RETROSPECTIVE ANALYSIS OF ACCESSIBILITY OF THE EDUCATIONAL WEB PORTALS: THE ECUADORIAN CASE
1 Catholic University of Cuenca, Academic Unit of Information and Communication Technologies (ECUADOR)
2 University of Alicante, Department of Software and Computing Systems (SPAIN)
3 Universitat de les Illes Balears, Departament de Matemàtiques i Informàtica (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The increase of people with disabilities in the Ecuador and their educational inclusion obliges to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 in its web portals to have universal access. The web accessibility means that people with some kind of disability will be able to perceive, understand, navigate and interact with the web, in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities. There are laws and regulations in force, requiring public and private sector bodies to adopt and implement international standards for web accessibility. Ecuador has adopted the ISO/IEC 40500 standard that will allow all citizens to access the information available on the web. The Ecuadorian Technical Regulation RTE INEN 288 “Accessibility for the web content” came into force on August 8, 2016. This Regulation will allow carrying out the tracking of the obligatory compliance in the Ecuador of the regulation NTE INEN-ISO/IEC 40500 with the WCAG 2.0 of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This regulation must be applied to web content published on public and private sector websites that provide public services. In its transitory section, it establishes that, until August 8, 2018, all the Ecuadorian websites that provide a public service must be accessible according to WCAG 2.0 level A. To achieve compliance with level A (minimum), web pages must satisfy all compliance criteria of level A. The educational web portals must also meet level A at least, so that people with disabilities can access and interact with their contents and use assistive technologies. Despite the importance of accessibility in web portals, their compliance with education apparently does not comply with the range of recommendations established in the current legislation. The web sites, web technologies, or web tools that do not meet standards can create barriers that exclude people from using the web. The purpose of the evaluation is to ascertain whether the entry into force of the regulation has contributed to improve the accessibility of educational websites. Therefore, this document presents a comparison between 2016 and 2018 of the level of accessibility of educational web pages in Ecuador, using the automatic online tool T.A.W. This tool evaluates the compliance of HTML and CSS with WCAG 2.0. It starts by determining the sample that will be evaluate according to the domain name .edu.ec. Of the 31 web sites found, it is established the web pages to which the student accesses more frequently to be informed or to carry out some academic activity. Web pages were assessed using T.A.W with a level of conformity A to determine the problems, warnings and points not reviewed by each principle of accessibility. The web accessibility of the homepage was also evaluated, taking into account that this page will allow users to move within other sites of the web portals. With the finality of contrast the results obtained from the web pages in the years of study, a comparative between them is performed. From this analysis, the level of compliance of the success criteria by each principle is determined. Then, the most common errors were grouped by each principle. The government, public and private institutions of the Republic of Ecuador along with the developers must take and implement the regulation to allow the access to the web of people with disability.
Keywords: Disabilities, education, educational inclusion, web accessibility, WCAG 2.0.