Assessment of Web Content Accessibility Levels in Spanish Official Online Education Environments

  •  Rosabel Roig-Vila    
  •  Sergio Ferrández    
  •  Imma Ferri-Miralles    


Diversity-based designing, or the goal of ensuring that web-based information is accessible to as many diverse users as possible, has received growing international acceptance in recent years, with many countries introducing legislation to enforce it. This paper analyses web content accessibility levels in Spanish education portals according to the international guidelines established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). Additionally, it suggests the calculation of an inaccessibility rate as a tool for measuring the degree of non-compliance with WAI Guidelines 2.0 as well as illustrating the significant gap that separates people with disabilities from digital education environments (with a 7.77% average). A total of twenty-one educational web portals with two different web depth levels (42 sampling units) were assessed for this purpose using the automated analysis tool Web Accessibility Test 2.0 (TAW, for its initials in Spanish). The present study reveals a general trend towards non-compliance with the technical accessibility recommendations issued by the W3C-WAI group (97.62% of the websites examined present mistakes in Level A conformance). Furthermore, despite the increasingly high number of legal and regulatory measures about accessibility, their practical application still remains unsatisfactory. A greater level of involvement must be assumed in order to raise awareness and enhance training efforts towards accessibility in the context of collective Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), since this represents not only a necessity but also an ethical, social, political and legal commitment to be assumed by society.

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