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Feb 10, 2016

An automated website accessibility scan of each of the top 4 Democratic and Republican candidates’ campaign websites, has yielded some pretty bleak scores, uncovering the sad reality that ADA compliancy does not appear to be a top consideration of the next potential POTUS.

Just like the Department of Justice requirements under title ii and iii of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires a building to be made accessible for people who may have mobility impairments by adding ramps or specified parking spaces for example, the concept of digital inclusive design pertains similarly to “indirect access”. This means that any route in which an entity conducts business, like on a web and mobile site, must be compatible with assistive technology such as computer screen readers used by people who have low or no vision or reduced mobility.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the main international standards organization for the internet has broken the website accessibility guidelines down into 4 main Principles: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust. When reviewing the Operable Principle scores of the top 4 candidates of the Democratic party and GOP, we see that while the lesser known Republican Rocky de la Fuente scores an A-, the rest of the representatives come up between a B- (scored by both Donald Trump (Rep) and Bernie Sanders (Dem) and a D+ (scored by Martin O’Malley (Rep) and Marco Rubio (Dem). The average falling in at a dismal C (as scored by Hillary Clinton (Dem). The scans, performed by the Bureau of Internet Accessibility (BoIA) using their A11y® tool, uncovered the grades by each WCAG Principle, as well as an overall score, as seen below:

Candidate Site Perceivable Operable Usable Robust Overall
Hillary Clinton (DEM) B C F F C-
Rocky de la Fuente (DEM) B+ A- A- A- B+
Martin O'Malley (DEM) C D+ D- F C-
Bernie Sanders (DEM) B B- F F C+
Chris Christie (REP) B- C- D- F C-
Ted Cruz (REP) C- C- F F D
Marco Rubio (REP) B- D+ D- F C-
Donald Trump (REP) B- B- F F D+

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