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web accessibility: reports from Québec and Belgium

From: Christophe Strobbe <christophe.strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
Date: Tue, 04 Dec 2007 12:23:53 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>


Two new reports on the accessibility of websites have just become available.

Yesterday, AccessibilitéWeb published a report on 
the accessibility of the 200 most popular sites 
in Québec. A summary of the results is available 
(in French). This evaluation is repeated every three years.

On the same day, the Belgian organisation 
AnySurfer published a report on the accessibility 
of 233 Belgian websites (some in Dutch, some in 
French, but the distribution over both languages 
is not provided). The publication was announced on the AnySurfer blog

the report is available at
(both only in Dutch). The evaluation was done by 
AnySurfer and 60 students from Katholieke 
Hogeschool Kempen. There are plans to repeat this 
"Accessibility Monitor" every year.

In Québec, the evaluators found no significant 
improvement compared to 2003. Only 15% of the 
evaluated sites achieved an acceptable level of 
accessibility. Here's a list of the 7 most common issues:
1. 99% of the evaluated sites had invalid code (HTML and/or CSS).
2. 99% of the evaluated sites contained content 
or functionality that could not be used withouth JavaScript.
3. 96% of the evaluated sites did not use headings or used them improperly.
4. 93% of the evaluated sites contained forms 
with missing labels or labels that were not 
correctly associated with form fields.
5. 90% of the evaluated sites had missing text 
alternatives for image links and areas in image maps.
6. 82% of the evaluated sites used absolute units 
for fonts (pixels, points, etcetera).
7. 78% of the evaluated sites used no text 
alternative for images, photos and other informational graphics.

In Belgium, the situation also leaves some room for improvement.
The evaluators used a "quick scan" consisting of 
14 questions. Below are these questions (quickly 
translated from Dutch), followed by the percentage of websites that fail.
1. Does each image have a text alternative? 72% fails.
2. Is there a transcript for the speech in audio and video files? 70% fails.
3. Does each essential component in Flash have a text alternative? 65% fails.
4. Do forms use proper form markup? 64% fails.
5. Do data tables use proper table markup? 57% fails.
6. Is it possible to resize text without causing 
overlapping content? 57% fails.
7. Does every page have a meaningful title? 52% fails.
8. Can hyperlinks be clearly distinguished from 
the surrounding text? 50% fails.
9. Is the text easy to resize? 50% fails.
10. Do headings use proper heading markup? 47% fails.
11. Do lists use proper list markup? 46% fails.
12. Do foreground and background colours have sufficient contrast? 37% fails.
13. Can the site be used without a mouse? 35% fails.
14. Is the size of the click area for each 
hyperlinks at least 15 by 15 pixels? 26% fails.

96% of the evaluated websites fail on at least 11 of these questions.
On average, the evaluated websites fail on half of these questions.

Best regards,


Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
tel: +32 16 32 85 51

Disclaimer: http://www.kuleuven.be/cwis/email_disclaimer.htm
Received on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 11:24:12 UTC

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