Title: An evaluation of Fortune 500 company home pages for disability-access

Authors: Charletta F. Gutierrez, John C. Windsor

Addresses: Department of Operations Management and Information Systems, College of Business, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA. ' Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences, College of Business Administration, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203, USA

Abstract: For business, the internet has become a major tool for providing information to prospective customers about products and services that they provide. However, as more and more web pages are designed using popular multimedia elements such as animation, graphics and video, many sites may not be accessible to those using screen readers and other disability-related accessibility technology. With current legislation designed to protect the rights of persons with disabilities, providing equal access to all individuals has become a major issue. However, the great majority of organisations do not make it a priority to create websites for the community with special needs. This research evaluates the home pages of the Fortune 500 companies for compliance with two key laws pertaining to disability-access: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Keywords: disability access; accessibility; website design; web design; ADA; Americans with Disabilities Act; Rehabilitation Act Section 508; e-commerce; electronic commerce; equal access; special needs; Fortune 500 companies; disability laws; internet.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEB.2005.006907

International Journal of Electronic Business, 2005 Vol.3 No.2, pp.137 - 153

Published online: 21 Apr 2005 *

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