Accessibility of Canadian COVID-19 Testing Locations for People with Disabilities During the Third Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:Accessibility; COVID-19 Testing; Health Equity; Health Access; People with Disabilities; Health Communication
Background: Canadians with disabilities make up nearly a quarter of the population yet faced barriers in accessing information about COVID-19 testing accessibility across the country. Objective: This study aimed to understand the availability of accessibility information for COVID-19 testing sites in Canada. To date, no known studies have evaluated the availability of accessibility information online.
Methods: An environmental scan of COVID-19 testing websites was conducted (1) nationally through the provincial/territorial websites for COVID-19 testing and (2) in Ontario, where there was individual location information. Data on key accessibility features were extracted from the website to simulate the user experience of booking a COVID-19 test during March 2021. Results: All provinces and territories provided minimal accessibility information on their provincial or territorial COVID-19 testing websites. Only Ontario included accessibility information for individual testing locations. Out of 170 individual testing locations in Ontario, few had information about accessibility, with only 8.2% listing at least 3 of the 5 key accessibility features measured on their websites.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that, more than a year into the pandemic, there existed a clear lack of accessibility information for testing locations for Canadians with disabilities.
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