Redefining Assumptions: Accessibility and Its Stakeholders

  • Rui Lopes
  • Karel Van Isacker
  • Luís Carriço
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6179)


Accessibility is becoming more and more relevant in Information technologies, such as the Web and software applications, particularly due to the push on legislation to make public services accessible to everyone. While most accessibility issues are envisioned by the developer-user dichotomy, several stakeholders are responsible for the successful implementation of accessible software and services for all users.

In this paper we present an exploratory study on the current state of accessibility as perceived by its main stakeholders: developers, service providers, public bodies, accessibility assessors, and elderly and people with disabilities. By surveying more than 400 individuals, we have confirmed some of the expectations and results from other surveys, such as the perception about the lack of understanding and application of Web accessibility guidelines. We have found that this issue gets even worse outside the scope of the Web, for all stakeholders. Another eye-opening finding is that all stakeholders are welcome to the simulation of assistive technologies, in order to widen the perception and involvement of accessibility in the software development process.


Accessibility Stakeholders Survey 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Caldwell, B., Cooper, M., Reid, L., Vanderheiden, G.: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. W3C Recommendation, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) (December 2008),
  2. 2.
    Chisholm, W., Vanderheiden, G., Jacobs, I.: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. W3C Recommendation, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) (May 1999),
  3. 3.
    Freire, A.P., Russo, C.M., Fortes, R.P.M.: The perception of accessibility in web development by academy, industry and government: a survey of the brazilian scenario. New Rev. Hypermedia Multimedia 14(2), 149–175 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Freire, A.P., Russo, C.M., Fortes, R.P.M.: A survey on the accessibility awareness of people involved in web development projects in brazil. In: W4A 2008: Proceedings of the 2008 international cross-disciplinary conference on Web accessibility (W4A), pp. 87–96. ACM, New York (2008)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kelly, B., Sloan, D., Brown, S., Seale, J., Petrie, H., Lauke, P., Ball, S.: Accessibility 2.0: people, policies and processes. In: W4A 2007: Proceedings of the 2007 international cross-disciplinary conference on Web accessibility (W4A), pp. 138–147. ACM, New York (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lazar, J., Dudley-Sponaugle, A., Greenidge, K.-D.: Improving web accessibility: a study of webmaster perceptions. Computers in Human Behavior 20(2), 269–288 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Obrenovic, Z., Abascal, J., Starcevic, D.: Universal accessibility as a multimodal design issue. Commun. ACM 50(5), 83–88 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Shneiderman, B.: Promoting universal usability with multi-layer interface design. In: CUU 2003: Proceedings of the 2003 conference on Universal usability, pp. 1–8. ACM, New York (2003)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Yao, D., Qiu, Y., Du, Z., Ma, J., Huang, H.: A survey of technology accessibility problems faced by older users in china. In: W4A 2009: Proceedings of the 2009 International Cross-Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibililty (W4A), pp. 16–25. ACM, New York (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rui Lopes
    • 1
  • Karel Van Isacker
    • 2
  • Luís Carriço
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Marie Curie AssociationPlovdivBulgaria

Personalised recommendations