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Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2015

Debra A. Riley-Huff

To provide librarians with a better understanding of what makes online content truly accessible and to increase awareness of the current common accessibility issues found…

Abstract

Purpose

To provide librarians with a better understanding of what makes online content truly accessible and to increase awareness of the current common accessibility issues found in library web sites and vendor supplied electronic resources.

Methodology/approach

A through and in-depth literature review takes a look at the web accessibility problems historically found in library web sites. It then briefly explains the basics of web accessibility and delves more deeply into structural content access, which is the hallmark of true accessibility. The simple mechanics as well as the pros and cons of traditional methods of providing keyboard access to web content is discussed. The chapter then provides a gentle introduction to HTML5 and the Web Accessibility Initiative-Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA), current use, techniques for use, and application opportunities. The chapter also provides the research results of a broad examination of the basic structural accessibility state of many current database providers.

Findings

The research shows that the accessibility of library web sites is improving; however many library vendor database products still have significant accessibility problems.

Practical implications

Through the practical accessibility explanations, the chapter points out the ways librarians can use this knowledge to work with users and communicate with product providers regarding the accessibility of library resources.

Originality/value

This chapter provides a rich resource for understanding and implementing web accessibility, particularly as it applies to keyboard navigation and the new accessibility features in HTML5 and WAI-ARIA.

Details

Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and the Inclusive Future of Libraries
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-652-6

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2018

Heidi M. Schroeder

This paper aims to describe a variety of accessibility initiatives implemented at the Michigan State University (MSU) Libraries to better support persons with disabilities…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe a variety of accessibility initiatives implemented at the Michigan State University (MSU) Libraries to better support persons with disabilities who want to use and access library services and resources.

Design/methodology/approach

By using two campus accessibility policies to help expand and improve its accessibility efforts, the MSU Libraries implemented accessibility purchasing procedures for e-resources; drafted a five-year accessibility plan, which launched an extensive multi-year staff accessibility training plan and detailed plans for content accessibility and accessibility investment; dedicated additional library staff positions and time to accessibility; drafted an accessibility statement and website documentation; established an in-house remediation service; increased library web page and collection remediation; and began leading efforts related to vendor e-resource accessibility in the Big Ten Academic Alliance library consortium.

Findings

As a result of these many accessibility initiatives, the MSU Libraries has thought strategically about and taken action on constantly improving its accessibility in a variety of areas; provided or hosted 29 staff accessibility training sessions; implemented new accessibility positions, roles and services; and helped influence and improve library e-resource accessibility, especially through its leadership in the Big Ten library consortium.

Originality/value

Most libraries strive to provide welcoming access to information and library services for all users, including persons with disabilities, but resources and literature on comprehensive accessibility initiatives in academic libraries are somewhat limited. The library accessibility initiatives implemented by a large, academic research library shared in this paper will hopefully contribute to the much-needed library and information science literature on this topic.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 46 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Book part
Publication date: 1 December 2015

Cyndi Rowland, Jonathan Whiting and Jared Smith

Several factors must align if web accessibility can be achieved and maintained. It is critical that web developers, designers, and content creators each know what to do…

Abstract

Several factors must align if web accessibility can be achieved and maintained. It is critical that web developers, designers, and content creators each know what to do. Moreover, it is vital that administrators create systems to support enterprise-wide web accessibility. The chapter will cover key issues found in education, predominantly higher education, and share resources to accomplish this complex endeavor.

Details

Accessible Instructional Design
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-288-7

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Article
Publication date: 31 August 2012

Friederike Kerkmann and Dirk Lewandowski

The purpose of this paper is to describe the aspects to be considered when evaluating web search engines' accessibility for people with disabilities. The authors provide…

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1740

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the aspects to be considered when evaluating web search engines' accessibility for people with disabilities. The authors provide an overview of related work and outline a theoretical framework for a comprehensive accessibility study of web search engines, regarding the principles of disability studies and the idea of inclusion.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a literature review, and an aggregation of recommended actions in practice, mainly the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative's (WAI) evaluation model.

Findings

A good way to conduct an accessibility study in a comprehensive manner is the WAI methodology consisting of three‐steps: preliminary review to quickly identify potential accessibility problems; conformance evaluation to determine whether a website meets established accessibility standards; and user testing to include real people with disabilities in a practical use. For the use case “web search engines” some special issues have to be taken into consideration.

