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38+ Crucial Website Accessibility Statistics You Should Know (2023 Update) 

Website accessibility is crucial. If you have a site and haven't focused on accessibility, you're already quite far behind where you should be. Here are some of the most important website accessibility statistics in 2023
Updated December 6, 2023
Photo of a Laptop Screen by Joshua Woroniecki on Unsplash
Photo of a Laptop Screen by Joshua Woroniecki on Unsplash

Here’s the truth:

If you haven’t made your website accessible in 2023, you’re already far behind the curve.

Website accessibility is becoming an important metric in this modern era. Not only can it help site owners extend their reach to a broader audience, but it's generally a good gesture toward making internet exploration more convenient for people with different abilities. 

But that's not all. Lately, organizations such as the ADA have started cracking down on websites that fail to comply with accessibility guidelines, often leading to heavy fines in the form of civil suits and other penalties.

Need more reasons to make your website more accessible?

Here's out our list of top 30+ website accessibility statistics that dive deeper into the topic.

38 Website Accessibility Stats To Know


Demographical Web Accessibility Statistics

  • Globally, an estimated 15% of the world's population grapples with some form of disability. (World Health Organization)
     
  • The United States is home to approximately 56.7 million citizens with disabilities. (Census Bureau)
     
  • Within the U.S., 59.6% of individuals with disabilities reside in households with internet access. (Statista)
     
  • In the European Union (EU), a substantial population of around 80 million individuals grapple with disabilities. (EU Disability Statistics)
     
  • 23% of individuals with disabilities report that they "never" access the internet. (Pew Research)
     
  • In the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, approximately 20% of the population in Australia suffers from various disabilities. (APAC Disability Data)
     
  • WHO statistics reveal that 217 million individuals experience moderate to severe vision impairment as of 2015, and this number is projected to surge to 588 million by 2050. (World Health Organization)
     
  • Demographic shifts indicate that by 2060, the number of individuals aged 65 or older is poised to double, reaching a staggering 98 million. (Aging Population Projections)
     
  • Almost 74.6 million individuals in the U.S. contend with some form of physical impairments. (John Hopkins Medicine)
     
  • Intellectual disabilities affect approximately 6.5 million people in the United States and 1-3% of the global population, necessitating tailored accessibility solutions. (AAIDD)
     
  • A breakdown of disabilities in the United States highlights the prevalence of various difficulties, including Hearing Difficulty, Vision Difficulty, Cognitive Difficulty, Ambulatory Difficulty, Self-Care Difficulty, and Independent Living Difficulty. (Census Bureau)

Impact Of Website Accessibility:

  • 90% of websites fail to meet the accessibility needs of individuals who rely on assistive technology. (AbilityNet)
     
  • 98.1% of home pages exhibit detectable WCAG 2 failures, signifying a pervasive accessibility gap in foundational web content. (WebAIM)
     
  • Data shows that low-contrast issues contribute to 86.3% of WCAG2 failures. (WebAIM)
     
  • People with disabilities spend a half-trillion dollars annually, highlighting the economic significance of accommodating this demographic. (UsableNet)
     
  • In the U.K., 73% of people living with disabilities encounter difficulties in completing basic online transactions on more than a quarter of the websites they visit. (Click-Away Pound)
     
  • Accessibility directly impacts e-commerce, with 2 out of 3 e-commerce transactions being abandoned by people who are blind due to a lack of accessibility. (US Department of Commerce)
     
  • 82% of individuals are inclined to frequently return and spend more with a company that provides an accessible online experience. (Click-Away Pound)
     
  • Companies without accessible sites are losing $6.9 billion a year to competitors whose sites are accessible. (US Department of Commerce)

Legal Web Accessibility Statistics:

  • There has been an 181% surge in accessibility lawsuits within the United States from 2017 to 2018. (3playmedia.com)
     
  • In 2019, ADA-related statistics revealed that federal courts recorded 2,256 lawsuits filed by individuals with disabilities. (adatitleiii.com)
     
