Aarogya Setu a bane for those visually impaired

The Central government’s Aarogya Setu app appears to be a serious obstacle for those who are visually impaired.

Published: 12th May 2020 08:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th May 2020 08:31 AM   |  A+A-

Aarogya Setu app in Google Play Store

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Central government’s Aarogya Setu app appears to be a serious obstacle for those who are visually impaired.The app which has been made mandatory for all government employees to enter their office premises lacks features which would make it easily accessible to the visually impaired. Features such as screen reader, talkback, voice-over and numbers are all missing from the app.  

“Filling the OTP is a serious challenge because it is not possible to leave the Aarogya Setu window visible on screen while checking the OTP in messages through screen readers. When one returns to the app with the OTP, the OTP screen disappears and it goes back to the registration screen once again. This makes it virtually impossible for the visually impaired to register without assistance,” said Anil Aneja, an officer on special duty (OSD), Equal Opportunity Cell (EOC), Delhi University (DU) and vice president of All India Confederation of Blind (AICB).

The screen reader also does not announce the purpose of controls or whether the type of control, is a link or a button.The AICB has also written a letter to the Secretary, Disability Affairs, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment and the Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology raising their concern and issues.

“The concerns and problems of the blind and ones with low vision in using this app appear to have been completely sidelined. No testing has been done to ensure accessibility of the app for the blind and one’s with low vision resulting in the situation where thousands of employees are unable to even register to the app, let alone use it,” said the AICB.


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