Evaluating Accessibility and Usability of Higher Education Platforms in the Region
This report is an edition by the Association for Civil Rights (ADC) of the research conducted by the University of Quilmes Disability Observatory in March 2023. Its purpose is to ponder the degree of accessibility and usability of higher education digital platforms in Latin America.
The study offers a macro analysis of the laws regarding web content accessibility in five countries of the region: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Uruguay. The casuistry and jurisprudence of each state were reviewed to assess their feasibility as grounds for demanding compliance and recognition of the right. Thus, the education laws and regulations of the different countries were examined, with a special focus on higher studies, to identify key elements for addressing common issues and exploring regional coordination.
In turn, the microanalysis level consisted of two complementary types of authentication: automatic (home pages and in-depth up to level 3) and user experience validations. The latter were given greater importance as the interaction of Persons with Disabilities (PWD) in the digital sphere implies situated exploration.
The users’ experience contributes to the design of various alternatives, avoiding rigid universal standards that aim to be one-sided. The study corroborates accessibility as a continuous, dynamic, and evolving dimension in constant interaction with the knowledge and skills each individual brings into play. Once again, it is evident that the task of producing an accessible website is not restricted to the front end (design and web programming), but demands the input of people with disabilities in their validation, as an integral part of the development of the digital sphere.