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Analysis of U.S. Senate Web Sites For Disability Accessibility

By Joanne Kuzma, G. Weisenborn, T. Philippe, A. Gabel and R. Dolechek

Abstract

U.S. federal government web sites have increased significantly the level of services and information offered to various internal and external stakeholders. The Workforce Investment Act of 1998 amended Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which complemented the intent and aims of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As a result, federal agencies and departments were mandated to provide disabled stakeholders with access to key information from federal web sites. However, since this enactment, some federal web sites still do not meet fully the legal requirements to accommodate users with disabilities. Additionally, web sites of members of the U.S. Congress technically do not fall under regulation. Without regulation, non-adherence to accessibility standards by congressional web sites may result in poor or ineffective utilization by citizen consumers or other stakeholders with disabilities. The purpose of this study is to examine the accessibility statistics for a pseudo-random sample of 50 web sites of U.S. Senators. The main web page of each site was evaluated with an online web site analysis software tool – Truwex. Three factors were used to gauge the level of accessibility: criteria based on Section 508, WCAG 1.0 standards, and WCAG 2.0 standards. Results suggest that the vast majority of the U.S. Senate web sites do not meet the federal legal guidelines that otherwise are imposed on other U.S. governmental agencies and departments. Many of the sites contain consistent patterns of non-compliance, and some minor changes could result in increased accessibility for disabled stakeholders

Topics: T1, KF
Publisher: Academy of International Business and Economics
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.eprints.org:785

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