Sarah O'Reilly

Document Type



This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only


Computer Sciences, Information Science

Publication Details

Dissertation submitted in partial fufilment of the requirements of the award of Msc. in Computing, 2012.


Prior research has argued that there is no one best approach to evaluating web accessibility and proposes the adoption of multiple approaches. Following these proposals this research used three different approaches for evaluating accessibility on websites for accessibility to older persons with sight difficulties as there are advantages and disadvantages to each approach. Approached used included: (1) Using automated tools to determine accessibility, which looks at the code of websites to get a general overview of accessibility issues. (2) Manually looking at the design, code and also how it might impact the user. This involved a manual assessment of each of the websites and comparison to the WCAG 2.0 guidelines (3) the third aspect of Web 4 accessibility is looking at the visual, thinking skills or cognition required by the user to access the website. The user testing evaluation method involved participants completing tasks on each of the three websites while participants were being videoed, and asked them to speak aloud at the same time to reflect on accessibility issues. The participants were then asked to complete an exit-interview based on the Principles of Universal Design. The three approaches provided a complete holistic approach to accessing Web accessibility on the three key websites.