STS: Measuring accessibility for Higher Education Institutions

There have been a number of attempts on measuring the level of accessibility for organizations, assessing their structure, processes and products. A tool, that is increasingly used to measure and optimize processes in organizations in the last years is called “maturity model”. A maturity model comprises a series of stages and describes a desired development path for a specific object. One of the first maturity models, on which many subsequent maturity models are based, is the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). The CMMI was developed in 2000 by the Software Engineering Institute to improve processes in organizations. Since then, maturity models found their way also into other areas, for example accessibility.

Since 2005, there have been 25 maturity models for accessibility published, 6 of them targeting specifically higher education institutions (HEI). These maturity models not only differ in their target group, but also in their structure, the number of levels that can be achieved, and the indicators (also called “metrics”), which measure the accessibility of an organization.

This Special Thematic Session will focus on both: (1) Individual metrics and their relevance to accessibility of organizations, and (2) Sample accessibility maturity models that form systems of metrics. Session participants will be asked to share their research and experiences on both.

Session Goals

  • Inform about existing approaches on measuring the level of accessibility for HEI
  • Learn and discuss on currently emerging approaches on metrics and Accessibility Maturity Models (AMMs)
  • Jointly identify candidate metrics for an emerging specific AMM for universities (“AMM-U”)
  • Discuss possible applications of AMMs in HEIs


  • Gottfried Zimmermann, Stuttgart Media University, Germany
  • Nadine Auer, Stuttgart Media University, Germany
  • Verena Kersken, Stuttgart Media University, Germany

Information : sts10 at aaate2023 dot eu