Promoting Health Accessibility with NHLBI
There has been much focus on the Executive Order (EO) on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in the federal government since its signing in June 2021. The National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute (which also includes Sleep Disorders) Content Management Team has been on the front lines of accessibility prior to the EO, with all public and federal content and documents needing to comply with Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. DEIA further expands 508 accessibility to focus on the human-centric element, ensuring that content, in the case of websites, not only offers the same experience to people with impairments but also resonates with diverse audiences.
The NHLBI Content Team’s activities reflect this focus. Sherry Jones has had great success in increasing Intranet accessibility over the past few months. She has reduced broken links by 90% by working with content owners to resolve such issues. Charles Piercey has collaborated with 508 SMEs to identify compliance issues in the top 10 downloaded files on both the NHLBI Intranet and public websites. He has also remediated the files to increase the overall compliance scores. Overall compliance is currently receiving attention from the NHLBI senior leadership team. Meredith Tupper recently attended the U.S. Web Design System monthly call, held in observance of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (May 18). She included the real-world experience of blind users on the web, bringing impact to the often behind-the-scenes accessibility work.