Amy Ruell, LIC SW, MABVI’s Director of Social Services, demonstrated an AI reading device and other accessible technology during a MABVI peer empowerment support group meeting in New Bedford.

Photo credit: MABVI

MEDITECH collaborates with MABVI to ensure software accessibility

The oldest social service organization in the country works with MEDITECH to test the accessibility of the Expanse Patient and Consumer Health Portal for the blind and visually impaired.

MEDITECH proudly collaborates with the Massachusetts Association of the Blind and the Visually Impaired (MABVI), a division of MAB Community Services, which is a statewide nonprofit organization. MABVI empowers people with visual disabilities to lead fulfilling lives and provides support for those adapting to newfound vision loss or life-long blindness. 

MEDITECH, which MABVI has recognized as one of its most long-standing institutional partners, values MABVI’s expertise in accessibility. MEDITECH recently enlisted MABVI to test our newly rewritten user interface for the Patient and Consumer Health Portal to ensure that it fulfills our standards for usability by people with disabilities. MEDITECH is committed to producing solutions that are accessible for all users.

MABVI Director of Digital Accessibility Advocacy Tai Tomasi conducted the patient portal testing. Tomasi spoke highly of accessibility features MEDITECH has added to the portal, like keyboard shortcuts which allow easy access to different buttons and links. Tomasi also commended the portal’s accessible design. “There wasn’t any area that was neglected; it was really well done.” 

As a blind person who uses assistive technology, Tomasi confirmed that the portal’s design promoted accessibility with clearly defined headings, skip-to-content functionalities, properly labeled fields, and a calendar with readable dates and times for those who are visually disabled. 

By developing intentional solutions with accessibility-centered design, MEDITECH integrates the user experience into our process. Our design system was developed to ensure that the software we create is intuitive, innovative, and inclusive — to best support our customers' ability to deliver equitable, accessible care to their patients. When giving or receiving care in the healthcare space, we believe that leveraging technology is an essential right, and that accessible technology is critical to making this possible.

MEDITECH’s accessibility mission is to produce applications that are accessible, consistent, predictable, and usable by everyone. MEDITECH’s Accessibility Program Lead and Manager of Development Services Jen Sagerian speaks to MEDITECH’s dedication to inclusivity. 

“Our design system supports an inclusive user experience,” says Sagerian. “We are committed to the inclusion of every end-user when designing and developing our products. And at MEDITECH, we make it a priority to intentionally and proactively design our solutions for accessibility.”

Sagerian has both a professional and personal passion for inclusive technologies and the advancement of accessibility in the healthcare space. Her late mother-in-law Agnes Sagerian had macular degeneration and lost her eyesight in her seventies. MABVI was a lifeline for her; they provided support from a community level and later, she became the coordinator of a MABVI’s peer empowerment program support group and served in that role until age 95.

Addressing Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) is a priority in the healthcare industry, and inaccessible technology is a barrier to healthcare. Having access to a fully functioning and inclusive patient portal is a significant step toward mitigating the barriers that visually disabled people experience daily. 

As Tomasi describes, “When you're dealing with mental health and physical issues already, the last thing you want to deal with is an accessibility problem on top of it.”

“MABVI is committed to being an accessibility leader, and we’re very proud to partner with MEDITECH to continue that,” says Laura Alpert, Chief Advancement Officer at MAB Community Services. “MEDITECH is leading the way in accessibility, and we hope that other companies will take notice, because it's critically important. Through this portal and the development of your other solutions, your commitment to focusing on accessibility sets you apart from many other companies — and we thank you for that.”

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