Analysis Of The Members Of Parliament Websites For Disability Accessibility

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Analysis Of The Members Of Parliament Websites For Disability Accessibility

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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 will be evaluated with an online web site analysis software tool - Truwex. Three factors will be used to gauge the level of accessibility: criteria based on Section 508, WCAG 1.0 standards, and WCAG 2.0 standards.


Individuals with disabilities are experiencing increased opportunities for access to online information and online commerce. Although web site designers have given increased access to disabled web patrons, practical usability of many web sites remains problematic. Several initiatives have increased internet accessibility for disabled Internet users. For example, international standards groups such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) have created standards for developers when building web sites to improve web accessibility for disabled web users. A multitude of U.S. laws requires that Internet web sites of federal agencies and departments be accessible to disabled individuals. However, even with enactment of laws and adoption of industry standards, uniform compliance among the three branches of the U.S. government has not been assured.

This lack of uniform compliance becomes noticeable when U.S. citizens suffering from disability regularly access the Internet. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 41.3 million Americans live with some form of disability. Of these, 29% access the Internet (Americans with Disabilities, 2008). Thus, a significant number of the disabled U.S. population might require assistive technology when accessing Internet web sites, and specifically, U.S. governmental web sites. Additionally, the U.S. government, through the E-government Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-347), has increased utilization of the Internet as a primary ...
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