Publications about web accessibility (arranged by the date of publication, newest first):
Tania Calle-Jiménez, Sandra Sanchez-Gordon, Sergio Luján-Mora. Retos de Accesibilidad en GEO-MOOCs. Atas da Conferência IADIS Ibero-Americana WWW/Internet 2013 (CIAWI 2013), p. 91-98, November 21-23, Porto Alegre, Brasil. ISBN: 978-972-8939-95-3.
El presente trabajo describe algunos de los retos que existen para lograr que cursos en línea sobre Sistemas de Información Geográfica (SIG) que se ofrecen mediante plataformas de Cursos en Línea Masivos y Abiertos (MOOCs) sean inclusivos. Es decir, accesibles para personas con diversas discapacidades. A estos cursos, se los conoce con el nombre genérico de Geo-MOOCs.
En accesibilidad web no interesan las condiciones específicas de las personas sino el impacto que dichas condiciones tienen en su habilidad para usar la web. En este contexto, se proponen las siguientes categorías de discapacidades: visuales, motoras y del habla, cognitivas y psicosociales. Además, se debe tomar en consideración que las discapacidades pueden ser permanentes, temporales o situacionales.
Existen varias estrategias para lograr que un MOOC sea de alta accesibilidad. Una opción es evitar ciertos tipos de funcionalidades y contenidos que no son accesibles a personas con discapacidades. Esta no es una buena solución, pues conlleva una reducción general de características que se ofrecen a los usuarios. Otra propuesta es desarrollar una versión genérica del MOOC y varias versiones alternativas para distintos tipos de discapacidades. Este camino tampoco es adecuado, pues el desarrollo y soporte de múltiples versiones es costoso y en muchos casos no viable. Además, no resuelve el problema de la segregación a usuarios.
Por tanto, se requiere proveer métodos alternativos para llevar a cabo las distintas funcionalidades y para acceder a contenidos en formatos accesibles acorde a cada tipo de discapacidad. Para esto, se requiere profundizar en los requerimientos de accesibilidad y tecnologías asistidas. Con esto, se pretende definir mecanismos para solventar los retos asociados a la implantación de dichos requerimientos en Geo-MOOCs.
Rosa Navarrete, Sergio Luján-Mora. Accessibility considerations in learning objects and open educational resources. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI 2013), p. 521-530, Seville (Spain), November 18-20 2013. ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5.
The motivation for this paper resides in two societal phenomena. First, the rapid expansion in the use of technologies to support learning in formal education on universities and educational institutions, as well as in online environments that promote open and free learning. Second, the dynamic growth of educational resources that faculty and learners have globally released for use in open and free learning contexts, which allow interaction and collaboration between students and academic peers, giving rise to a new space that promotes equity opportunities in access to non-formal learning.
Moreover, there is an important recognition in a global scale about the rights of people with disabilities in all social spheres, and certainly the access to non-formal education is one of them.
In this paper we will conduct a preliminary evaluation over some of the most important websites of Open Educational Resources, in terms of the web accessibility to the web page and the educational resources themselves. The obtained results provide a starting point about the dissimilar levels of concern around the accessibility issues and try to identify the needed actions to ensure accessibility for and inclusion of persons with disabilities.
Keywords: Learning objects, LO, Open Educational Resources, OER, accessibility, web, disabled, handicapped.
Sandra Sanchez-Gordon, Sergio Luján-Mora. Accessibility considerations of massive online open courses as creditable courses in engineering programs. In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI 2013), p. 5853-5862, Seville (Spain), November 18-20 2013. ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5.
This paper proposal is to include MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) as creditable courses in engineering programs at the National Polytechnic School of Ecuador. In addition to fulfilling a number of requirements related to the content and duration of the courses, one important challenge is that these selected MOOCs should comply with web accessibility requirements specific for the special needs of non-native speakers.
Web accessibility is the property of a website to support the same level of effectiveness for people with disabilities as it does for non-disabled people. As an accessible website is designed to meet different user needs, preferences, skills and situations, this flexibility also benefits people without disabilities in certain situations, such as MOOC students who are non-native speakers. Unfortunately, MOOCs raise new challenges on web accessibility. For example, cultural differences and background knowledge have to be taken into account when choosing contents, examples, and learning activities which might be unfamiliar or even offensive to certain cultures. Also, user interfaces requires special adaptations for non-native speakers.
We present a preliminary list of web accessibility requirements and highlight the challenges non-native speakers experience when using MOOCs. The goal is to raise awareness about the particular needs of non-native speakers. This understanding will be the base for establishing criteria for a preliminary selection of MOOCs as creditable courses in engineering programs at the National Polytechnic School. These criteria can also be useful for other higher education institutions interested in including MOOCs in their official programs.
Keywords: Engineering Curriculum, Massive Open Online Courses, Web Accessibility, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, User Interface, Non-native speakers.
