Monitoring for accessibility in medical university websites: meeting the needs of people with disabilities

Authors

  • Shahabedin Rahmatizadeh Department of Health Information Technology and Management / School of Allied Medical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, (Tehran) , Iran http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2429-1642
  • Saeideh Valizadeh-Haghi Department of Medical Library and Information Sciences / School of Allied Medical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, (Tehran) , Iran http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4326-5215

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17411/jacces.v8i2.150

Keywords:

Access to Information, Academic Medical Centers, Disabled Persons, User-Computer Interface, Internet/standards

Abstract

Currently, students consider the Internet as an efficient tool and technology and the Websites of universities play a significant role in their daily activities. Due to the increasing number of students with a disability, accessibility of these Websites is essential. Thus, in the current study, the Websites of medical universities of Iran were investigated to identify accessibility issues if any exists. The homepage of Websites of the medical universities of Iran was evaluated using the AChecker and FAE tools. Moreover, the web pages of each university were evaluated by FAE. To examine the differences in accessibility issues rate among three types of medical universities, Kruskal–Wallis test was performed. The results showed that all three types of universities have accessibility issues. Amongst 50 university websites, only 2 out of them did not display any accessibility problem based on Achecker tool. The score of FAE tool showed that the websites of all Iranian universities of medical sciences are in the NI-R category, which indicates that the accessibility has not been considered in the design of those websites. Moreover, according to Spearman's correlation test, there was a significant inverse correlation between the score of homepage and the number of known problems (P-value= 0.043). Furthermore, there was a significant correlation between the homepage score and score of other pages (P-value <0.001). The accessibility of medical universities’ Websites is not in an optimal situation, which severely affects the achievement of universities’ visions and missions concerning expanding medical education and improving educational equity. Therefore, it is necessary to make fundamental modifications in this respect. To do so, university, as well as web developers should pay special consideration to accessibility guidelines to make their Websites more accessible.

Author Biographies

Shahabedin Rahmatizadeh, Department of Health Information Technology and Management / School of Allied Medical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, (Tehran) , Iran

Dr. Shahabedin Rahmatizadeh obtained his master degree in computer engineering from shahid Beheshti University and started working as web designer and teaching some courses at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences. To make best use of his computer knowledge, Dr. Rahmatizadeh decided to pursue a PhD in the field of Medical Informatics and therefore joined Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in February 2011 as a PhD student. After graduating, he started to work as Assistant professor in Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran-Iran, and his current work focuses on quality evaluation of health websites from different aspects.

Saeideh Valizadeh-Haghi, Department of Medical Library and Information Sciences / School of Allied Medical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, (Tehran) , Iran

Dr. Saeideh Valizadeh-Haghi obtained her master degree in Medical Library and Information Science from Azad university of Tehran and started working as librarian and teaching some courses at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences. To make best use of her medical Librarian knowledge, Dr. Valizadeh-Haghi decided to pursue a PhD in the field of Health information management and therefore joined Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in February 2010 as a PhD student. After graduating, she started to work as Assistant professor in Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran-Iran, and her current work focuses on quality evaluation of health websites from different aspects.

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Published

2018-11-30

How to Cite

Rahmatizadeh, S., & Valizadeh-Haghi, S. (2018). Monitoring for accessibility in medical university websites: meeting the needs of people with disabilities. Journal of Accessibility and Design for All, 8(2), 102-124. https://doi.org/10.17411/jacces.v8i2.150