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Comparing Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools and Evaluating the Accessibility of Webpages: Proposed Frameworks

Department of Computer Science, College of Computer Science and Engineering, Taibah University, Medina 42353, Saudi Arabia
Information 2020, 11(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/info11010040
Received: 8 December 2019 / Revised: 31 December 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2020 / Published: 12 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Information and Communications Technology)
With the growth of e-services in the past two decades, the concept of web accessibility has been given attention to ensure that every individual can benefit from these services without any barriers. Web accessibility is considered one of the main factors that should be taken into consideration while developing webpages. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) have been developed to guide web developers to ensure that web contents are accessible for all users, especially disabled users. Many automatic tools have been developed to check the compliance of websites with accessibility guidelines such as WCAG 2.0 and to help web developers and content creators with designing webpages without barriers for disabled people. Despite the popularity of accessibility evaluation tools in practice, there is no systematic way to compare the performance of web accessibility evaluators. This paper first presents two novel frameworks. The first one is proposed to compare the performance of web accessibility evaluation tools in detecting web accessibility issues based on WCAG 2.0. The second framework is utilized to evaluate webpages in meeting these guidelines. Six homepages of Saudi universities were chosen as case studies to substantiate the concept of the proposed frameworks. Furthermore, two popular web accessibility evaluators, Wave and SiteImprove, are selected to compare their performance. The outcomes of studies conducted using the first proposed framework showed that SiteImprove outperformed WAVE. According to the outcomes of the studies conducted, we can conclude that web administrators would benefit from the first framework in selecting an appropriate tool based on its performance to evaluate their websites based on accessibility criteria and guidelines. Moreover, the findings of the studies conducted using the second proposed framework showed that the homepage of Taibah University is more accessible than the homepages of other Saudi universities. Based on the findings of this study, the second framework can be used by web administrators and developers to measure the accessibility of their websites. This paper also discusses the most common accessibility issues reported by WAVE and SiteImprove. View Full-Text
Keywords: accessibility; government websites; accessibility evaluation; WCAG 2.0; web accessibility evaluation; web accessibility evaluation tools; automatic tools comparisons accessibility; government websites; accessibility evaluation; WCAG 2.0; web accessibility evaluation; web accessibility evaluation tools; automatic tools comparisons
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Alsaeedi, A. Comparing Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools and Evaluating the Accessibility of Webpages: Proposed Frameworks. Information 2020, 11, 40.

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