This paper reports on a study of 50 homepages in the Mid-Atlantic United States to determine what accessibility problems exist. The 50 homepages were evaluated using both the U.S. government’s Section 508 guidelines as well as the Web Accessibility Initiative’s (WAI) Priority Level 1 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). According to both sets of guidelines, 49 out of 50 sites were found to have accessibility problems, although some of the accessibility problems were minor and easy to fix. There are two troubling findings from this study. The Web sites that had the most accessibility problems were organizations in the Web development and information technology field, which ideally should be the leaders in making the Web more accessible. The Web accessibility software testing tools, which are available to assist people in making their Web sites more accessible, are flawed and inconsistent and require large numbers of manual checks, which many developers may not be able to do. More people need to become aware of the topic of Web accessibility, and the testing tools need to be improved so that once people are aware, it is easier for them to move their sites toward full accessibility.
Web accessibility Section 508 Accessible sites Usability Automated tools