Skip to content
Back to blog
17 May, 2024
an individual is looking at the chart on a laptop

Accessibility Review for March & April, 2024

At AllyADA, we are part of the tech and human-based solution to the very real website accessibility problem that impacts the e-commerce space globally. Recognizing that this position is one of both tremendous opportunity and privilege, one of our favorite contributions is the ability to generate meaningful statistics to further the advancement of accessibility for blind and visually impaired internet users in the United States and beyond. Though targeted to a fractional subset of websites, this type of data-driven research sheds much-needed light on the extent of the accessibility barriers impacting users daily. 

Summary of Findings

We engaged with 1530 websites during March and April 2024 to determine each website's level of ADA website accessibility compliance and draw conclusions about the categories of common accessibility issues present. 

We found that of the websites tested, the results were as follows:  

Inaccessible: A total of 751 websites tested (49%) were deemed inaccessible to blind and visually impaired users due to a failure to provide accessible core information about products or a failure to allow blind or visually impaired users to complete a purchase. This means the website lacked basic functionality or usability for blind or visually impaired users.    

Semi-Accessible: A total of 749 websites tested (49%) were deemed semi-accessible. This means the websites were minimally accessible to blind and visually impaired users who were able to navigate from the homepage to the checkout with at least a base-level understanding of what they were buying.  

Fully Accessible: 30 websites tested (2%) were deemed to provide the level of access to information and navigation features necessary to comply with the ADA. This means that blind and visually impaired users were able to obtain all pertinent information about products, locations, and working hours and were able to find specific products, make selections for size and color, understand the purpose of each formfield, or book a table and select the time.  

Widget Accessibility: Only a total of 77 websites tested (or 5%) were deemed accessible with the use of widgets. A total of 119 websites tested (or 8%) were deemed inaccessible with the use of widgets.  



Most Common Accessibility Issues

As blind and visually impaired users are well aware, there are a large number of issues that can render a site non-ADA-compliant and impede ease of use, navigation, comprehension, and accessibility from the homepage through checkout. 

The most common issues our testers encountered during this assessment were the following:

  1. Lack of alt text for images: This error is marked by the absence of a written narrative describing an associated image in words. This description is called “Atl Text” because it is entered in the “alt text attribute” on the page. Alt text is important for people who use screen readers because it allows them to understand the content of the image.
  2. Pop-ups: This error refers to pop-up windows that appear on a webpage. Pop-ups can be disruptive to blind or visually impaired users and can also be difficult to close for users who use screen readers. 
  3. Bypass blocks: This error refers to elements that can be used to bypass the main content of a webpage. This can be problematic for users who use screen readers because they may not be able to access the bypassed content. 
  4. Form fields: This error refers to issues with form fields on a webpage. These issues can include missing labels, unclear error messages, or form fields that are not keyboard accessible. 
  5. Inaccurate landmark structure: This error refers to the incorrect use of HTML landmark elements. Landmark elements identify the different sections of a webpage, such as the header, navigation, and main content. 
  6. Inaccurate heading hierarchy: This error refers to the incorrect use of heading elements (H1, H2, H3, etc.). Heading elements are used to create a hierarchy of headings on a webpage, which can help users understand the structure of the content. 
  7. Ambiguous link text: This error refers to link text that is not clear or descriptive. Link text should tell users what they can expect to find when they click on the link. 
  8. No notification when moving to an external website: For sighted people, the move to an external website is understood through visual confirmation, but people who are blind or visually impaired get easily confused when they are moved to an external website just by clicking a link. 



A Notable Improvement

Our last assessment of a smaller subset of websites found that an additional issue, identified as “No skip to content,” was still problematic. 

No skip to content: This error refers to the absence of a "skip to content" link. A "skip to content" link allows users to skip over the navigation menu and go directly to the main content of the webpage. This is important for users who use screen readers, as it allows them to get to the content they are looking for more quickly. 

However, our broader sweep of websites this month showed an overall improvement in this metric, with very good dynamics demonstrated- 85% of websites passed this accessibility hurdle. We see this as an indication that website designers increasingly recognize that “skip to content” is very important in the world of website navigation and are embracing it as a core element. 

Most Common Categories of Websites with Accessibility Issues

Among the sites tested, we determined that the top categories of websites operating in violation of web accessibility requirements under the ADA are retail and service sites, with the following breakdown:

  • (Retail) Apparel and footwear 20%
  • (Services) Hotels 14%
  • (Services) Restaurants and bars 14%
  • (Retail) Jewelry 14%
  • (Retail) Groceries 12%
  • (Retail) Electronics 12%
  • (Services) Food delivery 9%
  • (Services) Clinics 8%

The overall breakdown of non-compliant websites showed that the majority (58%) fell into the “Retail” category, with the remainder (42%) in the “Service” category. For clarity, retail websites are those devoted to the sale of physical goods and products, regardless of the nature of the goods. Retail includes the sale of things like shoes but also the sale of food commodities like a box of candy. By contrast, service websites are those devoted to the provision of a specified service, such as AllyADA or a law firm website, which allow prospective clients to make informed decisions and engage with the business to arrange payment and receipt of services. 

Taking an even closer look, the most non-compliant websites within the retail category were Apparel and Footwear (20%), Jewelry (14%), Groceries (12%), and Electronics (12%). The most non-compliant websites within the service categories were Hotels (14%), Restaurants (11%), Food Delivery (9%), and Clinics (8%). 

Work with us to Improve Your Website’s Accessibility

After we audit your website, we provide a complete report, including a list of all issues that need to be fixed to bring your website into compliance. Once you have the information, it usually only takes two to three days to fix 80% of the accessibility issues identified, with minimal investment on your part. 

In addition, blind and visually impaired consumers also generate high rates of brand loyalty among sites that are ADA-compliant and easily accessible. The active online sight-impaired community regularly shares favored sites locally and broadly via social media and other forums. 

With the ease of making corrections and the full complement of benefits that come along with it, accessibility compliance is a no-brainer!

Contact us today to get your quote, along with useful tips on how to take advantage of lucrative tax credits to save an extra 50% on accessibility upgrades.

Similar Articles