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ERIC Number: EJ946326
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1529-1944
The Healthy Web--Access to Online Health Information for Individuals with Disabilities
Geiger, Brian; Evans, R. R.; Cellitti, M. A.; Smith, K. Hogan; O'Neal, Marcia R.; Firsing, S. L., III; Chandan, P.
International Electronic Journal of Health Education, v14 p93-100 2011
Background: The Internet can be an invaluable resource for obtaining health information by people with disabilities. Although valid and reliable information is available, previous research revealed barriers to accessing health information online. Health education specialists have the responsibilities to insure that it is accessible to all users. IDEA and ADA mandate full participation in society by people with disabilities of all ages. Healthy People 2020 also includes objectives aimed at improving health information delivery, comprehension and application in daily life. Methods: This paper summarizes legal requirements and standards to present health information using technology and offers practical guidelines for accessible health education programs. Accessibility of online information was determined for representative consumer health web sites using an evaluation tool developed by Web Accessibility In Mind (Web AIM). Web sites were evaluated according to four accessibility principles: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust. Results: Despite available standards to design web sites without barriers, online health information is not accessible to all users. WAVE revealed accessibility errors on representative consumer health web sites, ranging from zero errors (autism information hosted by the National Library of Medicine) to 15 errors (sleep information from CNN Health). These errors may limit access to users with disabilities. Conclusions: Implementing guidelines for universal design for learning will diminish the digital divide. Health education specialists may direct consumers to web sites designed with accessibility in mind according to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-213-7193; Fax: 703-476-9527; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Americans with Disabilities Act 1990; Individuals with Disabilities Education Act