We hope that you enjoyed our presentation about the role of accessibility in graphic and comics for medicine! Accessibility Partners was pleased to present on June 28, 2014 at the 2014 Baltimore Conference on Comics & Medicine: From Private Lives to Public Health.
Our presentation can be downloaded at the link below, with abstract information to follow.
To see photos from the presentation on our Facebook page, click here.
Does technology discriminate? The Internet is essentially available to everyone. Yet, it doesn’t guarantee access by all, especially those with disabilities. However, these comics are only as effective as they are when they can be fully read and their messages transmitted and comprehended by everyone, including people with disabilities.
Many medical comics are aesthetically pleasing and quite informative, but might not be usable by someone with a visual, cognitive, or dexterity disability. In our professional experience working with Federal agencies within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Health & Human Services, people with disabilities often struggle with content that isn’t coded for accessibility, or have Flash and interactive elements.
Blind users can now use text-to-speech software or refreshable Braille displays to relay content. Screen magnification software with built-in color contrast options allows a user with Low Vision to create optimal viewing settings. Voice recognition software, which follows commands in programs, has progressed to the point where a user doesn’t need fine motor skills to operate a computer. However, graphical interfaces and text might be the most onerous for a user with a visual disability to access if they cannot be read by assistive technology. Proper creation of comics from the development phase can allow these assistive devices to access their graphics, text, and plot in comparable access to communicate to a user without disabilities.
Our presentation will discuss technological methods that comic developers can employ to help reach those with disabilities, and disseminate pertinent medical information. Through disability advocacy and technological tweaks, these comics have the opportunity to reach a tragically underrepresented group of people with disabilities who can greatly benefit from increased access to medical comics. It will give them the opportunity to communicate and interact in a world that has been previously inaccessible before.