Digital Accessibility Fundamentals

The Facts About Digital Accessibility

In this 5-minute video, learn about disabilities and the basics of digital accessibility.
Today’s world is digital – and people with disabilities make up 20-25% of the current population. Digital accessibility and applicable legislation mean organizations need to include everyone, no matter their abilities.

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How well do you really know your target market?
If you’re not optimizing your website for accessibility, you’re leaving out a big part of your audience.

Global Disability Statistics

  • An estimated 1 billion people- 15% of the world’s population– have a disability
  • An estimated 2.2 billion people have some form of visual impairment.
  • 237 million people are thought to have moderate or severe distance vision impairment (severe enough to be considered a disability)

US Disability Statistics

  • 26% of adults (one in 4) in the United States have some type of disability. That’s a total of 61 million adults in the United States who live with a disability
  • 3.22 million people in the United States have vision impairment

Everyone Benefits from Digital Accessibility

In 2016, Nielson reported that as many as 35% of households report at least one person with a disability and 8% of those report a vision loss. As of this year, nearly 25% of the current US population has a disability. People with genetic disabilities are not the only part of that group. Our generation is aging, and as we age, the number of people with age-related disabilities is growing. The current older population, unlike previous generations, is tech-savvy – they use smartphones and computers to shop and, bank online, make travel arrangements, research restaurants, and take online classes. And they will continue to do so, even as disabilities overtake them with age. Everyone is aging into this group.

While we are working to make the world more accessible for people with disabilities, and for ourselves as we age and develop disabilities, many of us already enjoy the features on our computers and smartphones originally designed for assistive technology users. Siri and Alexa were both designed from models created for people with disabilities, and many of those features enrich our lives. Closed captioning for the deaf is also great for hearing people who want to watch a video on a busy bus. Accessible color contrast for people with low vision or color-blindness is easier to read in dark or glaring environments – just ask the people who make billboards. Making content understandable for a variety of cognitive capabilities means people with limited time can quickly and easily absorb the content you’re trying to share with them.

Impact on Business

  • A study in 2018 learned the total disposable income (after taxes) for U.S. adults with disabilities was about $490 billion, which was comparable to other significant market segments, such as African Americans ($501 billion) and Hispanics ($582 billion).
  • 70 percent of e-commerce, news, and information, and government websites had significant accessibility issues, prompting users to take their business to rival sites.
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