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An Accessibility and Usability Review of the Census-In-Schools Application

Lawrence Malakhoff, Lisa Lawler, and Cecelia Maroney

KEY WORDS: accessibility, Census In-Schools, Internet, screen-reader, Federal regulations, user-interface evaluation.


Children in grades K-5 will use the Census In-Schools (CIS) application to learn about what information the Census Bureau collects and how it is used through a quiz, a word find, and picture-matching activities. This review of the CIS application was performed in July 2008 using the Job Access With Speech (JAWS) screen-reader, software used by people with visual disabilities.  For all users to have access to the CIS application, it must conform to Federal accessibility regulations. According to the Federal regulations, computer users who have visual and/or other disabilities are entitled to have the same access as users who do not currently have any disabilities. The application must conform to the Federal regulations and the Census Bureau’s IT Standard 15.0.2 to be accessible. For the purpose of this report, an item is judged to be accessible (compliant with the regulations) if its screen text is read out loud, in a coherent order by JAWS. The evaluation revealed, for example, that cards are incorrectly tagged with ALT text on the Memory Game screen and the graphics above the signposts shown are not clickable on the left-navigation bar. These issues violate the Federal regulations.  This report uses screen shots to illustrate how compliance with Federal regulations can be accomplished, and it includes recommendations to improve the accessibility and usability of the CIS user interface.

CITATION: Malakhoff, Lawrence, Lawler, Lisa, & Maroney, Cecelia. An Accessibility and Usability Review of the Census-In-Schools Application. Statistical Research Division Study Series (Survey Methodology #2008-14). U.S. Census Bureau.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Research Division

Created: October 20, 2008
Last revised: October 6, 2008

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Statistical Research Division | (301) 763-3215 (or |   Last Revised: October 08, 2010