Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Carrie Rector


More than 26% of the United States nation's population lives with a disability that inhibits the way they navigate and interact with the world. Some impairments may limit the accessibility of information, especially when it comes to viewing websites, applications, and online documents, but modern web accessibility standards aim to eliminate those barriers. The accessibility of information for those with disabilities is especially pertinent when it comes to colleges and universities. While a few researchers have delved into the realm of accessibility for higher education institutions, the current study questions whether small to mid-sized, private, liberal arts university websites are accessible to those with disabilities using the ten schools enrolled in the Big East Athletic Conference. Each evaluation was conducted based on the top five most frequently visited pages and through the automated accessibility checker, WAVE. This study ranks the sites, recognizes prominent accessibility shortcomings, suggests improvements on bettering both the institutions' websites and the national standards of web accessibility, and develops additional research ideas for others to advance the field, helping those with disabilities have equal access to higher education institutions and create a more inclusive web for all.

Included in

Communication Commons