Nov 27, 2023 at 9:55 AM Update: 2 minutes ago
Websites of Dutch hospitals are not accessible to people with disabilities. This means that a quarter of Dutch people cannot make an appointment or obtain medical information online.
No hospital website meets all conditions. 47 out of 80 websites do not even meet half of the criteria. There is only one site that is truly accessible to deaf or hearing-impaired people.
This is evident from an analysis of the websites of all eighty hospitals in our country. The company that conducted the research, Cardan Technobility, specializes in digital accessibility.
The researchers tested the websites against 29 criteria of the international guidelines for online accessibility, the so-called Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). You can think of subtitles, readability and correct navigation.
In the Netherlands, 25 percent of people have a functional disability. This varies from visual impairment to hearing impairment, from dyslexia to autism and from physical limitations to sensitivity to images and sounds.
The researchers are therefore shocked by the results. “If you want to schedule an appointment on a website or have to fill in data and you are unable to do so due to an accessibility problem, you will not make it to the finish line,” says Cardan director Marijn van der Laan. “That is the same as when you cannot pay for your shopping cart in an online store.”
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Right to participate digitally, but impossible in practice
The results show that many people cannot participate in society. “Almost everything goes digital these days, including in hospitals for blood collection, for example,” the researchers write.
Everyone has the right to participate digitally, this is also stated in the law. But Dutch hospitals do not meet this requirement.
Many hospitals are well on their way, because they believe it is important to be accessible to everyone. Yet it is currently insufficient. The researchers have drawn up a report for each hospital with shortcomings and recommendations that are discussed with the board and management.
Beeld: Getty Images
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