As the kickoff to Super Bowl 50 nears, one can’t help but think about the two teams who worked so hard all season to get to this point and how excited and proud the people who reside in those towns must be. But it also got the folks at The Bureau of Internet Accessibility (BoIA) thinking – which city has the most accessibility-friendly website?
BoIA scanned the city sites for both Charlotte and Denver using their A11Y® website accessibility testing platform. In the report that is produced in this process, grades are assigned to each site in 5 areas, the 4 WCAG 2.0 Principles outlined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Perceivable, Operable, Usable and Robust, and then an overall site grade.
The Operable Principle consists of guidelines that are geared toward the following topics: make all functionality available from a keyboard, give users enough time to read and use content, do not use content that causes seizures, help users navigate and find content. The results of these scans, which reviewed between 1600 – 1900 Web pages each, were alarming. Under the Operable Principle, Charlotte’s site, www.charmeck.org scored an F, and Denver’s site, www.denvergov.org , scored a D
While technically, Denver scored better than Charlotte in 3 of the 5 categories, it’s not something that can be called a “win” when the website is not accessible to 20% of the US population who is living with visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, neurological and other disabilities, and may require assistive technology to navigate the Internet. This group may be proud of their hometown teams for making it to the Super Bowl, but if they’re excluded from accessing information equally, more needs to be done to fix the divide.
Just for the record, a scan of the NFL site was performed as well and scored a D+ overall. It’s apparent that noncompliance of the website accessibility guidelines is still an issue that spans across the entire information superhighway.