Measuring the Time Impact of Web Accessibility Barriers on Blind Users: A Pilot Study
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As governments around the world increase or clarify the requirements related to web accessibility for public accommodations, they often require some level of cost-benefit analysis for the proposed regulation. As a part of these cost-benefit analyses, it’s important to understand not only the costs of making technology accessible, but also the costs (in terms of the value of time) to Blind users (and people with other disabilities) of not making the technologies accessible. Furthermore, as the next generation of accessibility guidelines are in development, it’s important to understand which specific accessibility barriers have the greatest impact on the productivity of users. This paper presents a literature review on the topic and also a discussion of two proposed methodologies for quantifying the impact of accessibility barriers by collecting time data on the difference between websites designed with high accessibility and those that have poor accessibility. Results from a pilot study of the first methodology will be presented.
The work reported in this publication was supported, in part, by grant number 90RE5027 (Universal Interface & Information Technology Access RERC) and 90REGE0008 (Inclusive ICT RERC), from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official policy of the Federal government.
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