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International Research on Web Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities

International Research on Web Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities
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Author(s): Terry Thompson (University of Washington, USA), Sheryl Burgstahler (University of Washington, USA), Elizabeth Moore (University of Washington, USA), Jon Gunderson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA) and Nicholas Hoyt (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 4
Source title: Managing Worldwide Operations and Communications with Information Technology
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-929-8.ch345
ISBN13: 9781599049298
EISBN13: 9781466665378

Abstract

The World Wide Web plays a growing critical role in commerce and in the dissemination of information and services worldwide. However, many websites are inaccessible to persons with disabilities. In August 2006, the United Nations adopted a Convention on the Rights Of Persons With Disabilities, which prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in all areas of life, and specifically calls for State Parties to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to information and communications technologies and systems. The W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) maintains a growing archive of national laws and policies, which as of October 2006 includes documents from 19 countries/regions. The current research seeks to evaluate websites for accessibility, and to identify accessibility-related trends over time (2007-1996) across countries and other top-level Internet domains (such as .com, .gov, .edu, and .org). The Wayback Machine (Internet Archive), a service that allows users to see archived versions of web pages at various points in time, will be used to access a large sample of websites. Accessibility evaluations will be automated using the Functional Accessibility Evaluator, an open source tool developed by the University of Illinois. This benchmark assessment of the accessibility of websites worldwide will provide a starting point for future international research regarding web accessibility and the interrelationships between society, culture, policy, technology, and accessibility.

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