Accessibility and School Websites

Magazine Issue
Spring 2019

 

Boy in a chair points to a computer while wearing a headpiece microphone
Photo courtesy of BYU Photos

Imagine going through high school with a vision disability. You visit your school's website to view graduation informa­tion, but the words are too small to read and the colors of the text blend into the background. This frustrating scenario is a reality for many people with disabili­ties when they try to access K–12 school websites.

Royce Kimmons, McKay School instructional psychology and technol­ogy assistant professor, stressed, "School website accessibility is an important equity issue that affects students, parents, and communities." Kimmons and Jared Smith, associate director of WebAIM at Utah State University, set out to determine how school demographics influence accessibility.

Kimmons and Smith's study, entitled "Accessibility in Mind? A Nationwide Study of K–12 Web Sites in the United States," was published in the open-access journal First Monday to spread the word of the need to make school websites more accessible for people with disabilities and to provide simple methods to start improving school websites now.

"Just like putting a wheelchair ramp in front of a public building helps a vari­ety of people—from pregnant mothers to little children to wheelchair-bound people—making websites more acces­sible to people with disabilities also improves experiences for everybody by making school websites more usable and accessible for all," Kimmons said.

 

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