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dc.contributor.advisorThompson, Rob H.
dc.contributor.authorKelsey Adkins, Eryn Rachael
dc.date.accessioned2023-10-23T22:01:58Z
dc.date.available2023-10-23T22:01:58Z
dc.date.issued2023
dc.identifierKelseyAdkins_mines_0052N_12584.pdf
dc.identifierT 9515
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/11124/178454
dc.descriptionIncludes bibliographical references.
dc.description2023 Spring.
dc.description.abstractThis thesis investigates digital accessibility in Colorado higher education institutions. A mixed-methods approach was used, utilizing grounded theory, statistical analysis, and accessibility personas. Grounded theory methods were applied to explore the barriers that students with disabilities face in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Computer Science (CS) coursework in higher education. A series of semi-structured interviews were conducted with staff of student disability support departments in Colorado higher education institutions. The data collected from these interviews was analyzed using grounded theory methodology to identify the common accessibility barriers students face, the sentiments on digital accessibility and accommodations, and to generate an initial theory for improved digital accessibility in STEM and CS coursework. Quantitative analysis was conducted on the results of automated accessibility evaluations of 540 web pages from 54 Colorado higher education institutions. The results were analyzed to determine the effect of higher education institution categories on web accessibility. The statistical analysis revealed that higher education institution categories had a significant impact on web accessibility, with private and for-profit institutions generally having a higher modified failure rate. Accessibility personas were created to represent individuals with various types of disabilities and their unique accessibility needs. The barrier walkthrough method was conducted to simulate the experience of these personas and identify barriers in a sample ratio of Colorado higher education institution homepages. The results of the study identified accessibility barriers in all homepages included in this study. The barriers include lack of alternative text for images, poor color contrast, and non-descriptive link text. This thesis contributes to the growing body of research on web accessibility in higher education by providing insights into the barriers to accessible STEM and CS education and the impact of institution categories on web accessibility. The findings of this thesis can be used to inform policy and practice in higher education institutions to improve accessibility for all students.
dc.format.mediumborn digital
dc.format.mediummasters theses
dc.languageEnglish
dc.language.isoeng
dc.publisherColorado School of Mines. Arthur Lakes Library
dc.relation.ispartof2023 - Mines Theses & Dissertations
dc.rightsCopyright of the original work is retained by the author.
dc.subjecthigher education
dc.subjectweb accessibility
dc.titleDigital accessibility in Colorado higher education institutions
dc.typeText
dc.date.updated2023-10-18T07:07:53Z
dc.contributor.committeememberWilliams, Thomas
dc.contributor.committeememberReid, Blake
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Science (M.S.)
thesis.degree.levelMasters
thesis.degree.disciplineComputer Science
thesis.degree.grantorColorado School of Mines


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