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Universal Access in the Information Society

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 663–673 | Cite as

Evaluation of Web content accessibility in an Israeli institution of higher education

  • Hila Laufer Nir
  • Arie Rimmerman
Communication
  • 86 Downloads

Abstract

Nowadays, the Web constitutes an integral part of higher education and offers an unprecedented level of access to information and services. The increasing number of students with disabilities in higher education emphasizes the need of universities and colleges to make the necessary adjustments to ensure their Web content accessibility. Despite the development of technical standards and accessibility legislation, studies around the world have consistently shown that Web content accessibility remains a concern in higher education. Mandatory Web accessibility in Israel is at an early stage. The scope of the legal requirements applicable to higher education is not entirely resolved. The aim of this research is to explore the current implementation of Web accessibility in the Israeli higher education context, during a period of evolving legal changes in this regard. An automated evaluation tool was used to measure the adherence of the sample Web pages to the technical standards. Results show that all examined Web pages presented accessibility barriers and were non-compliant with the most basic conformance level. “Contrast” and “missing alternative text” errors were the most frequent problems identified in the evaluation. The library’s Web pages exhibit relatively better level of accessibility compared to the other examined Web pages of the university. The research highlights the need for clear and enforceable legislation to encourage academic Web accessibility. Additionally, technical training and awareness raising could be key elements in improving accessibility.

Keywords

Web accessibility University websites Students with disabilities Accessibility legislation Institutions of higher education 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Richard Crossman Chair of Social Welfare and Social Planning.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information and Knowledge Management, Faculty of ManagementUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.School of Social Work, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health SciencesUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael

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