How accessibility guidelines are used in Spanish World Heritage Websites: an exploratory study
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Web accessibilityWorld HeritageAccessibility analysisWCAG 2.0Web sitesWorld Wide Web
García-Santiago, M.D.; Olvera-Lobo, M.D. How accessibility guidelines are used in Spanish World Heritage Websites: an exploratory study. Library Hi Tech. (En prensa)
This paper presents an exploratory study on the accessibility of Spanish World Heritage website homepages in the Spanish language. The study sample comprised 78 homepages from the institutional websites of the 47 cultural, natural and mixed assets considered as World Cultural Heritage by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco). These homepages have been analysed using online accessibility validator tools, following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 recommendation for the different levels of priority. The compiled data were employed in a quantitative study on adherence to WCAG guidelines. Furthermore, the types of errors made using the perspective of accessibility and usability were identified, and the application rate was calculated for these accessibility guidelines according to the type of entity managed by the websites and pages. The results show that more than 25% of the cases analysed had 10 accessibility errors or fewer. Moreover, it was only necessary to correct one or two types of errors in close to 40% of them. The paper draws the conclusion that, despite technological and legislative advances that make public entity websites accessible, there is still much to do before complete web accessibility and usability at AA and AAA level can be achieved. Identifying accessibility problems on institutional websites constitutes the first step towards creating web content that is easy to access and manage for users with disabilities. In this regard, this study contributes to improving web content according to objective guidelines such as those encouraged by the WCAG 2.0. This article provides information on how accessibility and usability guidelines are implemented by institutional websites for Cultural Heritage deemed especially important. This is an issue with significant implications for users and for which, however, there is a lack of prior studies. As a result, the value and originality of this paper can be considered evident.