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People with Special Needs and the Accessibility of Websites of Educational Institutions: Using the Brazilian System to Point to a Current and Problematic Global Issue

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DOI: 10.4236/ce.2015.618207    3,648 Downloads   4,185 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The virtual world of the internet is increasingly present in society. However the accessibility to this world is not fully guaranteed in an inclusive way for those with special needs. In this study, we investigated the presence of accessibility tools considered of less complexity (increase of text font, navigation shortcuts and high contrast) in homepages of 97 Brazilian Educational Institutions including 38 Federal Institutes of Vocational Education, Science and Technology which were specialized in technical formation and 59 Federal Universities. The results of the Federal Institutes revealed that 12 of the 38 sites had none of the tools evaluated, which might hinder or prevent the access of those with special needs. The analysis also revealed the increase of text font as the tool with the highest incidence in the evaluated sites (26 of 38 sites). The universities analysis showed that 41 of the 59 sites evaluated did not have any of the tools analyzed and only the Federal University of Ceará showed all evaluated tools. According to our overall analysis, this is a global issue in several educational institutions who ignore the right of the people with special needs to access this educational virtual world. This lack of access may hugely compromise this people’s life in a longer perspective so they should be remembered by those who have the control of these virtual environments. People with special needs may have a full and complete life, including in the virtual world of internet, if conditions of accessibility are offered and this is mandatory for educational institutions like those evaluated in this study.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Freitas, C. , Delou, C. , Souza, S. , Braga, M. and Castro, H. (2015) People with Special Needs and the Accessibility of Websites of Educational Institutions: Using the Brazilian System to Point to a Current and Problematic Global Issue. Creative Education, 6, 2021-2027. doi: 10.4236/ce.2015.618207.

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