Purpose – The purpose of this research is to examine web accessibility initiative (WAI) guidelines for web accessibility so as to incorporate web accessibility in information systems (IS) curriculum. Design/methodology/approach – The authors used the WebXact software accessibility evaluation tool to test the top pages of web sites of the 23 California State University (CSU) campuses in order to identify the level of compliance to federal standards. The authors also designed and conducted a questionnaire to survey the students who were enrolled in the first web development course at CSU, Dominguez Hills to access their knowledge and skills in various web accessibility topics. Findings – The research findings show that the majority of the CSU campuses' top web pages failed to meet WAI guidelines at some point. Moreover, two‐thirds of the students who responded to the survey have no knowledge of web accessibility topics included in the questionnaires. The results indicate that IS programs failed to incorporate accessibility in their curricula and produce web developers with the skills and knowledge in web accessibility. Research limitations/implications – The limitation of this research is that the sample size is small. The authors intend to increase the number of universities' web site in the test and survey all students in the IS program in a future study. Practical implications – This research is background work that will help the authors to incorporate accessibility topics in their web development courses that include web accessibility basic concepts, universal design, Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act, web content accessibility guidelines, WAI guidelines for web accessibility, and web accessibility testing tools. Originality/value – This research improves the current state of web accessibility in curriculum higher education.
International Journal of Web Information Systems – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 20, 2007
Keywords: Internet; User interfaces; Information systems; Curriculum development