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Morgan and Claypool Synthesis


***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 Morgan & Claypool's Synthesis collection 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 difficult to use for many individuals with disabilities.

Keyboard users, including screen reader users and users with dexterity impairments, will have difficulty or be unable to use some site content. Most importantly, menu dropdowns cannot be opened via keyboard. Many 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 many places, further increasing the difficulty of using the site with a keyboard.

Individuals with visual impairments, including those that rely on screen readers, will have additional problems. Structural information (including heading and list structure) is not appropriately conveyed to users, making it difficult to understand content organization. Tables are extensively relied used for visual formatting of non-tabular content, creating a variety of potential problems. Some form inputs are not appropriately labeled, making those inputs difficult or impossible to use for those that rely on screen readers. Many images lack 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.

Text in PDFs is not appropriately structured, making documents difficult to use and understand for individuals with visual or language impairments that rely on screen readers. Additionally, images in PDFs lack alternative text and PDFs do not have appropriate titles or languages 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 and purpose, inconsistent link identification, no means to bypass repeated navigation on some pages, and inappropriate page titles.

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