Bridge or Barrier: an Examination of the Accessibility of Ontario University Accessibility Services Offices Webpages

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Walker, Paige
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Research examining the web accessibility of postsecondary institutions has primarily focused on the homepage of the website, with few examining Canadian institutions. This study explored how easy it is to locate the homepage of each Ontario University Accessibility Services Office and evaluated the compliance of each homepage with the most recent version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1). Using qualitative methodology and an automated accessibility tool (Total Validator), 21 Ontario University Accessibility Services Offices homepages were analyzed. Each homepage was located, and all failed to comply with WCAG 2.1 standards. Across homepages, 100% had at least one WCAG 2.1 Level A error, and 71% had at least one WCAG Level AA error. The most common WCAG 2.1 error was improperly nesting headings. Implications and recommendations for Ontario University Accessibility Services Offices are discussed, along with considerations for future research.
Accessibility, Webspace, post secondary institutions