eSSENTIAL Accessibility + Level Access, in Collaboration with G3ict and IAAP, Release Annual State of Digital Accessibility Report

Annual research report reveals positive trends toward mainstream adoption of digital accessibility.

eSSENTIAL Accessibility and Level Access, the global leader in digital accessibility solutions, in collaboration with the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict) and the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP), announced today the publication of the 2022 State of Digital Accessibility Report (SODAR). The report, representing the fourth year of the survey, asked more than 1,000 professionals in various roles related to digital accessibility, including legal, compliance, product, design, and content creation, to assess their commitment to creating and implementing inclusive technology, which includes websites, mobile apps, and software.

“For the past three years, the State of Digital Accessibility Report has provided invaluable insight into how organizations are incorporating and investing in digital accessibility,” said Tim Springer, CEO, eSSENTIAL Accessibility and Level Access. “And I am thrilled because this year’s results show accessibility is becoming a mainstream priority. Governance is maturing. Funding is formalizing. And more organizations are incorporating accessibility earlier in their development and creation processes.”

The 2022 SODAR also highlights an encouraging shift in motivation: both individuals and organizations selected “including people with disabilities” and “providing the best user experience for all” as their main drivers.

“This tells us we’re moving away from a strictly compliance-focused ‘we have to do this’ conversation, to an inspired commitment to making a positive impact in the lives of digital users. Such a shift signals maturity in the way organizations are thinking about, adopting, and incorporating digital accessibility,” Springer added.

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Key findings from the 2022 State of Digital Accessibility Report include:

  • Diversity and inclusion: 89% of organizations surveyed have a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) program, which is up from 83.6% in 2021.
    • Of those D&I programs, 69.4% now include digital accessibility.
  • Governance and budgeting:
    • 44.1% of accessibility programs roll up to one department or leader, up considerably from 30.8% in 2021.
    • 27.2% of budgets are centralized, up from 21.4% in 2021.
  • Testing and monitoring:
    • 67.3% of respondents test for accessibility earlier, during the CI/CD process, which is up from 56% in 2021.
    • 40% validate accessibility requirements in unit testing, a jump from 22.8% in 2021.
    • 77.3% use monitoring tools, which is up significantly from 33% in 2021.
  • Product accessibility:
    • 73.7% of product buyers prioritize accessibility when purchasing a product, which is up from 55.2% in 2020 and 71.4% in 2021.
    • 58.7% of buyers require proof of product accessibility in the form of a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template—or VPAT®, which is up from 52.9% in 2021.

Springer adds, “This data can serve as an important tool for organizations to better understand trends in digital inclusion, benchmark their own efforts to create inclusive technology for people with disabilities, and justify investments in digital accessibility. Our continued hope is that it provides the education and motivation for organizations of all sizes to make digital inclusion a top business priority.”

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