Accessibility Ensures an Inclusive Member Experience
At Express Scripts, making medicine more affordable and accessible is our mission. This includes communicating with members who have disabilities in ways that are accessible to them. Accessibility is a core part of how we do business. For us, it’s about equality and embracing the diversity of our membership.
Here are a few examples of ways we’re improving access for members of all abilities:
“Talking” Pill Bottle Labels
In addition to providing pill bottle labels in large print and Braille, we offer “talking” pill bottle labels that can be read aloud by an automated device, in partnership with EnVision America. A small adhesive tag that uses radio-frequency identification technology is programmed with the label information and attached to the container. The tag can then be read aloud using the ScripTalk device.
We’ve created an accessibility training program to educate our team on topics like using people-first language and how to address accessibility-related issues. More than 6,000 of our employees that work with patients have completed the training. We also work with accessibility experts to provide comprehensive training for the various disciplines involved in creating member experiences and communications. This helps to improve awareness and grow our accessibility skill set of our teams across the organization – including content experts, designers, developers, product owners, researchers, QA experts and more. Our goal is to make sure that not only are we meeting the internationally recognized accessibility guidelines, but that we are creating usable, inclusive experiences across every member touchpoint.
Standards and Processes
We incorporate accessibility to every stage of our software development lifecycle. We include accessibility principles in our digital Design Language which ensures consistency across our experiences and communications. This comprehensive user interface toolkit includes components which help to ensure that our applications are coded in a way that works with assistive technology (tools that people with disabilities use to access digital content, such as screen readers). We also incorporate automated and manual accessibility testing into our continuous integration processes.
Finally, there is no better way to make sure that we are providing accessible experiences than to have members review them and provide feedback. Through remote and in-person studies with members with disabilities, we gain a better understanding of their needs and are able to make improvements based on the findings. This piece of our process helps us to raise the bar and brings us closer to our goal of going beyond compliance to exceptional usability for all our members.
Better Usability For All
It’s not just our members who have disabilities that benefit from good accessibility. As we age there can be a natural decrease in visual acuity, motor control, and hearing, just to name a few things. We can have temporary disabilities that affect how we interact with digital content, such as a broken wrist or sprained finger. We may be trying to use our mobile devices with one hand in bright sunlight while carrying a bag of groceries. Good accessibility ensures that we can interact with digital content in a variety of ways and environments. Best practices related to accessibility, such as high color contrast, large font size, and large focus areas (making it easier to click a button or link) benefit everyone.
There is still work to be done, but we are committed to continual improvement to transform the member experience for individuals of all abilities.