Accessibility is a necessity

Do you want to test a11y of your website with our expert or talk about accessibility?
Drop by to Room B on #MM21PL (ground floor).

Web accessibility is not a "nice to have" feature anymore. It is a standard and should be considered as a default part of your website, next to performance and SEO.

First of all, inclusion matters and we should not exclude anyone because of health conditions.
Secondly, people with disabilities have a lot of spending power and by excluding them, we let our businesses to loose money.

Let's enlarge our target group by creative and accessible solutions.

Do you know...?

According to the CDC, 1 in 4 adults has a form of disability. This is 20% of the population that needs accessibility but currently, out of 350 million active websites in the US (and over 1 Billion worldwide!), less than 2% are accessible to people with disabilities. This disproportion has created the ‘web accessibility gap’.(AccessiBe)

In February of 2019, 2020, and 2021 WebAIM conducted an accessibility evaluation of the home pages for the top 1,000,000 web sites - The WebAIM Million. 97.4% of home pages had detectable WCAG 2 failures! (only automatically detectable errors).

Most common WCAG failures: Low contrast ratio: 86.4% in 2021, 86.3% in 2021, 85.3% in 2019; Missing alternatove text for images: 60.6% in 2021, 66% in 2020, 68% in 2019; Missing form input: 54.4% in 2021, 53.8% in 2021, 52.8% in 2019; Empty links: 51.3% in 2021, 59.9% in 2020, 58.1% in 2019; Missing document language: 28.9% in 2021, 28% in 2020, 33.1% in 2019; Empty buttons: 26.9% in 2021, 28.7% in 2020, 25% in 2019
Accessibility of home pages in most common ecommerce platforms: Shopify: 14025 (1.4%) with average numbers of errors 54.1, which increase of 5% from last year; Woocommerce: 32127 (3.2%) with average numbers of errors 67, which increase of 30.4% from last year; Magento: 5577 (0.6%) with average numbers of errors 79, which increase of 55.1% from last year
Accessibility of home pages in most common js frameworks: React: 26773 (2.7%) with average numbers of errors 50.4, which decrease of 1.9% from last year; MooTools: 8270 (0.8%) with average numbers of errors 54.8, which increase of 674% from last year; GSAP: 6612 (0.7%) with average numbers of errors 57.9, which increase of 12.7% from last year; Requirejs: 13612 (1.4%) with average numbers of errors 60.7, which increase of 18.1% from last year; Prototype: 5313 (0.5%) with average numbers of errors 62.6, which increase of 21.8% from last year; BAckbone.js: 6003 (0.6%) with average numbers of errors 63.9, which increase of 24.4% from last year; Angular: 5775 (0.6%) with average numbers of errors 64.9, which increase of 26.4% from last year; Vuejs: 18358 (1.8%) with average numbers of errors 67.4, which increase of 31.1% from last year;

Some facts for e-commerce:

Data from UK

The Purple Pound refers to the spending power of disabled households which is defined as a household in which at least one of the members have reported a disability. The key stand out statistics are as follows:

  • More than 1 in 5 potential UK consumers are disabled.
  • The number of disabled people in the UK is increasing – from 11.9 million (in 2014) to 13.3 million.
  • The prevalence of disability rises with age.
  • 3 in 4 disabled people and their families have walked away from a UK business citing poor accessibility and/or poor customer service.
  • The spending power of disabled people and their household worldwide is currently estimated to be worth $8 trillion, increasing by 14% per annum. Only 10% of businesses have a targeted strategy for this huge market.
  • There are 2 billion disabled people in the world that represents 37.5% of world’s population
  • Nearly 1 in 5 working adults have a disability.
  • 31% of the UK workforce have been formally diagnosed with a mental health issue. Yet only 13% of staff felt able to disclose a mental health issue to their workplace.
  • 80% of disabled people have hidden impairments.
  • In 2016, a survey found that more than 4 million people in the UK abandoned a retail website because of the barriers they found, taking with them an estimated spend of £11.75 billion. In 2019, that lost business, the ‘Click-Away Pound’, has grown to £17.1 billion.
The Purple Pound Graphics

Data from US

All in all, disabled working-age Americans earn an estimated annual income of $490 billion and have an estimated annual discretionary income of more than $20 billion – not to mention the spending power of the friends, family, and professional network of those with disabilities.

Check out the summary for more details

What about lawsuits?

According to latest ADA Digital Accessibility Lawsuits (Mid year report 2021), one lawsuit is filed every hour. The number of lawsuits rise from year to year:

ADA Lawsuits: in 2018 - 2314 cases, in 2019 - 2890 cases, in 2020 - 3503 cases, 2021 - 4195 cases (estimated by the end of 2021)
ADA-based cases so far in 2021 plot a path to 4,000 lawsuits in 2021. This includes cases filed in federal court and those filed in California under the Unruh Act with a direct reference to violation of the ADA.

e-Commerce cited the most in digital accessibility lawsuits - it provides a reliable source for plaintiffs as the websites are complicated, change often, and are hard to be maintained for accessibility unless a company has a clear ongoing plan for testing and remediation.

ADA Lawsuits by industry: e-Commerce: 73.66%, Digital Media & Agencies: 4.14%, Banking/Financial: 3.56%, Food Services: 3.31%, Healthcare: 2.54%, Travel.Hospitality: 1.84%, Automotive: 1.46%, Education: 1,34%, Entertainment & Leisure: 1.08%, Fitness & Wellness: 0.83%, Real Estate Agencies & Properties: 0.45%, Insurance: 0.32%, Telecommunications: 0.06%, Other: 5.41%

Lawsuits in 2021 reflect the importance of considering accessibility for all digital channels and content. Accessibility on desktop websites dominates the number of lawsuits. Mobile Apps continue to rise along with a new trend in video-related claims. Video claims demand that all videos have closed caption and audio descriptions.

ADA Lawsuits by devices: Desktop websites: 1422 claims, Mobile app: 109 claims, Video accessibility: 109 claims, Combined Web & App: 40 claims, Mobile Webiste: 1 claim

Make accessible code,
start from basics

We code accessibly
  • Write valid HTML and use semantic elements (headings, aside, header, nav etc…)
  • Remember about alternative textx for images - they should be descriptive
  • Check your forms - use label for inputs, autocompletion and understandable validation
  • Make focus state visible and distinctive
  • Use headings to manage your content, keep them in order
  • Implement “Skip navigation” link
  • Ensure keyboard navigation for all focusable and interactive elements on the website.
  • Fix empty buttons and links - if a content of link or button is an image only, use “aria-label” to provide alternative text

I suppose, there is still a lot to do to make your website accessible. It’s good to strat from somewhere… Using the list above, you can quickly fix crucial accessibility issues. Give it a try :)!