From time to time, our own T.V. Raman shares his tips on how to use Google from his perspective as a technologist who cannot see -- tips that sighted people, among others, may also find useful.
Keeping track of personal health records using printed paper is painful at best for most users; as someone with a visual impairment, this is a show-stopper for me. As I begin paying more attention to my own health, I've come to realize first-hand how hard it is at present to track one's health using the means that traditional health care programs provide.
As luck would have it, Google Health arrived at around the same time that I started dealing with these issues, and focusing on the usability of Google Health from the perspective of someone who cannot see was therefore a no-brainer. Today, we are launching a version of Google Health that has been augmented with several usability enhancements that aid users of screen readers and self-voicing browsers. These enhancements are implemented using W3C ARIA, an emerging set of Web standards that make AJAX applications work smoothly with screen readers — see our related post on the GWT blog for details. With these enhancements, I can now easily navigate Google Health to not only manage my own health records; Google Health enables me to quickly research various relevant health conditions, track medications and do a myriad health-related tasks.
Google Health gives me a single unified web interface to manage all of my health-related information. Kudos to the Google Health and GWT teams for creating an extremely useful and usable solution!
Posted by T.V. Raman, Research Scientist