Brill e-Books

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 Brill E-Books 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 will 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 have difficulty or be unable to use significant site content. Most importantly, some content cannot be reached or operated via keyboard. Most interactive elements lack a sufficiently visible focus indicator, making it difficult or impossible for many keyboard-only users to effectively use them, as they cannot determine when they have reached the correct element. Focus order is also incorrect in some places, further increasing the difficulty of using the site with a keyboard.

Individuals with visual impairments that rely on screen readers will have additional problems. Title attributes are used incorrectly throughout the site, resulting in confusing and inappropriate information being read out. Structural information (including heading and list structure) is not appropriately conveyed to users, making it difficult to understand content organization. Many form inputs are not appropriately labeled, making those inputs difficult or impossible to use for those that rely on screen readers. Custom elements throughout the site do not correctly announce themselves or provide appropriate feedback to screen readers, making them difficult or impossible to understand and use. Most images have inappropriate alternative text, significantly impacting users with visual impairments, and images of text are used in place of styled text, impacting users with visual impairments and users with reading and cognitive impairments.

While text in PDFs is provided to screen readers, documents have not been tagged for accessibility and no structural information is provided to assistive technologies, making them extremely difficult to use for users with disabilities. Additionally, PDFs do not have a title or language set.

Other issues were found that will make it difficult for users with a variety of disabilities to effectively use the system, including invalid code, insufficient color contrast, color alone differentiating some content, and insufficient link context. Usability issues were also encountered, which will impact all users, regardless of disability status.

To improve access for users with disabilities, UARC recommends a full WCAG 2.0 AA evaluation and that the problems discovered be remediated.