Predictors of Web Accessibility in Higher Education: Ten Years After

Handouts Media

Presented at 9:15am in Mattie Silks on Friday, November 10, 2023.



  • Dan Comden, ATC Manager, University of Washington
  • Terrill Thompson, Technology Manager, University of Washington

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: General Conference


In 2013 we published "Predictors of Web Accessibility in Higher Education", a research report that collected data on accessibility policies and other variables from higher education institutions and examined which variables had the strongest correlations on web accessibility. Ten years later we revisit the research. Has the higher ed accessibility picture changed? Is it better, worse, or the same? This session presents our findings and analysis.


This unique study tracks trends in accessibility in U.S. higher education institutions over the past ten years. Have websites gotten more accessible, as determined by automated checkers? Do more institutions have web or IT accessibility policies? Are policies more formal? Do websites have more content overall related to accessibility? In addition to examining the ten-year trends, we are once again exploring, as we did in the original study, which variables are the best predictors of institutions' website accessibility. The new study also introduces new variables that were not included in the original study, such as the amount of federal grant funding received and whether institutions have OCR resolution agreements and/or have faced lawsuits related to their digital accessibility. Spirited discussion will be encouraged.


  1. Comparison of higher education institutions between 2012 and 2022 on many variables related to accessibility.
  2. Results of a policy analysis of *all* U.S. higher education institutions
  3. Preliminary results that answer the question: Which variables best predict accessibility at higher ed schools?

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Administrative/Campus Policy, Research, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Dan Comden

Dan manages the Access Technology Center (ATC) at the University of Washington. The ATC is a UW system-wide resource within central IT that works directly with students, faculty, and staff with disabilities who need to access computing resources. The ATC also help web and application developers make exciting and accessible online resources. In his free time, Dan plays with cars and rides his bike.

Terrill Thompson

*** Terrill has a bio elsewhere on the site --- please insert here ***