Electronic Government Accessibility for People with Blindness or Low Vision Who Utilize Assistive Computer Technology
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Public Affairs and Administration
Dr. Matthew S. Mingus
Dr. Robert McConnell
Dr. Jennipher Wiebold
Citizen access to electronic government information and services continues to enjoy an expansionary phase in local government. This expansionary phase holds a prominent place in service delivery strategic planning as governments address on-going operational challenges caused by increased fiscal pressures and greater accountability to the citizenry for their actions. Since the advent of the World Wide Web, in the mid 1990s, static information and interactive applications are available on government websites to facilitate information dissemination and citizen interaction.
The presence of electronically delivered information and services may not address the accessibility needs of people with blindness or low vision who utilize assistive computer technology. Inaccessible websites can occur when accessibility-oriented development is absent from local government's web design process.
Minimal research has been conducted to discover potential barriers preventing people with blindness or low vision who utilize assistive computer technologyfrom accessing electronic delivery of government information and services through an official government website.
This study consists of a cross-sectional survey of 472 local governments in a Midwestern state. Fifty-six local governments responded to the survey. The results indicate that 100% of respondents have accessibility design errors programmed into their official home pages. A key factor related to the number ofaccessibility design errors present on home pages is the work experience of a web developer.
Additionally, subordinate web pages, linked to an official home page, demonstrate a similar number of instances of accessibility design errors as an official home page. This finding suggests errors are prevalent throughout entire websites. Finally, the presence of a formalized web development process is also a key factor related to the number of accessibility design errors present on home pages.
Sobie, Robert J., "Electronic Government Accessibility for People with Blindness or Low Vision Who Utilize Assistive Computer Technology" (2006). Dissertations. 991.