Inclusive digital health: Empowering people with disabilities

Group of people, some seated and some standing, smiling at the camera.

Digital technology can play an important role in increasing the accessibility of information for people with disabilities (PwD). Increasing the use of digital devices among PwD, particularly youth with disabilities (YwD) aged between 16 and 30, can improve access to health information and related services.


However, inclusive principles and practice are often neglected in delivering information and services. Many forms of technology and applications are insufficiently tailored for PwD in terms of information needs, usability and accessibility. There is also a lack of content tailored for the needs of PwD.

This project has three main aims. First, to understand information needs, preferences and challenges faced by PwD in accessing health information and services. Second, to explore current practices in planning and development of health information and service provisions through digital technology. Third, to provide recommendations to local stakeholders on inclusive practices in planning and development of digital health information and services.


Click here to read the full report, Inclusive digital health: Empowering people with disabilities.


Our research reveals significant challenges faced by PwD in accessing digital health information and services. To overcome them, a framework for digital health inclusion is proposed, incorporating digital environment and health equity principles specific for PwD. A number of specific recommendations can be made, including.

  • Strengthen the digital literacy skills of PwD. We recommend training in digital literacy for people in the diffable community. A high standard of digital literacy can help PwD gain access to a greater range of health services. Improved digital literacy training could be achieved by working closely with educational institutions, disability organisations and technology experts to develop customised learning modules. Designers of policies or programs need to foster an approach that is focused on the needs of PwD (‘user centric’).
  • Strengthen disability and inclusiveness literacy among key stakeholders. Disability awareness and inclusive principles need to be incorporated into new and ongoing educational programs for healthcare professionals and other key stakeholders. This can contribute to an educational environment that is relevant and fully meets the needs of PwD. Cooperation with disability organisations to design education programs that emphasise digital health inclusivity is crucial in achieving this goal.

Feature image by PAIR.