Sandra Sanchez-Gordon, Sergio Luján-Mora. Web accessibility of MOOCs for elderly students. In 12th International Conference on Information Technology Based Higher Education and Training (ITHET 2013), p. 1-6, Antalya (Turkey), October 10-12 2013. ISBN: 978-1-4799-0085-5.
Internet use by older people has increased dramatically during the past 10 years. According to different sources, the number of users over age 65 has more than doubled since 2000. Besides, the inevitable effect of younger users aging will increase the number of older people using the Internet the next decades. Unfortunately, older people face several challenges when using the web due to diminishing capacities related to aging, such as vision decline, hearing loss, decremented motor skills and cognition issues. On the other hand, e-learning can be an opportunity in helping older people become integrated with the rest of society. In this context, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) bring great opportunities to enhance the quality of life of older people by enabling lifelong learning and inclusion in learning communities. However, MOOCs can present some barriers that could hamper full participation by elderly students. In order to avoid these barriers, MOOCs have to meet different user needs, skills and situations: MOOCs have to successfully address web accessibility challenges for elderly students. The purpose of this paper is to raise awareness towards a better understanding of the web accessibility challenges that elderly students of MOOCs face.
M. Borys, M. Plechawska-Wójcik, Marek Milosz, Sergio Luján-Mora, Sybille Caffiau. Synergy effect in GUI usability and accessibility education improvement. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Education Engineering Conference (EDUCON 2013), p. 311-317, Berlin (Germany), March 13-15 2013. ISBN: 978-1-4673-6109-5.
The paper presents a synergy effect achieved through knowledge and experience exchange in the field of Graphical User Interface (GUI) usability and accessibility among Leonardo da Vinci Partnerships project partners. The main aim of the project is curricula and teaching materials development in the usability and accessibility of computer applications area. Partner universities join their potential in order to achieve the planned results.
Keywords: usability and accessibility education, synergy effect, educational project
Sergio Luján-Mora. A Comparison of Common Web Accessibility Problems. Varia Informatica 2013, p. 21-36, PIPS Polish Information Processing Society, Lublin (Poland), 2013.
An accessible web site is one which can be used by all its intended visitors, taking into account their differing capabilities. Inaccessible web sites can pose significant barriers to people with disabilities. The challenge of developing web content accessible by everyone has motivated the evolvement of a number of techniques to address web accessibility issues. Unfortunately, web developers often lack sufficient knowledge about these guidelines and techniques to develop accessible web sites.
This paper presents a survey of common web accessibility problems. Different studies and reports have been analyzed in order to summarize the most common web accessibility problems.
Sergio Luján-Mora. Web Accessibility Among the Countries of the European Union: a Comparative Study. Actual Problems of Computer Science, 1(3), p. 18-27, ECCC Foundation, 2013. ISSN: 2299-8667.
In a short period of time, the World Wide Web (the Web) has had a huge impact on our society and lives. The Web provides access to news, email, online purchasing, fun activities, etc. However, the Web is often a barrier to access to information and services for some groups of disabled users. To support the accessibility of web sites, different accessibility guidelines and standards have been introduced for the last ten years. Unfortunately, web developers often lack sufficient knowledge to meet these guidelines. To assure and certify the fulfilment of web accessibility guidelines, various automatic accessibility evaluation tools have been developed. In this paper, a comparative study of the web accessibility of official websites from countries of the European Union is presented. Two automatic evaluation tools have been used to perform the comparison: the W3C Markup Validation Service to check the source code of the web pages, and eXaminator to test the accessibility.
Keywords: accessibility, web, evaluation, assessment, quality, European Union
Sergio Luján-Mora, Firas Masri. Integration of Web Accessibility into Agile Methods. Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems (ICEIS 2012), Volume 3, p. 123-127, Wroclaw (Poland), June 28 - July 1 2012. ISBN: 978-989-8565-12-9.
In a short period of time, the World Wide Web has had a huge impact on our society and lives. In web sites and web applications, accessibility and usability are essential key requirements. Unfortunately, most web sites are inaccessible to many disabled people and fail to satisfy the most basic standards for accessibility. Many of the barriers people with disabilities face on the Web are completely avoidable and the disadvantage associated with disability can be entirely overcome. To support the accessibility of web sites, different accessibility guidelines and standards have been introduced for the last ten years. Nevertheless, a web site can meet accessibility standards, but it can still difficult for people with disabilities to use it. Moreover, web accessibility has been often an afterthought in the development process of web sites. In many cases, web developers provide an adaptation or a fix to the interface of a web site after it has been released to the public. In this paper, we argue that the adoption of agile software development methods can help to improve the accessibility of web projects. Besides, the integration of accessibility into agile methods is proposed.
Keywords: Accessibility, Web, Agile, Evaluation, Testing.
Sergio Luján-Mora, Firas Masri. Evaluation of Web Accessibility: A Combined Method. In Pedro Isaias, Miguel Baptista Nunes (Eds.), Information Systems Research and Exploring Social Artifacts: Approaches and Methodologies, Hersey, PA: IGI Global, p. 314-331, 2012. ISBN: 978-1-4666-2491-7.
