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Crisis Response Journal Crisis Response Journal

Keeping up-to-date

Posted on 23rd March 2020 at 17:03pm

In early March the UK entered a period of sustained transmissions of Covid-19. Roger Gomm sheds light on the scientific advice given to UK government which led to the change of policy earlier in the month. And while social media can provide plenty of informative graphics from credible organisations about the pandemic, those without alternative text can prove inaccessible to people with certain disabilities. Kate Rawlins from Helpful Digital offers some resources and help.

UK Government’s Consensus Statement

Key points from the statement which can be read in full here:

  • Using the Wuhan reproduction rate of 2-3 as the UK model, this means that 80 per cent of the population will probably be infected. This explains the desire to flatten the peak creating time and decreasing demand on critical care
  • There is an expected timeframe of three to five months, depending on transmission control because, according to the statement, a “reduction in contact rates will impact transmissions” and “stringent measures have greater impact.” 
  • Children experience a mild form of the disease in general
  • The fatality ratio is 0.5-1 per cent; 0.01 per cent in those under 20 years old and 8 per cent in the over 80s. These figures will vary with hospital care etc 
  • The virus has an incubation range of one to 11 days with an average of five days
  • Seasonality of the virus is currently unclear 

The UK government has more information on its response to the virus and ‘what you need to do’ here

Access for all

For those people who want to keep up to date and in the loop with events as they unfold, social media is a vital tool. Providing the sources of information are from creditable establishments, people can increase their awareness, adapt accordingly and also educate their loved ones. Infographics are a really useful tool to access information quickly and in a helpfully visual way. But what if people can’t access the information because there is no alternative text to accompany it? People with certain disabilities can find themselves at a disadvantage because they are not able to view the infographics in the way that they are designed to be. Kate Rawlins spoke at a conference on this very subject earlier this year and has written a useful guide for government agencies to help more people access the useful infographics.

Her colleague, Tallie Proud has created a Twitter account to try to repurpose image based announcements in alternative formats or text to keep this information in the public domains for users of all abilities.


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