***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 ACS Publications platform to evaluate its conformance with WCAG 2.0 AA Criteria. This evaluation did not include all functionality or content of the site or all WCAG 2.0 AA Success Criteria.
During this evaluation, a number of issues were found that may make the site and its content impossible to use for some individuals with disabilities and difficult to use for most others.
Keyboard users, including screen reader users and users with dexterity impairments, will find it 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. Most 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. Moving focus to some elements also causes page content to unexpectedly change.
Individuals with visual impairments, including those that rely on screen readers, will also have significant problems using the site. Some content is not read out correctly and structural information (including headings and lists) 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, 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 lack appropriate alternative text, significantly impacting users with visual impairments. Images of text are also used in place of styled text, preventing users of a variety of assistive technologies from being able to effectively understand some content.
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. Alternative text is not provided for any images, and no title or language are 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, use of color alone to convey information, insufficient link context, no means to bypass repeated navigation, and inappropriate page titles.
To improve access for users with disabilities, MSU UARC recommends a full WCAG 2.0 AA evaluation and that the problems discovered be remediated.