IT Accessibility Policies and Practices

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5 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 4 μέρες)

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Terrill Thompson

University of Washington

tft@uw.edu

@
terrillthompson

http://terrillthompson.com

IT Accessibility Policies and Practices
in Higher Education:

Research
Findings

Research Questions

1.
What is the current state of web and PDF
accessibility at higher education institutions in
the United States?

2.
How many higher education institutions in the
United States have policies related to web
and/or IT accessibility
?

3.
How
do institutions compare on their level of
conversation related to web and technology
accessibility?

4.
Which
independent variables are the best
predictors of web and PDF accessibility?


The Population (n=3251)


1204 Associate's Colleges


623 Master's Colleges and Universities


594 Baccalaureate Colleges


518 Special Focus Institutions


283 Doctorate
-
granting Universities


29 Tribal Colleges


Includes only institutions located in the 50 U.S. states


Individual institutions with a shared parent institution and web template
(e.g., ITT
Technical Institute,
Devry
) were evaluated as one institution

Research Sample by Google Search


Top 10 HTML pages at each institution


Top 10 PDFs at each institution


A count of number of results searching for
"web accessibility" and "technology
accessibility" (
Conversation
)


A list of URLs searching for "web technology
accessibility policy"

Auto
-
evaluated each web page
(n=31,701)


% of <
img
> elements with alt attributes


% of <input> elements with "labels"


Page has HTML headings (Y/N)


Page has a
lang

attribute (Y/N)


Page has ARIA landmark roles (Y/N
)



Auto
-
evaluated each PDF (n=28,395)


One measure: Is PDF tagged? (Y/N)


Searched for string "/
Marked true
"


A reasonably reliable method of identifying tagged
PDF


100% reliable with manual test of 100 PDFs

(50 tagged & 50 untagged)



Accessibility Links on Home Pages


Automatically checked all links on institutional
home pages for the word "Accessibility"

Manually Reviewed Policy Results


A team of reviewers generously flagged all
Google results that
might

be considered a
policy


Generally reviewed only top 10 search results
at each institution, but were given latitude to
follow obvious leads one level deep


A panel of three experts conducted a more
thorough analysis of all policies that survived
the cut.


Four Categories of "Policies"


Formal
-
standalone


Formal
-
incorporated


Standards or guidelines


General statement

Results for Research
Question 1:

What
is the current state of web and
PDF accessibility at higher education
institutions in the United States?

Overall Web Accessibility


Headings


77.9% (83.6% for Doctorate)


Alt text


60.4% (66.1% for Doctorate)


Labels


39.8% (44.2% for Doctorate)


Lang


37.3% (45.6% for Doctorate)


ARIA


3.3% (4.2% for Doctorate)


Overall (Web)


43.7% (48.8% for Doctorate)


Tagged PDF


33.8% (20.7% for Doctorate)

A Few More Observations


California State University, State of Texas, and
State of Illinois institutions significantly higher
than average overall


Slight but significant difference between
highest
-
scoring region (Pacific) and lowest
(Southeast and Southwest)


In all of the above groups, very high within
-
group variance

On PDF Accessibility


Highest scores were Tribal Colleges (40.7%)


Second highest were Associates (39.7%)


Explanation?


Microsoft Word 2010 for Windows


Automatically creates tagged PDF


Larger institutions are creating more complex
PDFs using a wider variety of tools


A manual inspection of a few revealed that
some really are accessible, but many are not

Results for Research
Question
2:

How many higher education
institutions in the United States have
policies related to web and/or IT
accessibility?

Policies Found


8.4% of institutions (274 policies)


26.1% of Doctorate (74 policies)


14.8% of Masters (92 policies)


6.3% of Associates (76 policies)


3.5% of Baccalaureate (21 policies)


2.1% of Special Focus (11 policies)


0 Tribal Colleges

Types of Policies


Doctorate:


47.3
%
are formal
-
standalone (35 policies)


24.3% are formal
-
incorporated
(18 policies)


14.9% are general statement


13.5% are guidelines and standards


Masters:



Equal numbers of standalone and incorporated
(39.1%, 36 policies)


General statements were the most common type
of policy among other types of institutions

Results for Research
Question
3:

How
do institutions compare on
their amount of conversation related
to web and technology
accessibility??

A Huge Range of "Conversation"


Approx. 1000 institutions have 0 results for "web
accessibility" or "technology accessibility"


Approx. 100 institutions have over 1000 results


Six institutions have more than 10,000 results


Five of these have "accessibility" links on their
home pages (67.4% of these = "Accessibility")


The one that doesn't: Penn State


17 of the top 50 institutions do
not

have a home
page link

Results for Research
Question
4:

Which independent variables are
the best predictors of web and PDF
accessibility?

A policy's effect on conversation

Institutions with a policy are:


Significantly higher on alt text


Significantly higher on labeled input fields


Not significantly different on other web
accessibility measures (headings,
lang
, ARIA)


Significantly less likely to have tagged PDF

Effects of type of policy


Effect size are small, with high variance with
groups. However…


Formal standalone policies are related to
greater accessibility


Formal standalone policies are highly related
to higher levels of conversation. This effect is
especially strong when there is no
Accessibility link on the home page.


Stepwise Multiple Regression Analysis


Great overall web accessibility scores are
associated with:


More web accessibility conversation



Having an accessibility policy of any type


Being a Masters or Doctorate Institution


Being located in California


Not being located in the Southeast or Southwest


Having an accessibility link on the home page


Together, all of these predictors only accounted
for 3.3% of total variance. Which means…


The
best

predictors of web
accessibility were not measured in
this study.