Strategies to Increase Web Accessibility and Usability in Higher Education
Barbara A. Frey (University of Pittsburgh, USA), Ashli Molinero (University of Pittsburgh, USA) and Ellen R. Cohn (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
Copyright: © 2003
This chapter addresses the current status of Web accessibility and usability in higher education. As post secondary institutions strive to expand their online services and still maintain inclusive classrooms, attention must be given to the design of Web resources. Over 20 percent of Internet users have disabilities including vision, hearing, motor, and cognitive impairments that affect their use of the Internet. In addition, many users have inefficient operating systems and/or slow connections. The World Wide Web Consortium’s Accessibility Initiative guidelines for accessibility are reviewed for the following areas: (1) page organization, (2) images, (3) image maps, (4) graphs and charts, (5) tables, (6) multi-media components, (7) scripts, applets, and plug-ins, (8) frames, (9) use of color, and (10) default font settings. Examples and strategies are presented for creating dynamic Web pages that are accessible and usable without jeopardizing the goals and creativity of the designer. Developing accessible Web resources will benefit all users, as well as comply with federal accessibility regulations for electronic and information technology.