Web Accessibility of Palestinian Universities: Can We Access Higher Education Information during COVID-19?

Iyad Doush, Mohammed Awadallah, Mohammed Al-Betar, Mohammed Al-Betar

Abstract

University web portals are considered one of the main access gateways for universities. Accessibility of university online services is a major issue for undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities. Online registration makes people with disabilities more independent to register courses, add, drop courses, or attend courses independently. Yet, many people with disabilities in Palestine face major challenges when using university websites. In order to understand the issues that face people with disabilities when they use websites of Palestinian universities, this study evaluates the accessibility of the home pages of these universities during COVID-19. In order to evaluate partially the accessibility of Palestinian universities during COVID-19, we apply automatic evaluation on all homepages of eighteen Palestinian universities. The most violated guideline is empty link which is related to success criterion 2.4.4 Link Purpose. The second highest violated error is linked image missing alternative text which is related to the success criterion 1.1.1 Non-text Content. The obtained results show that all the universities websites are not conforming to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 level A.

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