have not been peer-reviewed. The findings should not be used for clinical or public health decision making and should not be presented to a lay audience without highlighting that they are preliminary and have not been peer-reviewed. For more information on this collaboration, see the comments published in The Lancet about the trial period, and our decision to make this a permanent offering, or visit The Lancet´s FAQ page, and for any feedback please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Revealing Global Government Health Website Accessibility Errors During COVID-19 and the Necessity of Digital Equity
13 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2020More...
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: Suggested Citation