More numbers confirming 25% of web users disabled

UPDATE: This is reposted (with a new URL): I forgot to fill out a title for the article and my blog software did not stop me. This is of course a usability issue as the software is not dealing with my stupidity and eagerness to press the publish button ;-)

More numbers show up that back up my claim that 25% of your users are disabled. (“disabled” to me is physical as for instance a visual impairment, and technological as using a small screen or wireless device).

I had a chat today with a former employe of Danish Center for Accessibility, and he pointed me to Tiresias, an organisation that has collected statistics from Europe. I was told Tiresias is known for it’s conservative estimates and high credibility. From Tiresias Demographics of Impairments:

User group with problems using
(Information and Communications Technology)
Percentage of population in Europe
Wheelchair user 0.4
Cannot walk without aid 5
Cannot use fingers 0.1
Cannot use one arm 0.1
Reduced strength 2.8
Reduced coordination 1.4
Speech impaired 0.25
Language impaired 0.6
Dyslexic 1
Intellectually impaired 3
Deaf 0.1
Hard of hearing 6
Blind 0.4
Low vision 1.5

As you see, still no technical disability mentioned here. A quick roundup of the numbers: Pretty much the same mentioned in my previous article. The numbers above add up to 22.65%, but you can’t really add them up since some people have more than one disability.

Furthermore, there are two groups here probably irrelevant to most web pages: Cannot walk without aid (5%) and Hard of hearing (6%). On the other hand they also take a very conservative approach:

The group sizes have been estimated conservatively and very much larger numbers would be obtained if lower levels of impairment were included. For example, over half of the population needs some form of optical correction, and about one sixth has a clinically significant level of hearing loss. The lower levels of impairment will not normally lead to difficulties in using ICT [Information and Communications Technology] systems but can cause problems in adverse circumstances.

Additionaly the dyslexia percentage is reported to 1% (compared to the 3.9% from Danish Center for Accessibility):

The number of people having problems using ICT [Information and Communications Technology] systems is not the same as the number of people with a particular impairment. For example, it is estimated that 4% of the population has sever dyslexia, but about a quarter of this number have significant problems in using ICT [Information and Communications Technology] systems.

All in all, I see these numbers supporting the findings of Danish Center for Accessibility. Also in another Tiresias page, one technical disability was mentioned:

Many website designers work on the philosophy that the user’s browser is no more than a year old. In the case of disabled users, it is likely to be considerably older than that, so there is a problem of legacy systems. Some browsers for blind people can handle frames, but many older ones cannot.

From Tiresias web guidelines.

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