The challenge of web accessibility: an evaluation of selected government websites and service portals of high, middle and low-income countries

Jordanoski, Zoran and Meyerhoff Nielsen, Morten, (2023). The challenge of web accessibility: an evaluation of selected government websites and service portals of high, middle and low-income countries. Association for Computing Machinery, 101-110

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    Author Jordanoski, Zoran
    Meyerhoff Nielsen, Morten
    Title The challenge of web accessibility: an evaluation of selected government websites and service portals of high, middle and low-income countries
    Appearing in Association for Computing Machinery
    Publication Date 2023-11-20
    Place of Publication New York
    Publisher Association for Computing Machinery
    Start page 101
    End page 110
    Language eng
    Abstract The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of 2006 recognises the right to access Information and Communication Technologies as a human right – and proposed for inclusion in the upcoming UN Global Digital Compact. The objective is to enable the equality of persons with disabilities in exercising their fundamental human freedoms and rights for unhindered participation in social life. The access to and the accessibility of online content (i.e. web accessibility) defines the minimum standards required to enable easy access for persons with disabilities. Despite the recognised importance, the accessibility of the websites remains a serious challenge making their content partially or completely inaccessible to some categories of the population. This paper evaluates the legal adoption and practical implementation of the web accessibility standards and guidelines (WCAG 2.1, level AA) by the twenty best-ranked high-income, upper-middle-income, lower-middle-income, and low-income countries (i.e. five countries in each income-cluster) in the latest UN DESA E-Government Development Index (EGDI) 2022. The focus is on the main national public sector websites providing health, education, justice, employment, social protection, and environmental information, including the national citizens’ one-stop-shop service portal (or similar). The paper finds that with the adoption of the required legal framework and standards for web accessibility, the compliance level in a majority of countries and associated sites and portals remains low and continue to be a serious challenge in the lives of all users and the level of digital inclusion, not least persons with disabilities.
    Copyright Holder Association for Computing Machinery
    Copyright Year 2023
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    ISBN 9798400707421
    DOI 10.1145/3614321
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