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SAGE Research Methods


***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 Sage Research Methods 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.

Top 3 Issues

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

  1. Keyboard Navigation- a keyboard trap is present on the Search Results page, and some content cannot be used when assistive technologies are enabled. Keyboard traps prevent keyboard-only users, including individuals with dexterity impairments and screen reader users, from using any part of an affected page beyond the element that captures focus. Users that rely on assistive technologies such as screen readers, including individuals with visual and reading impairments, must be able to reach and use all content when those technologies are enabled.
  2. Focus Indicators- keyboard users, including screen reader users and users with dexterity impairments, will find it difficult or impossible to use a considerable portion of 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 many places, increasing the difficulty of using the site with a keyboard. Many 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 and modifying some inputs also causes page content to unexpectedly change.
  3. Color Contrast and Alt Text- Individuals with visual impairments, including those that rely on screen readers, will also have significant problems. Critical content is not read out at all, invisible and irrelevant information is frequently read out, and other content is read out incorrectly. 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 or impossible to understand and use. Some images lack appropriate alternative text, significantly impacting users with visual impairments.

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, images of text being used in place of styled text, use of color alone to convey information and purpose, incorrect use of skip links in bypassing repeated navigation on pages, and missing page title.

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