97% of websites still inaccessible

United Nations Global Audit of Web Accessibility, conducted by accessibility agency Nomensa on behalf of the United Nations, shows that 97 percent of websites fail to meet the most basic accessibility requirements. One hundred websites from twenty different countries and five different sectors, including travel, finance, media, politics, and retail, were tested. Only three of those one hundred sites passed all Priority 1 checkpoints of WCAG 1.0. Three.

A story on the BBC News website, 'Most websites' failing disabled, notes that 93 percent did not provide alternative text for all images, 73 percent relied on JavaScript for important functionality, and 98 percent of the sites did not use valid markup.

Sadly, the results do not come as a surprise to me. In fact, they were highly expected.

It is a sad fact that most Web "professionals" still do not even try to make the sites they build accessible. I have performed similar surveys, focusing on Swedish websites, with similar results. Public sector sites are generally slightly better than those in the private sector, but only slightly. A couple of years ago I believed that by now, the majority of people who make their living from designing or developing websites would have realised the importance of accessibility. I was wrong.

Unfortunately the majority are simply not interested in creating high quality work as long as they can produce junk and still get paid.

Posted on December 15, 2006 in Quicklinks, Accessibility