Accessibility as an integral factor in e-government web site evaluation: The case of Dubai e-government

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Information Technology and People


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which accessibility is taken into account in the assessment and ranking of e-government web sites through the lens of a specific study related to Dubai e-government. Design/methodology/approach: The paper considers a case study related to Dubai e-government and it evaluates the accessibility of each of the 21 Dubai e-government web sites, based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and using an automated accessibility testing tool. A bivariate correlation analysis is performed to assess the correlation between web site ranking and accessibility score. Findings: The research reveals that contrary to common intuition and some earlier studies, there is a weak correlation between e-government web site ranking score and web site accessibility. Research limitations/implications: The paper uses an accessibility metric that is a proxy indicator of web accessibility and is not a real assessment of accessibility as experienced by a person with disability. Practical implications: When re-examined through the lens of Rawls's moral theory, this research suggests that accessibility should be given a higher priority in the general evaluation and ranking of e-government web sites. Social implications: The paper promotes universal accessibility to e-government information and services. Originality/value: The paper uses ethical arguments to highlight the need to comprehensively consider accessibility as a major criterion in the assessment and ranking of e-government web sites. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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