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An international peer-reviewed journal

Investigating the Accessibility and Usability of Job Application Web Sites for Blind Users

Jonathan Lazar, Abiodun Olalere, and Brian Wentz

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 7, Issue 2, February 2012, pp. 68 - 87

Article Contents


This study examined the accessibility and usability of 16 employer Web sites in the southeastern United States, and it revealed that the majority of attempts by blind individuals to apply for jobs using these Web sites were not successful. There were many unique problems identified (see Table 1). Accessibility and broader usability challenges can clearly prevent or discourage users with disabilities from even the earliest phases of the process of seeking and obtaining employment, as illustrated in this study. When a particular segment of the population (e.g., people with disabilities) is in this manner prevented from the right to apply for employment, it amounts to discrimination.

Accessible and usable online employment applications should be a priority for employers, and the negative impact that this has on people with disabilities must be understood. As illustrated in this research, most of the problems related to electronic accessibility and usability are easy for designers to correct. Following guidelines such as Section 508 and WCAG can allow businesses to make significant progress towards providing equal opportunities for all individuals to gain employment.


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