Exploring the accessibility evaluation of city council websites by computer science students using a service-learning approach

Iniesto, Francisco and Rodrigo, Covadonga (2024). Exploring the accessibility evaluation of city council websites by computer science students using a service-learning approach. In: Interacción '24: Proceedings of the XXIV International Conference on Human Computer Interaction (Flores, Julián; Catalá, Alejandro; Condori-Fernández, Nelly and Reyes-Lecuona, Arcadio eds.), ACM, New York, article no. 13.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3657242.3658591

Abstract

Web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) have been the de facto standard for web accessibility evaluation for more than two decades and therefore have been introduced into legislation and university curricula in Computer Science. The usefulness of using WCAG to evaluate web accessibility in educational contexts is clear but the reality is that both teaching and learning how to apply WCAG is complex, and the challenge is even greater if students do not have the technical skills expected for WCAG’s applicability. Accessibility is not an easy topic to teach and learn since it involves complex terminology and methodologies, and besides, students at the National Distance Education University (UNED) are adults with less time to share knowledge among others. In this research, we have tried a humanistic approach, more precisely, a philosophical educational approach, as is the case of service-learning (SL) that might connect our students with the reality they are into, assessing the accessibility of their city council’s webpages. We propose SL as a practical philosophical-educational approach, also part of the ethical formation that is needed in engineering students, which helps to respond to the questions and challenges of the European Higher Education Area and UNESCO ́s Sustainable Development Goals.

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