Consistent with its commitment to being a valued health care partner, WellPoint (NYSE: WLP) today announced an initiative to make its affiliated health plan websites, mobile applications, and print information more accessible and inclusive for all members. WellPoint’s initiative will especially improve the member experience for health plan members with visual impairments. WellPoint has adopted the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0 level AA as its accessibility standard and has already made substantial enhancements as part of its work toward meeting this standard. WellPoint has also expanded its system for providing Braille, Large Print, electronic, and audio versions of print information to health plan members with visual impairments. WellPoint has worked with representatives of the blind community to enhance its communications for health plan members with visual impairments: “With this announcement, WellPoint has assumed an important leadership role across the United States in serving its members who are visually impaired,” said Steven Mendelsohn, a California resident who has been a member of WellPoint’s California health plan for many years and has been blind since birth. “I applaud the company’s significant efforts in ensuring that I and other people with visual impairments will be able to independently read important health care information.” Sam Chen, another health plan member who is blind, and who worked with WellPoint on its initiative for members with visual impairments, was also excited about today’s announcement: “Getting health care information in Braille, and being able to use WellPoint’s digital tools independently, are very important to me as a blind consumer,” said Chen. “This program builds on WellPoint’s excellent reputation in the field of health care, and I value being associated with a company that recognizes the needs of all members, including those with visual impairments.” About the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) The WCAG 2.0 guidelines are promulgated by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and ensure that sites are more accessible to persons with visual and other disabilities. Many members of WellPoint affiliated plans will not notice any differences to the site or the mobile applications, as the Guidelines do not affect digital content or look and feel. The guidelines are of particular benefit to blind computer users who use screen reader voice output, braille output or magnification technology on their computers and mobile devices and who, like many individuals with mobility impairments, rely on a keyboard instead of a mouse for navigation.
The W3C is an international community that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web. The Web Accessibility Initiative is a program of the W3C that works with site owners, developers, people with disabilities and other interested parties to develop accessibility standards. More information is available at w3.org/WAI.About WellPoint, Inc. WellPoint is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies. We believe that our health connects us all. So we focus on being a valued health partner and delivering quality products and services that give members access to the care they need. With nearly 68 million people served by our affiliated companies including nearly 36 million enrolled in our family of health plans, we can make a real difference to meet the needs of our diverse customers. We’re an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We serve members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; and as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In most of these service areas, our plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). We also serve customers in other states through our Amerigroup and CareMore subsidiaries. To find out more about us, go to wellpoint.com.