The websites of twenty two presidential candidates for the 2020 election were tested for accessibility by the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, and the results are in: "Not one website – Democrat or Republican – was fully accessible for a blind or visually impaired person to navigate."
If there is one thing that makes the need for accessibility in public spaces, including digital spaces, loud and clear, perhaps it is this.
"When Americans are prevented from researching presidential candidates due to unnecessary accessibility barriers, the information that people receive and the votes they ultimately cast are altered by discrimination on the basis of disability," said Mark Shapiro, president of the Bureau of Internet Accessibility. "The Americans with Disabilities Act is supposed to ensure this type of scenario never happens; but, at the moment, not only are individual rights being violated, the future of our country is quite literally being shaped by the unfortunate and unnecessary inaccessibility of public digital information."
Twenty Democratic candidates, as well as President Donald Trump and Republican challenger Bill Weld, were subject to accessibility tests using assistive technology like screen readers and checking against 10 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) criteria.
According to the full PDF report, the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind tested the following:
- Ease of navigation
- Heading structure
- Logo and link alt text
- Keyboard accessibility
- Control over changing images
- Play and pause video controls
- Adjustable font size and color
- Ease of filling out form fields
- Access of error messages
- Presence of accessibility statement
The organization offered the update on their website that they have been contacted by former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang, who indicated they will make improvements to their websites.
New to the world of accessibility?
This topic may cause you to have some questions about exactly what accessibility is, why it's so important, and whether it's really required. Please learn more with these resources or by browsing through our blog:
- Do state and local government websites have to be accessible?
- Why is website accessibility becoming so popular?
- How to Introduce People to Digital Accessibility: 7 Tips
- What if your customers could resolve accessibility issues in real-time?
Here to help with your digital accessibility needs
If you are looking for a partner with your own digital accessibility initiatives or you have questions about how laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act might relate to your business, contact us. Or, get started with a free website accessibility scan.