The Web has been an incredibly transformative tool but not everyone has equal access. Though much has been done to increase access to the Web for people with physical and sensory disabilities, very little attention has been given to people with mental disorders. This is why the BETTER (weB accEssibiliTy for people wiTh mEntal disoRders) project was initiated.
BETTER is a collaborative effort involving relevant stakeholders – people with mental disorders, practicing professionals in the field, regulators, policymakers and academia – to determine whether current Web accessibility guidance must be adapted for people with mental disorders and if so, in what way(s). The project focuses on depression and anxiety in the first instance as they are the most common mental disorders and account for the leading causes of disability-adjusted life years due to mental and substance use disorders worldwide.
BETTER forms the PhD work of Renaldo Bernard, Marie Curie Fellow and doctoral student at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU). The project is primarily supervised by Prof. Alarcos Cieza, currently Disability and Rehabilitation (DAR) Team lead at the World Health Organization (WHO) and co-supervised by LMU senior researcher Dr. Carla Sabariego.
BETTER is coordinated by the Department of Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology – IBE, Chair for Public Health and Health Services Research Research Unit for Biopsychosocial Health at LMU in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and the University of Southampton. BETTER is a MARATONE project and is funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 316795.