March is Disability Awareness Month, and it is the perfect time for health innovators to focus on making their solutions and technologies more accessible.
From online accessibility standards to the design process to common hiring practices, there are many opportunities to better support and empower people with disabilities.
Whether you are looking to make your health app more accessible or simply want to learn more about accessibility in general, these 5 resources can help you bring disability advocacy into your work year-round.
Meet Disability Advocate Peter Poullos in this recent Q&A on the IFH Blog.
Keywords: web accessibility, user experience
The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) creates guidelines and other resources to help web designers and developers understand and implement accessibility. This resource is an introduction to accessibility requirements for websites, web applications, browsers, and other tools. Sharing stories from users alongside the international W3C Web Accessibility Initiative standards, this is an essential starting place for solution or web developers.
Keywords: web accessibility, ADA
Just like a building can be inaccessible, a website can be inaccessible as well. People with disabilities are often denied equal access to information because of inaccessible web content. The Department of Justice has made it a priority to ensure that websites are accessible to those with disabilities. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), state and local governments as well as businesses that are open to the public must ensure that their websites are accessible to people with disabilities. This resource explains how they can do so.
Keywords: accessibility, design process, technology
Historically, large groups of people have been left out of the design process, especially when it comes to creating new technologies, health solutions, and even the planning of our communities, politics, and economic systems. Many tools and medications simply have not been designed with everyone in mind. Created by the Design Justice Network, these 10 principles offer a framework for designers that centers access, equity, and justice.
Keywords: disability inclusion, hiring, DEI
Attracting, retaining, and cultivating talent are necessary tools for companies to stay competitive in their industries. This means investing in your talent pipeline, minimizing biases, and shifting your perspective about what makes someone “qualified” for a given role. The Disability Equality Index (DEI) can help companies learn more about cultivating a disability-inclusive landscape, while making their workplaces more inclusive. It can also help organizations set goals driven by inclusive values.
Keywords: disability, podcast
The Docs with Disabilities initiative seeks to change our perspectives, policies, and procedures in health care education. They are working to build more inclusive educational environments for trainees with disabilities and increase the representation of disabled providers in the health care workforce. Sharing research, resources, and stories to drive change in perceptions and disability policy, Docs with Disabilities is raising awareness as well as creating a community around disability advocacy. They also host two podcasts that aim to highlight disability stories and research.
Keywords: disability, personal stories
There are many “invisible disabilities” that are often left out of conversations about accessibility because their physical, mental, or emotional impairment goes largely unnoticed. These invisible disabilities include chronic illnesses, cognitive impairments, brain injuries, mental health diagnoses, deafness, blindness, PTSD, and many more. The Invisible Disability Project is working to make these disabilities visible, by sharing stories and projects that showcase what it means to live with an invisible disability. When thinking about creating health solutions that will be used by a broad population, this can be a helpful tool to broaden your understanding of accessibility needs.
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