E-Government Accessibility in Ecuador: A Preliminary Evaluation
Sandra Sanchez-Gordon, Sergio Luján-Mora, Mary Sánchez-Gordón
7th International Conference on eDemocracy & eGovernment (ICEDEG 2020), p. 50-57, Buenos Aires (Argentina), April 22-24 2020. ISBN: 978-1-7281-5882-2. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICEDEG48599.2020.9096766
(ICEDEG'20) Congreso internacional / International conference
The National Council for Equal Disabilities of Ecuador reports that there are 471,020 citizens with disabilities registered in the country. This represents the 2.75% of the population. From them, 290,148 are adult citizens who are potential beneficiaries of accessible public websites. In 2016, the Ecuadorian Institute for Standardization published the Ecuadorian technical regulation RTE INEN 288 that applies to web content published on public and private Ecuadorian websites that provide public services. The regulation establishes that the level of conformity A of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0 must have been fully satisfied by 2018 and the level AA should be complied by August 2020. Soon, this regulation should be updated to the current version 2.1 published in June 2018. This study presents the results of a preliminary evaluation carried out with a sample of the five most visited Ecuadorian e-Government websites that provide online services to citizens. Two automated web accessibility evaluation tools were used: WAVE and Cynthia Says. The results reveal that all the evaluated websites have accessibility issues and fail to comply with the Ecuadorian regulation. The three most recurrent accessibility errors were a lack of alternative texts (WCAG Success Criteria 1.1.1 Non-text Content, Level A) and empty links (WCAG Success Criteria 2.4.4 Link Purpose, Level A). Overall, 74.8% of the issues found corresponded to Level A while 25.2% corresponded to Level AA.