Academic Search

Summary

***Below is a summary of UARC's accessibility evaluation. For the full report, click the pdf link in the menu on the right.*** 

MSU Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting (MSU UARC) conducted a high-level accessibility evaluation of the EBSCO Academic Search platform to evaluate its conformance with WCAG 2.1 AA Criteria. This evaluation did not include all functionality or content of the site or all WCAG 2.1 AA Success Criteria.

During this evaluation, a number of issues were found that will make some site content impossible to use for some individuals with disabilities and may make the site difficult to use for many others.

Keyboard users, including screen reader users and users with dexterity impairments, will find it difficult or impossible to use some site content. Some content cannot be reached or operated via keyboard, making it impossible to use for those that rely on keyboard access. Focus order is incorrect in some places, increasing the difficulty of using the site with a keyboard. Some interactive elements lack a sufficiently visible focus indicator, making it difficult for many keyboard-only users to effectively use them, as they cannot determine when they have reached the correct element.

Individuals with visual impairments, including those that rely on screen readers, will also have problems using the site. Some content is not read out correctly and structural information (particularly headings) is not appropriately conveyed to users, making it difficult or impossible to understand content and organization in places. Some form inputs are not appropriately labeled and errors are not appropriately announced, making those inputs difficult or impossible to use for those that rely on screen readers. Custom elements do not correctly announce themselves to screen readers, making them difficult to understand and use. Most images have inappropriate or missing alternative text, significantly impacting users with visual impairments.

The PDF has not been tagged for accessibility and no structural information is provided to assistive technologies, making it extremely difficult to use and navigate for users with disabilities. Additionally, no title or language is provided to assistive technologies.

Other issues were found that will make it difficult for users with a variety of disabilities to effectively use the system, including insufficient color contrast for text and user interface elements, unexpected changes due to modifying inputs, inability to appropriately dismiss hover content, session time limits that cannot be extended, content disappearing when the page is resized or zoomed, problems bypassing repeated navigation, and inappropriate page titles.

To improve access for users with disabilities, MSU UARC recommends a full WCAG 2.1 AA evaluation and that the problems discovered be remediated.