In December 2017, results of Screen Reader User Survey #7 by WebAIM were released. The survey was conducted in October and had 1,792 valid responses. The survey had less respondents than the previous survey, but had better world-wide representation.
- Primary screen reader usage: JAWS 46.6%; NVDA 31.9%; VoiceOver 11.7%.
- CAPTCHA remains the most problematic item.
- The second most problematic item is now “Screens or parts of screens that change unexpectedly”. This is surely due to complex designs and SPAs/JS frameworks.
- Web accessibility basics (keyboard access, alt text, forms, headings, data tables) are still in top 10 of most problematic.
- When asked if more accessible web sites or better assistive technology would have a bigger impact on accessibility, 85.3% responded more accessible web sites.
- Sadly, frequent use of landmarks and regions dropped to 30.5%. WebAIM states that this may be “due to infrequent or improper usage of landmarks/regions in pages”.
- 33.3% reported using Braille output with a screen reader.
- 41.4% reported using an external keyboard with a mobile device and screen reader.
I highly recommend you also read WebAIM’s summary of Screen Reader User Survey.
In the blog post Web Accessibility – The Power of Five, E-Access Bulletin Live reports on a web accessibility study completed by the Society of IT Management (Socitm). The study cites the five most common web accessibility errors, which reportedly make up 76% of all website accessibility failures.
- no alternative text for images
- errors in simple data tables
- errors in complex data tables
- use of features with a lack of accessible alternatives
In a report from the UK, where web accessibility is more widely practiced than in most other countries, 75% of Local web design companies ignore disabled people. Unfortunately, I’m sure that percentage is much higher here in the United States, where accessible web sites are still limited to not much more than some government and education sites.
The United Nations commissioned a report on web accessibility with very disappointing results. Only 3 home pages from 100 web sites achieved Single-A accessibility from the WCAG 1.0 guidelines (the lowest level of web accessibility compliance). The sites were chosen from 20 countries in 5 categories (Travel, Finance, Media, Politics, and Retail).
Also, here’s a blog post about the issue along with a lot of discussion at 456 Berea St: 97% of websites are still inaccessible.
An article from the BBC “Retail websites fail access test” discusses the lack on web accessibility in the largest retail web sites in the United Kingdom.
It was found that 30 of the UK’s most important retail web sites had significant accessibility issues. Here are some findings:
- Only 3 terms and conditions pages achieved basic accessibility standards
- 29 of the 30 web sites do not use shortcut links to enable people to navigate the page without using a mouse