Each December 3rd there is an observance; International Day of Disabled Persons. E-Accessibility Day, accessibility to information technologies, is this year's theme.
WHO, the World Health Organization, estimates that there are around 600 million disabled people worldwide. This represents about 10% of the world's population. Around 80% are believed to live in developing countries. Only three out of 100 leading websites around the world meet the needs of persons with disabilities, such as the visually or manually impaired. The United Nations is working to raise awareness of the significant benefits to persons with disabilities and society when they are empowered with increased access to information technologies. Making information technologies available to persons with disabilities is not only a matter of human rights, it is good for businesses.
Studies suggest that accessible websites
- appear higher up the page rankings of search engines
- can save costs on web maintenance.
- allows companies access to a largely untapped customer base
The UN cited the following as KEY SHORTFALLS:
93% failed to provide adequate text descriptions for graphics
78% used colors with poor contrast, causing issues for those with color blindness
98% did not follow industry web standards for the programming code
97% did not allow people to alter or resize pages
89% offered poor page navigation
87% used pop-ups causing problems for those using screen magnification software