I wanted to contribute to the Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2021 (opens in new window) also as a private person (I will do my share also at work, internally and externally, more on that in another post or two). After reading through WebAIM’s million accessibility report (opens in new window), I suddenly realized that I could maybe do a similar analysis for my native country – Slovenia (opens in new window).
I’ve chosen Slovenia because I am pretty sure that such analysis was not done before. I am aware of some public sector only audits but I did not find any audit that covers private and public sector, so I believe I will be the first one to do it. At least publicly.
Collecting website addresses for sampling
As far as I know we do not have a list of website addresses (URLs) that I could just copy, so I had to collect them manually and with some scripting. The idea was to collect URL addresses together with minimum meta data;
- webpage address (URL),
- sector (public or private),
- category (I’ve used Tech Lab Content Taxonomy from Interactive Advertising Bureau (opens in new Window) as WebAIM did as well and extended it a bit for my needs).
This has been a very manual work, using Google, official sources, Slovenian search engines and news and so on. My ambition was not one million as WebAIM’s is, because Slovenia does absolutely not have so much websites. There are about 2.08 million people living in Slovenia, so I thought that I should concentrate on about thousand webpages that have either largest social impact or that are interesting for other reasons.
I also wanted to audit the sites of internet agencies and providers of web services as I believe they should lead by example or at least know what they are doing. Therefore I expanded the taxonomy with web creators, so that we can analyze how they are doing in regards with accessibility (and other indicators).
What tools were used
I do not have access to WebAIM’s API. To analyze thousand pages and more manually – by using WebAIM’s free browser extension (opens in new window) – would took a lot of time:
- open URL in browser, run extension and wait for results = approximately 3 minutes,
- copy paste results from extension to some document (or into database) = approximately 5 minutes (depending on how much errors were detected)
So we can say approximately 7 minutes per page – that’s then 7000 minutes only for collecting data. Not a very efficient way to do it. Luckily I have some experience with automatic testing for accessibility and I reached out to my open source tool for automatic accessibility and web performance auditing – aXeSiA.
I had to make some modifications but I was able to run aXeSiA on the list of URLs and follow up on some strange errors that occurred on some URLs.
Accessibility testing with automatic tools is limited and does not cover whole WCAG success criteria – but it does give some indication about overall accessibility and when we also take complexity into account we do get quite good overviewaXeSiA uses open source accessibility tools and also some custom complexity calculations that help to identify more advanced problems.
What will I do with the data
Plan is to collect an overview of the state of web accessibility and publish it for the public. Not exposing URLs and not pointing to specific creators or owners is a priority. My main motivation is to analyze state of accessibility of Slovenian web pages and try to point out where we are failing most, what impact it has on users and how we can be better.
As far as I am aware – nobody did such analysis – and I hope the results will add to accessibility awareness and help web creators to be better next time.
My plan is to publish the results around 20th of May (this years Global Accessibility Awareness Day) and call that day a Slovenian Accessibility Awareness Day. To make better reach I will publish the results in English and Slovenian.