Help or hinder? An assessment of the accessibility, usability, reliability and readability of disability funding website information for Australian mental health consumers
Maddy Slattery & Victoria Stewart
ABSTRACT: This study aimed to assess the accessibility, usability, reliability and readability of those websites most likely encountered by Australian mental health consumers when using the internet to find information regarding the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Websites were systematically identified with 127 deemed relevant for assessment in 2018. The LIDA instrument, the Simple Measure of Gobbledygook and Flesch‐Kincaid Grade Level were used to evaluate the quality of information provided to mental health consumers. The study identified mediocre results for the accessibility, usability, reliability and readability of websites as they pertain to the needs of mental health consumers. Furthermore, it was identified that mental health support websites did not provide a more appropriate online experience for mental health consumers than general information websites, despite their focus on this demographic. These findings suggest a lack of understanding regarding the needs of mental health consumers and their experience of the online environment, which may in turn affect their access to information, agency and, ultimately, their uptake of the NDIS. The establishment of guidelines around enhancements to the online environment for mental health consumers would provide an experience that instils confidence, returns dignity and aids this group in realising their personal recovery journey.