[Accessibleweb] Accessibility studies in the latest issue of First Monday (fwd)

Sheryl Burgstahler sherylb at u.washington.edu
Tue Aug 3 08:05:22 PDT 2004


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2004 15:45:09 +0200
From: Jayne Cravens <Jayne.Cravens at unvolunteers.org>
To: meaflink at merl.com
Subject: Accessibility studies in the latest issue of First Monday

(please do not write Jayne, the poster of this message, asking for more information. She does not have any)

Accessibility studies in the latest issue of First Monday

The July issue of First Monday has a couple of articles related to Web accessibility. Below are the abstracts of the two essays, along with links to the full article.

A comparative assessment of Web accessibility and technical standards conformance in four EU states
by Carmen Marincu and Barry McMullin
http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue9_7/marincu/index.html

Abstract:
The Internet is playing a progressively more important part in our day-to-day life, through its power of making information universally available. People with disabilities have particular opportunities to benefit. Using the Internet in conjunction with dedicated assistive technologies, tasks that were very difficult if not impossible to achieve for people with various types of disability can now be made fully accessible ? at least, in principle. However, in practice, many online resources and services are still poorly accessible to those with disability due to unsatisfactory Web content design.

Design of accessible Web content is codified in standards and guidelines of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Conformance with W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG) (and/or similar, derivative guidelines) is now the subject of considerable activity, both legal and technical, in many different jurisdictions.

This paper presents results of a comparative survey of Web accessibility guidelines and HTML standards conformance for samples of Web sites drawn from Ireland, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. It also gives some recommendations on how to improve the accessibility level of Web content.

A particular conclusion of the study is that the general level of Web accessibility guidelines and HTML standards conformance in all of the samples studied is very poor; and that the pattern of failure is strikingly consistent in the four samples. Although considerable efforts are being made to promote Web accessibility for users with disabilities, this is certainly not yet manifesting itself in improving Web accessibility and HTML validity.
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Assessing the accessibility of fifty United States government Web pages:
Using Bobby to check on Uncle Sam
by Jim Ellison
http://www.firstmonday.org/issues/issue9_7/ellison/index.html

Abstract:
This study evaluates the current accessibility of U.S. Government Web pages for people with disabilities. Several Federal laws, and specifically Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act, require Web pages of government agencies to be accessible to people with disabilities. This investigation built on past studies that used the Web accessibility evaluation tool Bobby to assess various types of Web sites. The home pages of fifty U.S. government agencies were reviewed for accessibility based on Section 508 guidelines. This study establishes that the U.S. government has not met its accessibility goals.


( please do not write Jayne, the poster of this message, asking for more information. She does not have any)




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Jayne Cravens (jayne.cravens at unvolunteers.org)
Online Volunteering Specialist
United Nations Volunteers
www.unvolunteers.org
Bonn, Germany

Online Volunteering: www.onlinevolunteering.org
UNITeS: www.unites.org
Global volunteerism portal: www.worldvolunteerweb.org
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