Web Accessibility in Higher Education over Time: An Analysis of over 4,000 Institutions



  • Jay Pope, Product Manager, Pope Tech

Session Details

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


Pope Tech tested the the top-level websites of all US universities and colleges (over 4,000 higher education institutions) in 2019 and again in 2020. This presentation reviews interesting findings including what were the most common errors found and trends over time.


In this presentation, Pope Tech is reporting on the findings of its longitudinal study on the web accessibility of American Academic Institutions. This is the first comprehensive, longitudinal study to explore all degree-granting colleges and universities (public and private) in the United States for web accessibility.

Using open source and government lists, all United States universities and colleges were identified (the final list contained over 4,000 institutions of higher education). The top-level domain for each academic institution was identified. In order to create a robust sample of pages, each website was crawled by Pope Tech and up to 100 pages were included in the sample.

In the fall of 2019, the web pages were analyzed in Pope Tech’s scanning platform using WebAIM’s WAVE Engine to detect accessibility errors. Follow-up analyses were conducted scanning the same web pages 6 months later, and then one year later (Fall of 2020).


  1. Scanned all (over 4,000) US higher education institutions (up to 100 pages each).
  2. Discuss common errors across higher education in the US.
  3. Review overtime and other patterns and discuss what they mean.

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Institutional/Campus Change, Research, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Jay Pope

Jay is the product manager of the Pope Tech web accessibility platform. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from Utah State University. He is a front-end web developer by training and previously led a team responsible for hundreds of websites at Utah State University. He has helped many companies streamline their project management processes for their development teams. When not working on web accessibility Jay loves to spend time with his wife and 3 kids, and all things basketball are his passion.