If you’re advocating for digital accessibility at your company, you probably have encountered the same, popular figures. For example, it’s common to frequently read about the CDC’s finding that one in four Americans live with a disability.
It's also common to see accessibility lawsuit numbers, for instance, digital accessibility lawsuits increased from 2,314 in 2018 to an anticipated more than 4,000 by the end of 2021.
We use facts a lot here at UsableNet and while they are important and accurate, there are plenty of other statistics that can help you as you plan your accessibility roadmap.
This blog reviews some lesser-known (but equally fascinating) information. Some are from our recently midyear 2021 ADA lawsuit report. Some are not, but all are facts about web accessibility that every company should know.
- 64% of businesses listed a company-wide commitment to digital accessibility in 2020, an increase from 59% the previous year.
- Web designers and developers lack confidence when it comes to creating accessible experiences. In a survey distributed to 500 leading professionals, 50.53% of web developers/designers reported that they are only "fairly familiar" with web accessibility. Many ranked their understanding to be even lower.
- A recent study by the Baltimore Post Examiner found that 92% of companies expect their agency to handle website accessibility compliance. A similar percentage of brands also expected agencies to inform them of their responsibility, legal processes, and repercussions of following specific accessibility guidelines.
What it means: While increased commitment from 64% of companies is a positive step, we believe that 100% of companies can (and should) pay attention to inclusive web design. This includes providing accessibility training for employee groups, especially website and digital content teams.
If you use an external agency for your website, make sure you are asking the right questions and know whether digital accessibility and ongoing ADA compliance monitoring are covered in your vendor contract.
A Massive Population
- Over 1 billion people worldwide have a disability.
- After the age of 25, an average person’s ability to use digital networks will decline every year by 0.8%. Therefore, 60-year old individuals tend to use websites with nearly 30% more difficulty than their younger selves. The aging population currently dominates the world's population, so this is a critical observation.
- The number of people aged 65 or older is expected to double to 98 million people by 2060.
- 253 million people are estimated to live with moderate to severe visual impairments, according to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. A majority of these individuals employ assistive technology or accessibility features to help them navigate digital devices.
What it means: The extent of consumers impacted by web accessibility may surprise you! People with disabilities have a wide range of ages, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, industries, abilities, and experiences. Ensuring your website and apps are accessible will benefit your business now and in the future as the population ages.
- A whopping $13 trillion in annual disposable income is influenced by those with disabilities.
- 71% of online shoppers with access needs will leave a website that has usability issues. Inaccessible sites and apps are extremely detrimental to the success of your online store!
- An estimated $6.9 billion is lost to competitors every year by companies that don't have accessible sites.
- 82% of customers with disabilities said they spend more on accessible websites.
What it means: It’s not only imperative to make sure your website and apps meet WCAG 2.1 to avoid costly litigation, but web accessibility is an investment that makes good business sense in an increasingly online world.
Accessibility of E-Commerce
- E-commerce is the most heavily targeted industry, already receiving over 73% of ADA claims in 2021 thus far. No business is too big, (74%) of retailers ranked in the Digital Commerce 360 Top 500 faced ADA-based digital lawsuits since 2018. No business is too small; most web accessibility suits filed in federal courts in 2021 have targeted companies with annual revenue under $50 million.
- People who are blind abandon two-thirds of e-commerce transactions due to accessibility issues. Making an accessible online retail site supports consumers with disabilities and decreases the risk of losing valuable customers to competitors.
- In the U.S., people with disabilities spend an annual $10.3 billion in e-commerce sales.
What it means: There is a long history of ADA-based lawsuits against retailers in the physical world. Year after year, we also see this trend applied to the digital world. Retailers may face multiple lawsuits is because they have multiple websites or apps for each brand. Retailers are more likely to more complex websites that may make it more difficult to maintain WCAG 2.1. Yet, digital accessibility remediation doesn’t need to be complicated.
A trusted, experienced accessibility partner to guide you through the process. Having an accessible retail website has the potential to boost sales and increase customer loyalty.
Accessibility Benefits Everyone
- Many elements that were originally created for people with disabilities are used by the general public every day. Closed captions, dark mode, and voice recognition software, such as Apple's Siri, are just a few examples
While there is no exact statistic to prove this, UsableNet is confident that nearly 100% of web and app users benefit from accessible websites. Why? Universal design and accessibility make things easier, no matter what your abilities are!
Want more facts on App and Web Accessibility?
Accessibility Experts, Jason Taylor and Tanner Gers will be walking through the data and explaining how to apply those learnings to your digital accessibility initiatives in a free webinar on July 14th at 12 PM ET.