The Web is present in all fields of our life, from information and service Web pages to electronic public administration (e-government). Users of the Web are a heterogeneous and multicultural public, with different abilities and disabilities (visual, hearing, cognitive, and motor impairments). Web accessibility is about making websites accessible to all Internet users (both disabled and non-disabled). To assure and certify the fulfillment of Web accessibility guidelines, various accessibility evaluation methods have been proposed, and are classified in two types: qualitative methods (analytical and empirical) and quantitative methods (metric-based methods). As no method by itself is enough to guarantee full accessibility, many studies combine these qualitative and quantitative methods in order to guarantee better results. Some recent studies have presented combined evaluation methods between qualitative methods only, thus leaving behind the great power of metrics that guarantee objective results. In this chapter, a combined accessibility evaluation method based both on qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods is proposed. This proposal presents an evaluation method combining essential analytical evaluation methods and empirical test methods.
Firas Masri, Sergio Luján-Mora. A Combined Agile Methodology for the Evaluation of Web Accessibility. IADIS International Conference Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction 2011 (IHCI 2011), p. 423-428, Rome (Italy), July 24-26 2011. ISBN: 978-972-8939-52-6.
To assure and certify the fulfillment of web accessibility guidelines (WCAG 1.0 & 2.0) and to guarantee accessibility to all disabled users, various accessibility evaluation methods have been proposed, basically classified in two types: qualitative methods (analytical and empirical) and quantitative methods (metric-based methods). As no method by itself is enough to guarantee full accessibility, many studies advice to combine these methods between each other in order to guarantee better results. Some recent studies present combined evaluation methods between qualitative methods only, thus leaving behind the great power of metrics that guarantee objective results and task diversity. To achieve this goal, the current paper proposes a systematic combined agile accessibility evaluation method based both on qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods. This proposal presents an evaluation methodology that combines between the essential analytical evaluation methods and the empirical user test methods. Finally, WAB metric (Web Accessibility Barrier) is included to summarize objectively the final results and amplify the use of this method to cover all types of evaluations tasks, like validating, certifying and comparing processes.
Keywords: Web accessibility, Empirical evaluation methodology, User test.
Firas Masri, Sergio Luján-Mora. Web Accessibility Implementation in Spanish Public Administration. In Marek Milosz (Ed.), Varia Informatica 2011, p. 22-32, PIPS PIPS Polish Information Processing Society, Lublin (Poland), 2011. ISBN: 978-83-931710-6-4.
Nowadays the web is presented in all fields of our life, from information and service web pages to electronic public administrations (e-government). This makes that users are a heterogeneous and multicultural public, with different abilities and disabilities (Visual, hearing, cognitive & motor impairments).
These characteristics represent a huge challenge if we hope to provide access to all possible users, specially if the intention is to fulfill web accessibility guidelines WCAG 1.0 y WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) [ACG08] of the WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative).
Web accessibility aims at enabling all users to have equal access to information and functionalities on the web. More specifically, Web accessibility means that people with all disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web.
To assure web accessibility, several studies have suggested numerous evaluation methods [BRA06], [VIG07] as a mean to verify, measure and certify the fulfillment of accessibility guidelines and therefore to supply full accessibility to disabled people ensuring that laws are being upheld. Many of these evaluation methods were implemented, thus creating a number of automatic tools to simplify the evaluation process and by that way providing a technical infrastructure for all software developers to guarantee minimal access.
Despite these technical facilities and the fulfillment of laws and moral obligations towards disabled persons, unfortunately many public administrations and people representations still doesn.t apply the minimal accessibility condition for their websites.
In many cases they are the ones whom established these laws as we will see next in this paper analyzing the Spanish Senate website.
The Senate of Spain is the upper chamber of the Parliament and a constitutional body. Since 2002, several decrees and laws provide that the website of the Public Administrations must be accessible, thus ensuring universal access and applying the no discrimination statements of European Union. For example, the Royal Decrees 1494/2007 [BOE07a] & 56/2007 [BOE07b] states that the Internet sites of public administrations must meet at least AA level of WCAG 1.0. However, as we will see next in the analysis of the Senate.s website, the page is full of errors that prevent the information to be accessible. Therefore, the Senate breaks the same laws they create. Or as the Spanish proverb say, "Do as I say, not as I do..
Sergio Luján-Mora, Alejandro Agulló Fernández. Accessible web page search engine with freely available tools in Internet. Proceedings of the II International Conference on Science and Technology (ISTC 2007), Malaga (Spain) - Tangiers (Morocco), March 21-23 2007.
In this paper, a prototype of an accessible web page search engine is presented. This search engine is aimed to disabled people. This prototype includes the level of accessibility of each one of the located pages in the result page, which allows disabled people to decide if it is worth to visit the page. The current version of the search engine has been developed with a set of tools (search engine, accessibility evaluation tool) freely available in Internet, but we plan to improve our solution prototype by developing new tools with configuration parameters and better execution speed.