Research limitations/implications

The paper can be seen as a brainstorming and describes a theoretical concept of how to do. Conclusions about actual barriers of web search engines and criteria of satisfaction for people with disabilities do not exist as of yet; the model is not tested so far.

Practical implications

This paper provides practical implications for researchers who want to conduct an accessibility study, especially of web search engines. Findings of such studies can have practical implications for web search engine developers to improve accessibility of their product. The accessibility of web search engines does not only have implications for people with special needs, but also for the elderly or temporarily handicapped people.

Originality/value

This paper combines findings from web search engine research with aspects of disability studies. Therefore, it provides insights for researches, search engine developers and educators in practice on how important accessibility of web search engines for people with disabilities is, how it can be measured and what aspects need to be considered.

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Article
Publication date: 23 February 2010

Javier De Andrés, Pedro Lorca and Ana B. Martínez

This paper aims to identify the factors influencing the implementation of web accessibility.

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1546

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify the factors influencing the implementation of web accessibility.

Design/methodology/approach

Following the theoretical framework three hypotheses were developed. The database consisted of 108 non‐financial firms listed in the Dow Jones Industrial, CAC‐40, DAX and IBEX35 indexes. A multivariate regression equation was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Reasons for the implementation of web accessibility are technical rather than social or financial. The implementation of web accessibility is aimed at increasing the efficiency of the operations of the firm. Furthermore, web accessibility policies are more important in countries where the incorporation of the firms into the net has taken place at a date some time after the beginning of the scheme.

Research implications

An implication of the results is the advisability of orienting governmental policies to raise awareness that web accessibility should be part of corporate social responsibility activities.

Originality/value

This is a pioneering empirical study of the factors influencing web accessibility. The results of the present research are of interest to other countries.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Russell Williams and Rulzion Rattray

Identifying the different user needs and capabilities of individuals online, the aim of this research is to highlight the importance of “web content accessibility” in…

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1630

Abstract

Purpose

Identifying the different user needs and capabilities of individuals online, the aim of this research is to highlight the importance of “web content accessibility” in effective online communication. In particular, identifying the statistical size of disabled and “challenged” individuals in the marketplace, the paper identifies a competitive mandate for considering online accessibility. In addition, a developing legal mandate, based on the idea that access to information also involves access to opportunity and participation, is set out. Having identified the importance of the accessibility issue, the second aim of the research is to provide an assessment of current levels of online accessibility, as well as to compare these with the limited published research in this area.

Design/methodology/approach

Following previous accessibility research, the “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines”, produced by the “Web Accessibility Initiative”, are adopted as the de facto standards for accessibility. Against these standards, a sample of UK hotel web pages was then assessed utilising the software assessment tool, “Bobby”. Given the limitations of the Bobby software to assess web sites against all the de facto standards, additional manual checks were also made.

Findings

The hotel web sites revealed very poor levels of accessibility in both absolute and relative terms. Examining the data collected manually revealed that the poor level of accessibility is likely to result from a lack of awareness of the critical issues and techniques required for providing access. If organisations want to maximise their online reach, then an outside‐in, user‐centred approach is therefore necessary.

Practical implications

Provides a framework as to how organisations might usefully implement a web content accessibility strategy.

Originality/value

Enables web authors to evaluate their content from an accessibility perspective.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 20 December 2007

Mohammad Eyadat and Dorothy Fisher

The purpose of this research is to examine web accessibility initiative (WAI) guidelines for web accessibility so as to incorporate web accessibility in information…

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847

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to examine web accessibility initiative (WAI) guidelines for web accessibility so as to incorporate web accessibility in information systems (IS) curriculum.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used the WebXact software accessibility evaluation tool to test the top pages of web sites of the 23 California State University (CSU) campuses in order to identify the level of compliance to federal standards. The authors also designed and conducted a questionnaire to survey the students who were enrolled in the first web development course at CSU, Dominguez Hills to access their knowledge and skills in various web accessibility topics.

