Accessibility of E-Government Web Sites

Accessibility of E-Government Web Sites

C. James Huang
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-947-2.ch149
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The Internet has emerged as one of the most prevalent forms of communication. The gathering and sharing of electronic information are becoming essential elements of modern life. Therefore, it is important to ensure that people, especially those with disabilities, have equal opportunities to benefit from the Web, especially from online public services. While many people describe the Web as a low cost, all encompassing, and far-reaching medium (Parker, 1997), it is really not accessible to everyone. The proportion of people with disabilities in society has been increasing due to the demographic trends long documented by many researchers (Barth, McNaught, & Rizzi, 1993; West, 1998). Nevertheless, government leaders have paid little attention to the needs of people with disabilities when planning and implementing Web projects, and hence many critical online public activities and customer services are not readily available to the disabled. In short, a critical challenge facing all governmental agencies is how to make the massive volume of information being published on public sector Web sites accessible to every citizen they serve.

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