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Re: Health care accessibility

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From: Tomlins Diane
Date: May 25, 2018 9:57AM


Emily:
>It seems health care isn’t there yet. Is it just my impression? There are plenty of health care-related conferences, but they don’t center around >accessibility. At least not that I can tell.

You are quite correct, it's not there yet. Healthcare websites and web-apps are generally not very accessible. I work for a large healthcare company, and we are working very diligently to make all of our digital spaces - websites, applications, communications, etc. more accessible and up to WCAG standards. I have checked out many, many healthcare websites and web apps for online scheduling, pre-registration, event/class registrations, and health portals, health risk assessments, most are sorely lacking in accessibility. We have vendors providing inaccessible content or services that link into our websites, and some of these companies have a fairly large presence in the healthcare space. I am still rather gob-smacked at their lack of accessibility awareness and knowledge. I once wrote up a 10 page evaluation of one of these vendor's applications (it was a hot mess) - and that was just the quick assessment version. The resulting conference call with them was more of an educational session, explaining accessibility, and why their application failed so spectacularly. It was rather shocking to me that they were so clueless, I kept saying to myself 'you are in the healthcare space, how do you NOT know any of this???'.

In my experience working to make OUR websites and web-based applications accessible, I found that the developers who created these apps knew nothing about accessibility, it was completely foreign to them. Fortunately, they have all been willing to learn and have embraced it, and projects are ongoing, but remediation of existing code takes a lot time and effort - and we have a lot of work yet to do, on top of new projects. Our web team was a little bit easier since I was part of that team for quite a while and I was always stressing it, talking about it, sharing code examples, methods, and articles.


Diane R Tomlins
HCA IT&S | Digital Media
Accessibility SME