James O'Neill's Blog

December 11, 2006

Does your company discriminate against people with disabilities ?

Filed under: Internet Explorer — jamesone111 @ 6:48 pm

This isn’t a question about your employment practices. In recent years a lot of work has been done to make buildings usable by wheelchair users; but how many of the people you do with visit your office. I’ve known for some time that websites do a lousy job, the most obvious case being the use of Flash and similar technologies which doesn’t work for a blind user working with a screen reader.

So guess, if you will, what proportion of Web sites reach minimum standards of accessibility. Half maybe ? Hopelessly optimistic. A quarter then ? No. We talking minimum standards – surely  10% of sites can manage that ? Apparently not. The figure is 3%, according to a study which came out last week 

Here are the most common sins:

  • 93% did not provide adequate text descriptions for graphics
  • 73% relied on JavaScript – which breaks some common readers
  • 78% had poor contrast
  • 98% break screen readers by not following standards for HTML
  • 97% prevented people from altering the size of text
  • 89% made page navigation awkward
  • 87% used pop-ups, disorientating users of screen magnification software
  • And, no, based on our home page I don’t we’d pass the test with flying colours either.

    This post originally appeared on my technet blog.


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