  • In 2020, digital accessibility lawsuits rose to over 3,500 cases in the United States — or almost 10 lawsuits filed every business day. (UsableNet)
     
  • Notably, 21% of lawsuits target companies with previous web accessibility litigation history. (UsableNet)
     
  • Desktop websites faced a staggering 3,235 legal claims for accessibility. (UsableNet)
     
  • In 2020, federal courts witnessed a surge of more than 2,500 lawsuits concerning website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III. (Seyfarth, 2021)

General Web Accessibility Statistics:

  • A comprehensive analysis of the top 1,000,000 websites' home pages has unveiled an astounding count of over 51 million distinct accessibility errors. (WebAIM)
     
  • 86.4% of home pages demonstrate low-contrast text, consistently falling below the WCAG 2 AA accessibility thresholds. (WebAIM)
     
  • In the domain of web imagery, research shows that 26% of images featured on home pages lack descriptive alt text. (WebAIM)
     
  • On average, a home page now boasts nearly 48 ARIA attributes, showcasing a remarkable 25% year-over-year increase in ARIA code utilization. (WebAIM)
     
  • While shopping sites witnessed a decrease in accessibility errors from 90.5 in 2020 to 75.2 in 2021, this category still harbors 46.4% more errors than the typical home page. (WebAIM)
     
  • In an analysis of over 30,000 websites, Tenon found an average of 110 accessibility errors per webpage. (Tenon)
     
  • Digital products adhering to full Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Level 2 are projected to outperform market competitors by a substantial 50% by 2023. (Gartner)
     
  • Regarding motivations, 25.3% of web accessibility practitioners implement accessibility changes for moral reasons, while 14.2% consider it a competitive advantage. (WebAIM)
     
  • More web experts now believe that making websites better directly helps accessibility. This statistic rose from 83.1% in 2018 to 89.1% in 2021. (WebAIM)
     
  • As of 2022, the most prevalent web accessibility error found on web pages was low-contrast text, affecting approximately 83% of pages. (WebAIM)
     
  • In a study by Deque, 57.38% of total accessibility issues were detected using automated tests. However, automated testing can only detect certain types of issues. (Deque)
     
  • Only 17.6% of web accessibility practitioners indicate that 50% or more of accessibility issues can be detected by automated testing. (WebAIM)
     
  • 67% of web accessibility practitioners rate web accessibility overlays, plugins, or widgets as ineffective. (WebAIM)

Why Is Website Accessibility Important In 2023? 

There are almost 1.5 billion people around the world who suffer from some type of disability. And despite technological progress, most websites fail to cater to this demographic.

Unfortunately, website owners don't realize that by not complying with accessibility guidelines, they are making themselves vulnerable to legal actions and losing out on potentially thousands of customers every year. 

In the following section, we'll take a deeper look into why making your website accessible is so crucial in 2023:

1. Increases Your Reach

Improving the accessibility of your website or mobile app not only helps in expanding your reach, but also enlarges your potential customer base. Research indicates that individuals with disabilities collectively spend approximately half a trillion dollars annually.

By implementing accessibility-friendly features such as alt text for images and keyboard navigation, you can tap into this huge market. These enhancements not only improve the experience for individuals with disabilities but also potentially attract thousands of new customers to your website, ultimately contributing to your business's growth and success.

2. Prevents Legal Or Compliance Issues 

Website accessibility is no longer an option; it has become a legal obligation in many regions worldwide that carries serious consequences for non-compliance. In the USA, the ADA (American Disability Act) established multiple guidelines regarding digital accessibility that have already led to legal action against high-profile websites, including Netflix, Dominos, and Beyonce.com.

In Europe, the European Accessibility Act (EAA) has laid out clear directives on digital accessibility. These guidelines can serve as the foundation for legal action against websites that disregard them.

Even though these acts won't necessarily make you a criminal, ignoring them in the long run can lead to reputational damage and costly legal battles for your brand and business. Lawsuits related to web accessibility have seen a sharp increase in recent years, and organizations that do not prioritize accessibility may find themselves deep in such legal disputes. 

