Making digital environments accessible for people with disabilities.
When not coded properly, websites can be difficult or impossible to access by people that rely on assistive technologies to navigate the digital world. Websites must be designed developed in a manner that accommodates users with diverse abilities - in a manner that focuses on user-first, universal design principles.
In the same sense that a building must provide certain physical accommodations - ramps, rails, wide doorways, elevators - websites should provide accommodations in the digital space.
Some of the disabilities impacted by web accessibility:
- Low vision
- Color blindness
- Hearing impairments
- Difficulty or inabilityto use hands
- Muscle slowness
- Limited fine motor control
- Learning disabilities
- Disabilities affecting memory
- Problem solving
420 million people worldwide are age 65 or older
This population is growing and often has technology needs similar to people with disabilities.IBM - Reaping the business advantages of accessibility...
United States Census Bureau 2013Cornell University - Online Resource for U.S. Disability Statistics
Total number of people with disabilities that impact their web browsing is more than 50% of people with disabilities in the U.S.
If applied globally, the number of people approaches half a billion.
Prevalence of disability impacting web browsing:
- 3.8 million Visual
- 4.0 million Hearing
- 8.4 million Cognitive
- 6.7 million Ambulatory
75%of people with disabilities. (more than 39 Million people) use computers today.
More than 66% of them use some form of accessible technology.
22%of working-age adults are very likely tobenefit from the use of accessibility technology due to severe difficulties and impairments.
57% of computer users are likely or very likely to benefit from the use of accessible technologydue to a mild or severe impairment.
Microsoft Study conducted by Forrester Research, Inc.
"Businesses would be unwise to purposely exclude 20, 10, or even 5 percent of their potential customers from their web sites"http://webaim.org/
The disability market represents an annual disposable income of $544 Billion in the U.S. alone. When you include friends and family, this adds another $3.9 Trillion.
The Global Economics of Disability Report (Fifth Quadrant Analytics)Return on Disability
With more dependence on the Internet for our daily involvement in society, many countries and organizations are taking legislative action to address accessibility issues. Canada has a set of standards for their government websites. The UK has standards for all "web products", which goes beyond just government websites. The United States has Section 504, Section 508, and the ADA.
The ADA was written before the internet played such a large role in our lives, but those priniciples that apply to the physical environment are starting to be applied to the digital environment as well.
Section 508 Web Accessibility
Requirements for electronic and information technology developed, maintained, procured, or used by the federal government to ensure access for people with disabilities, including employees and the public.Learn More Section 508 & ADA
Cost of NonCompliance
ADA Title III Lawsuits Up 63% From 2015Learn More Accessibility Law
Lawsuits & Settlements
Over the past 17 years, the number of lawsuits and settlements related to Web Accessibility has continually increased. Publication of inaccessible products or services raises the risk of a lawsuit or penalty due to noncompliance with regulation. Plaintiffs of such cases have been awarded millions in settlements and court awarded judgments from non-compliant organizations.