Saturday, October 24, 2015

‘Make hospital websites disabled-friendly’

Health care and disability rights activists have demanded that the Delhi government speed-up the process of making the websites of its hospitals disabled-friendly.

Disability rights activist Dr. Satendra Singh said: “Last October, I filed a petition in the Court of Commissioner, Persons with Disabilities (GNCTD), that the websites of hospitals of the Delhi government are not disabled-friendly. Hearings were then held with officials of the Health and IT departments.”

Dr. Singh added that the Court had passed an order with instructions to the Secretary, IT and Health, to submit a final action taken report in three months.

The order states that not just websites of hospitals, but those of all departments, and local and autonomous bodies under the Delhi government be made disabled-friendly. “We showed them how the ‘web accessibility evaluation tool’ of the Delhi government website had 110 errors, while the website of the Department of Disability Affairs showed no errors, and that of the Commissioner (Disability) had two. Web accessibility not only helps the disabled, but also the elderly, those with low vision, seizures, dyslexia, colour blind, slow internet connections and those with dexterity problems,” noted Dr. Singh.

Tthe online registration form is not accessible to many due to the image CAPTCHA (see image and type characters). After a long struggle IRCTC agreed to provide an alternative to this. They now provide a one time password on mobile phone which has to be entered in the website. Without such kind of option, this is totally inaccessible to visually impaired users.

Dr Satendra Singh (Petitioner) and Prashant Ranjan Verma (Joint Secretary, National Association for the Blind) conducted a sensitization workshop also for the officials of IT Dept and Health at Delhi Secretariat on 16 Oct 2015.