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  • WebAIM Screen Reader Survey

    Thursday, February 12th, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    The WebAIM Screen Reader survey has come out and makes for an interesting read. From December to 2008 - January 2009, they invited Screen Reader users to take part in a survey through their website. They received 1121 valid responses. Most of the results are as expected, but there are a few that I was surprised by. In particular:

    • For all the debates in the Accessibility world, a lot of the respondents do find Access keys useful.
    • 75% of respondents update their Screen Reader software within the first year of a new release.
    • 12% of respondents are using Screen Readers on their Mobile Phones.
    • Even though the respondents are rather tech savvy, 33% of them are still using IE6 with their Screen Reader.

    There were some things that were reinforced by this survey too, which was nice to know. A few things I noticed were:

    • A large portion of respondents use Headings, Links, and Search to navigate through a website.
    • They use the “skip” link at the top of a website.
    • Only a small portion of respondents use Site Maps to navigate through a website. 
    • If the  image you are providing ALT text for is a photo, then add “Photo” before the ALT text.

    It is worth noting that the respondents to this survey are visitors to the site and offered to fill in the survey, so this can’t be taken as a complete survey of the population of Screen Reader users. The ones who participated here are more likely to be tech savvy, which is probably why a large portion use Firefox. 

    Still, an interesting read.

    Further information

    WebAIM Screen Reader survey
    WebAIM Screen Reader survey results discussion
    Introduction to Screen Readers

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