Findings

The research findings show that the majority of the CSU campuses' top web pages failed to meet WAI guidelines at some point. Moreover, two‐thirds of the students who responded to the survey have no knowledge of web accessibility topics included in the questionnaires. The results indicate that IS programs failed to incorporate accessibility in their curricula and produce web developers with the skills and knowledge in web accessibility.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of this research is that the sample size is small. The authors intend to increase the number of universities' web site in the test and survey all students in the IS program in a future study.

Practical implications

This research is background work that will help the authors to incorporate accessibility topics in their web development courses that include web accessibility basic concepts, universal design, Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act, web content accessibility guidelines, WAI guidelines for web accessibility, and web accessibility testing tools.

Originality/value

This research improves the current state of web accessibility in curriculum higher education.

Details

International Journal of Web Information Systems, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-0084

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Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2015

Kerry Falloon

This chapter aims to present best practices in providing inclusive resources and services offered to persons with disabilities at a public university library, in light of…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter aims to present best practices in providing inclusive resources and services offered to persons with disabilities at a public university library, in light of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Methodology/approach

A review of past practices and future considerations are presented from the perspective of providing both effective services and acquiring accessible resources.

Findings

Effective practices, at a college library serving individuals with disabilities, need to be a consistent part of daily practices and policies. Due to changing populations of students with disabilities, library outreach to the local disability office and communication to library professionals is essential. Practices for acquiring, assessing, and purchasing library resources require conformity to legal standards in order to be an “accessible” library.

Practical implications

Success for college students with disabilities also requires an institutional and system-wide university commitment to accessibility. As a case study in practice, the College of Staten Island (CSI) Library actively assesses accessibility at their library, which can be relevant to other academic libraries.

Originality/value

Limited amount of studies document the application of compliance with the ADA to daily library acquisition practices. Initiatives are also presented that can lead to future procurement guidelines at the CSI and similar organizations.

Details

Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and the Inclusive Future of Libraries
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-652-6

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2013

Lourdes Moreno and Paloma Martinez

The purpose of this paper is to show that the pursuit of a high search engine relevance ranking for a webpage is not necessarily incompatible with the pursuit of web accessibility.

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3026

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show that the pursuit of a high search engine relevance ranking for a webpage is not necessarily incompatible with the pursuit of web accessibility.

Design/methodology/approach

The research described arose from an investigation into the observed phenomenon that pages from accessible websites regularly appear near the top of search engine (such as Google) results, without any deliberate effort having been made through the application of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to achieve this. The reasons for this phenomenon appear to be found in the numerous similarities and overlapping characteristics between SEO factors and web accessibility guidelines. Context is provided through a review of sources including accessibility standards and relevant SEO studies and the relationship between SEO and web accessibility is described. The particular overlapping factors between the two are identified and the precise nature of the overlaps is explained in greater detail.

Findings

The available literature provides firm evidence that the overlapping factors not only serve to ensure the accessibility of a website for all users, but are also useful for the optimization of the website's search engine ranking. The research demonstrates that any SEO project undertaken should include, as a prerequisite, the proper design of accessible web content, inasmuch as search engines will interpret the web accessibility achieved as an indicator of quality and will be able to better access and index the resulting web content.

Originality/value

The present study indicates how developing websites with high visibility in search engine results also makes their content more accessible.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Russell Williams, Rulzion Rattray and Alexandra Stork

Information exchange is important in any transaction but is perhaps particularly important for transactions in the travel and tourism industry where information…

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1875

Abstract

Information exchange is important in any transaction but is perhaps particularly important for transactions in the travel and tourism industry where information gratification plays such a crucial role. Internet‐based technologies allow organisations to exchange information with an often geographically dispersed and wider marketplace without a loss of quality. However, merely being online, publishing a Web site is not enough. Organisations need to ensure their Web sites obtain “traffic” or “hits” and, importantly, that the content of their sites is accessible. Accessible Web sites mean access for all, accommodating different user capabilities and needs. This research examines the emerging competitive and legal imperatives to consider the issue of Web content accessibility as well as what makes for an accessible Web site. In spite of the strong competitive and legal imperatives for accessibility, a survey of 100 UK and German‐based travel and tourism Web sites conducted here revealed disappointingly low levels of accessibility. As the Internet and Web come to play a more important part in individual lives, this finding suggests that many organisations need to work harder to ensure that their often considerable investments achieve what they set out to do – communicate effectively with what they hope is a larger marketplace.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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