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Disability Rights Commission Report

In 2004 the Disability Rights Commission produced a report entitled "The Web: Access and Inclusion for Disabled People". In it, they concluded that:

"Most websites (81%) fail to satisfy the most basic Web Accessibility Initiative category. In addition, the results of the evaluations undertaken by disabled users show that they have characteristics that make it very difficult, if not impossible, for people with certain impairments, especially those who are blind, to make use of the services provided. This results both from lack of interest and knowledge on the part of website developers, and from perceived commercial obstacles to accessibility on the part of website commissioners, notwithstanding that anecdotal evidence suggests that this concern is misplaced."

They also noted that:

  • Few (19%) websites comply even with the lowest priority Checkpoints for accessibility.
  • All categories of disabled user consider that site designs take insufficient account of their specific needs.
  • Blind users, who employ screen readers to access the web, although not alone in being disadvantaged, are particularly disadvantaged by websites whose design does not take full account of their needs.
  • Although many of those commissioning websites state that they are alert to the needs of disabled people, there is very little evidence of such awareness being translated into effective usability for disabled people.
  • Website designers have an inadequate understanding of the needs of disabled users and of how to create accessible websites, and would welcome clearer guidance.

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