However, there's also a positive side to this story. By actively dedicating resources to ensure you're meeting accessibility regulations, you not only shield yourself from legal risks but also showcase your unwavering commitment to inclusivity and equal access. 

3. Enhances User Experience 

Accessibility options like better text-to-background contrast and keyboard navigation aren't just helpful for people with disabilities — they generally improve the user experience for every single visitor. 

A website that is properly structured and easy to navigate is pleasing to the eye and can benefit several vital metrics, including:

  • Session Duration
  • Bounce Rate
  • Conversion Rates
  • User Satisfaction
  • Pageview, etc.

When your website is easy to navigate, particularly for visitors with disabilities, you naturally open doors to higher click-through rates (CTRs) and increased revenue over time.

6 Ways To Improve Website Accessibility 

Making your website more accessible might seem like a difficult and costly endeavor. In reality, it only takes a few fixes and some plugins to make your website fully compliant with most accessibility regulations.

To start off, go to accessibe.com or accessibilitychecker.org to conduct a free accessibility audit on your existing website. Once you've come up with the results from the accessibility checker, you can begin tweaking your site using these six simple yet effective ways: 

1. Choose A CMS With Accessibility Support 

Content Management Systems (CMS) are the foundation of every website. Selecting a CMS that has built-in accessibility features or support for accessibility functions can greatly reduce your effort in fulfilling legal standards in the long run. 

Content Management Systems such as Wix, Squarespace, and Webflow are the top performers in this category. Still, you can also choose mainstream platforms like WordPress and tweak them using various plugins and custom CSS codes.

2. Ensure Proper Use Of Headers 

Structuring your content properly using H1, H2, H3, and H4 headings can significantly improve the readability of your content. Building a proper hierarchy also helps people with visual impairment understand the structure of your content and effectively convert them into narrations using text-to-speech software.

3. Use Alt Tags With Images 

Creating alt tags for your images not only benefits your website's accessibility but is also a crucial on-page SEO factor that can improve your Google rankings. 

Whenever you're adding images to your websites, add a short 2-4 word alt tag that describes the content of the image to make it easier to understand for people with reading difficulties and Google's crawl bots.

4. Make Your Links More Descriptive 

Hyperlinks should always be descriptive and properly organized. Stop using the default page names given by your CMS and build a categorical hierarchy with your main keyword in the hyperlink. This tactic can improve both your website accessibility and search engine optimization.

5. Select An Appropriate Contrast

Using light-colored, thin fonts on a white background can make your content difficult to read for people with vision impairment. To address this, maintain a clear contrast between the content and background colors. 

Examples of contrasting color palettes include black on white, graphite on white, or yellow on black. These combinations enhance readability and ensure your content is accessible to all users.

6. Test Your Site For Keyboard Navigation 

Making your site fully navigable using a keyboard is essential for users who cannot use a mouse or other pointing devices. During the web development stage, test your website's functionality using only the keyboard and make all interactive elements, such as forms and buttons, accessible and operable via keyboard commands. You can also incorporate Javascript widgets to allow for easier accessibility.

Why It Matters

The internet has become an integral component of our lives. As the proportion of impaired users continues to rise, making our websites and mobile applications accessible has become a duty upon all website owners if they want to expand their reach, avoid legal complications, and, most importantly, promote inclusivity across the world.

Moving forward, we hope our list of statistics and guidelines can form a roadmap for website owners towards making their websites accessible for disabled people and individuals with varying abilities. 

If you want to make your WordPress site more accessible, check out our article on 5 Immediate Steps To Make Your WordPress Website Accessible.

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Written by Justin Gluska
Justin is the founder of Gold Penguin, a business technology blog that helps people start, grow, and scale their business using AI. The world is changing and he believes it's best to make use of the new technology that is starting to change the world. If it can help you make more money or save you time, he'll write about it!
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