Most Common Barriers
Here we present the most common barriers found on public European web sites.
(1) Invalid or deprecated (x)HTML and/or CSS
was detected in 82% of the evaluated web pages.(x)HTML and CSS are the most used technologies for web pages. The latest version of these technologies are built with accessibility in mind. This means that assistive technologies can more easily and successfully present the web page content when the latest(x)HTML and/or CSS is used correctly.
(2) Graphical elements without textual alternative
occurred in 63% of the evaluated pages. An example of this is images without alternative text, which causes challenges for people with visual impairments who are unable to see the pictures. Any information conveyed in an image is lost to these users whenever a textual alternative is missing.
(3) Form elements without labels
occurred in 62% of the evaluated pages. An example of this is not correctly marking a search button as ”search”. The fact that the web site is searchable, is sometimes understood by the context around the search field,such as a magnifying glass nearby. People with visual impairments and dyslexia sometimes have the web page text read out load using screen readers, and are unable to a see magnifying glass. If a button is not clearly marked as a search button, it is no way of knowing that it is intended for searching the web site.
(4) Links with the same title but different target
occurred in 32% of the evaluated pages. There is often a problem that links on web pages are not describing the target pages well. A typical example is having links with the text ”read more” (which does not say anything about what the link is actually linking to).Instead links should be more descriptive such as ”read more about the economic crisis”. For fast and efficient navigation, some accessibility tools present all links within an a web page to the user. However, if all links have the text ”read more”, presenting all links to the user is useless since it is impossible to know what information each link points to.
(5) Mouse required
occurred in 15% of the evaluated pages. For web sites which requires the use of a mouseit causes problems for people with motor impairment who often have challenges with using such devices. An example of such is web sites with menu items which can only be accessed by clicking with a mouse. Often,people with motor impairment are not be able to use such web sites at all.
This survey has been carried out using the eGovMon tool for measuring accessibility and was first published in Journal of Ph.D. of Papers in Technology and Science, 2008 at Aalborg University as How Accessible is the Public European Web by Morten Goodwin Olsen. Note that this is an internal journal for Aalborg University. The journal itself is not available online.