Leading websites rated for accessibility for the visually impaired
Photo: © AFP
According to the World Health Organization, 2.2 billion people are estimated
to have some form of visual impairment. Considering nearly 60 percent of the global population are active internet users, website accessibility is therefore fundamental to ensuring all these net surfers can browse, shop, and watch content online.
The research comes from ToolTester, who analyzed over 150 of the most popular websites across the globe to assess their accessibility for those with disabilities.
The new study used the Chrome plugin ‘ARC Toolkit’ to flag accessibility errors and then ranked the sites by calculating their percentage of errors for each individual asset.
The top 20 least accessible websites are shown below:
The table indicates that the fashion platform ASOS takes the top spot for the most inaccessible site. This means fashion seekers with visibility impairments may struggle when it comes to online shopping at ASOS (there is an irony than ASOS stands for ‘as seen on screen).
The reason is due to duplicate identifiers. Each element on a site needs an individual identification value to help assistive technologies read the site accurately, which ASOS is missing.
Further analysis of the table shows that the social media sector takes three out of the top 10 positions. Overall, social media sites are the poorest performing sector when it comes to accessibility. This is largely due to the high volume of images that do not have alt text, therefore accessibility readers cannot describe the images to visually impaired users.
Other reasons for a poor rating include color contrast. To make the text easier to read for those with visual disabilities such as limited color perception or low vision, text elements on a website must have sufficient contrast against the background.
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