BIREME Bulletin n° 41

Website accessibility to leave no one behind

BIREME/PAHO/WHO has concentrated efforts to make the contents of its websites accessible to a greater number of people with disabilities, such as blindness or low vision, movement limitations and photosensitivity.

This effort means following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), recommended by the W3C, the Consortium that develops and maintains the Web’s operating standards. These guidelines cover a wide range of disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, intellectual, language, learning and neurological. They also promote accessibility for the elderly, whose skills are constantly changing due to aging. However, they are guidelines that can be useful for users in general.

Gradually the websites developed and maintained by BIREME/PAHO/WHO are being adapted to these guidelines, gaining a new top menu on their pages, in such a way to be consistent and contribute to the commitment of the 2030 Agenda, and which is followed by PAHO, to “leave no one behind.”


This menu is an accessibility bar with keyboard shortcuts that take users to the main content sections of a page, by means of the key combination, as follows:

Type Alt + 1, go directly to the main content of the page.

Type Alt + 2, go directly to the main menu.

Type Alt + 3, go directly to the search box.

Type Alt + 4, go directly to the footer.

It is also possible to change the size of the letters and generate high contrast for viewing the web pages.

Several countries have developed laws to serve the public with special needs, seeking to make the web environment more democratic and accessible. The W3C makes available a list with examples of policies and laws, at

To explain these actions, BIREME/PAHO/WHO has published in the English, Spanish and Portuguese languages an accessibility declaration that can be accessed by the button

simbolo_cadeira_rodasfrom the same menu, where more details are available about this effort to democratize the access to information through accessible content.

Do you want to know how a screen reader system used by blind users works in practice? Access the video below.

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