Digital accessibility has become a pressing topic for virtually every business, with the focus on disability inclusion and catering to the needs of adults with disabilities now greater than ever before. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 2 billion people live with a disability, 20% of whom live with great functional difficulties in their day-to-day lives.
The stats, including recent ADA statistics, show that with more people consuming content online, accessibility issues have spawned new regulations and guidelines such as WCAG that aim to level the playing field for people living with disabilities.
However, despite the growing number of accessibility lawsuits, many businesses have been slow to adopt an accessibility strategy. Today, it’s estimated that companies without accessible sites are losing $6.9 billion a year to competitors whose sites are accessible.
Such accessibility facts should be of concern to organizations who are seeking to provide people with disabilities with a good website experience.
If you’re still weighing up whether to make your website accessible for people with disabilities, here are 33 accessibility statistics to consider.
33 Eye-Opening Accessibility Statistics
We’ve grouped these accessibility statistics into different categories that show you:
- How many people with disabilities are affected by inaccessible websites
- That many websites today are not yet compliant with accessibility laws
- That you need more than widgets and fancy tools to be compliant
- What non-compliance with the accessibility laws can cost you
- How much revenue you can generate if your website is accessible
Statistics show that web accessibility issues impact a large portion of the population
Individuals with impairments or disabilities make up a considerable portion of the world’s population with access to the internet. The percentage of Americans with disabilities is a whopping 26%, which equals roughly one in four adults with disabilities on a population level. To be able to reach as many people as possible, you need to make your website accessible to people with disabilities.
Web Accessibility Statistics: The number of adults with disabilities:
- 15% of the world’s population has some sort of disability (WHO)
- 59.6% of the U.S. population with disabilities were living in a household with internet access (Statista)
- 23% percent of disabled respondents say they “never” go online (Pew Research)
- In the U.S., there are currently about 56.7 million Americans with a disability (Census Bureau).
- Around 80 million people in the European Union (EU) currently have a disability (europarl.europa.eu)
- By 2060 the number of people 65 or older is expected to double to 98 million (APA)
- In the APAC region, approximately 20% of Australians have a disability (AIHW)
- According to WHO statistics. 217 million people worldwide had moderate to severe vision impairment in 2015, with this number expected to rise to 588 million by 2050 (WHO)
- Approximately 6.5 million people in the United States and 1-3% of the global population has an intellectual disability (American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities)
- In the US, about 74.6 million people have some type of physical disability (John Hopkins Medicine. “Statistics of Disability.” 2013)
- The population of people with different disabilities in the United States. Hearing Difficulty: 316,450,569; Vision Difficulty: 316,450,569; Cognitive Difficulty: 296,658,475; Ambulatory Difficulty: 296,658,475; Self-Care Difficulty: 296,658,475; Independent Living Difficulty: 242,958,638 (Census Bureau)
Brands with inaccessible websites are failing to accommodate a growing portion of the population. The number of people living with disabilities is expected to grow considerably over the coming decades which will only give rise to more guidelines, legislation, and enforcement.
Statistics show that many web properties are not compliant with accessibility laws
Web Accessibility Statistics: Non compliant websites:
- Accessibility lawsuits and litigation increased by as much as 181% in the US from 2017 to 2018 (3playmedia.com)
- In 2019, ADA statistics show that 2,256 lawsuits were filed in federal court by persons with disabilities based on web accessibility barriers (adatitleiii.com)
- In 2020, digital accessibility lawsuits rose to over 3,500 cases, that's almost ten lawsuits filed every business day in the United States (UsableNet)
- 21% of lawsuits are against companies who received web accessibility lawsuits in the past (UsableNet)
- Desktop websites had 3235 legal claims for accessibility; Mobile apps had 296 claims; Video Accessibility had 150 claims; Combined Web & App had 16 claims; and Mobile Websites, 3 claims (UsableNet)
- Retailers were cited the most in digital accessibility lawsuits (77.55% ), with food service companies in second place at 7.77% (UsableNet)
- According to research conducted by Tenon, on average, you can find 279 A level and 106 AA level accessibility errors on a page (tenon.io)
- 92% of the most popular federal websites fail to meet basic standards for accessibility, says a study from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.
Since the majority of websites still don’t comply with web content accessibility guidelines, it comes as no surprise that accessibility lawsuits have risen sharply in recent years. Many of the lawsuits filed against digital properties - websites, apps, etc. - results from businesses failing to meet the most basic accessibility standards.
You can easily avoid lawsuits, and even give your business a competitive advantage, by implementing simple changes like adding alternative text to images and adjusting the color contrast on your website. You don’t need to become 100% compliant overnight, but you do need to show you’re making an effort.
Statistics show that basic accessibility widgets and automated testing are not enough to achieve full compliance
Web Accessibility Statistics: Why it takes more than widgets and fancy tools to be compliant:
- Over 250 companies sued had invested in accessibility widgets or overlays (UsableNet)
- The best-automated testing tools can only catch about 25% of accessibility issues (boia.org)
While basic widgets are the easiest place to get started with accessibility, they do not provide the functionality needed to achieve full compliance.
For that reason, you should consider investing in a dedicated web accessibility platform that allows you to easily monitor accessibility issues and manually address them to achieve compliance with all major accessibility guidelines and legislation such as WCAG 2.1, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title III of ADA, AODA and more.
Statistics show that providing an accessible website can boost revenue
Web Accessibility Statistics: The potential cost of non-compliance:
- People with disabilities spend a half-trillion dollars annually (UsableNet)
- 73% of the people in the U.K. living with disabilities are unable to complete basic transactions on more than a quarter of the websites they visit (Click-Away Pound)
- Two-thirds of e-commerce transactions are abandoned by people who are blind because of lack of accessibility (US Department of Commerce)
- 82% say they would often 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)
Improving web accessibility provides a number of tangible business benefits:
- Creates a competitive advantage
- Opens your business up to a large segment of the population
- Aligns with many SEO stats and best practices which help online rankings
- Increases customer satisfaction
What Do These Accessibility Statistics Mean for Your Website?
But as impressive as the internet and websites are, not everyone has the same experience when using them.
Web accessibility statistics, and notably ADA statistics for those in the United States, are filled with valuable disability facts. They can help you to learn about Americans with disabilities, the most common disabilities that impact website users in the US and beyond, as well as the rate of disability in the global population at large.
Understanding web accessibility statistics is about more than simply learning a bunch of accessibility facts, however. It is about taking the underlying lessons presented by the disability facts and accessibility facts and putting them together in a way that informs the way you design and maintain your website.The accessibility statistics show that millions of people worldwide with disabilities find it difficult and frustrating to access websites. Leaving your website inaccessible means you’ll be missing out on a large portion of your target audience that could turn out to become repeat customers.
Although laws and guidelines exist to make websites more accessible, only a few companies understand that non-compliance to those laws means discrimination against people with disabilities.
Now that you know better, you can make the necessary changes to your digital properties, and in the process avoid lawsuits and create a competitive advantage.
Whenever you are creating new website content, try to keep some relevant ADA statistics, disability facts and accessibility facts in mind, as this will help to ensure that you are catering to adults with disabilities and not leaving anyone behind.
Are Your Digital Properties Accessible?
Whether you want to make your existing website and digital properties accessible or want to create an entirely new accessible website from scratch, book a free demo to see how we can help you.