The Proceedings of the Information Systems Education Conference 2009: §2323    Home    Papers/Indices    prev (§2322)    Next (§2324)
Fri, Nov 6, 10:00 - 10:25, Ballroom C     Paper (refereed)
Recommended Citation: Smith, J A and M R Lind.  Website Accessibility for Users with Visual Impairment.  In The Proceedings of the Information Systems Education Conference 2009, v 26 (Washington DC): §2323. ISSN: 1542-7382. (A later version appears in Information Systems Education Journal 8(53). ISSN: 1545-679X.)

Website Accessibility for Users with Visual Impairment

Refereed31 pages
J.A. Smith    [a1] [a2]
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
University of Minnesota    [u1] [u2]
Duluth, Minnesota, USA    [c1] [c2]

M.R. Lind    [a1] [a2]
School of Business and Economics
North Carolina A&T State University    [u1] [u2]
Greensboro, North Carolina, USA    [c1] [c2]

In this web accessibility study of the homepages of education departments in post secondary educational institutions, the 1998 US Section 508 Law regarding webpage accessibility for the disabled was addressed. Along with the requirements of this legislation, there are growing demands for web accessibility resulting from age-related visual disabilities and the ubiquitous handheld, mobile Internet devices. In this study six hypotheses were addressed to analyze web accessibility in terms of webmaster web accessibility training, end-user communications, strategic decision-making, website complexity, and enactment of web accessibility policies and practices. A survey was mailed to education department webmasters to identify levels of web accessibility training. Tools utilized to analyze homepage accessibility were AChecker, A-Prompt, JAWSTM, and Kelvin TM. Also, the existence of institutional web accessibility policies and language in job requirements for webmaster job postings were examined to determine the importance placed on Section 508 compliance by employers. Results showed a 95% failure rate in Section 508 compliance where two significant, positive relationships existed for higher web inaccessibility: lower levels of webmaster web accessibility training and increasing complexity in webpage design.

Keywords: web accessibility, WCAG, screen readers, mobile devices, online learning

Read this refereed paper in Adobe Portable Document (PDF) format. (31 pages, 1594 K bytes)
Preview this refereed paper in Plain Text (TXT) format. (83 K bytes)

Comments and corrections to