Patients and users of health services are increasingly being encouraged to go online to obtain health information, book GP appointments, and access electronic records and e-referrals.
However, people with certain disabilities, impairments and challenges can find it particularly difficult to use digital health services, for example those with:
- Neurodiversity such as dyslexia and learning disabilities
- Cognitive disabilities – conditions such as Attention Deficit Disorder, Autism
- Cognitive decline – such as dementia and conditions affecting memory
- Sensory impairments such as vision decline, visual stress, eye fatigue
- Low Literacy skills
- Poor digital skills
- English language challenges, including refugees and migrants.
Using assistive technologies, such as text to speech, picture dictionaries and audio makers, is one approach to improving the accessibility of digital health services.
Texthelp have produced a short guide to assistive technologies, outlining the key features they offer. It aims to help information producers and providers understand the options that exist, and which groups might benefit.
You can read the factsheet here: Alternative Technologies Guide Text Help