View raw data of the survey
This document presents an analysis of the results to the web-developers questionnaire made within the
ENABLED project. This questionnaire aims at making a quick assessment of the awareness, knowledge and training
needs of Web developers regarding accessibility issues for the visually impaired. It is composed of 11 questions
regarding the respondent himself, his knowledge on web development and accessibility issues, and finally training
activities received and topics covered or needed on accessibility issues.
[new window] Wikipedia,
a free online encyclopaedia, provides a simple definition of accessibility as
the usability of a computer system by people with disabilities and the
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) who developed the
[new window] Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
provides accessibility guidelines for
[new window] Web Content,
[new window] User Agents and
[new window] Authoring Tools.
As we see in this definition, accessibility is in fact a subset of usability, which is defined by the
the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which specified users achieve specified goals in particular environments.
the usability of a computer system by people with disabilities
the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which specified users achieve specified goals in particular environments
The survey was distributed through ENABLED partners and through an online version developed by NetUnion and distributed through the
[new window] Health On the Net (HON) Foundation
newsletter. The online survey was conducted from January 20th to February 2nd 2004-2007 . A total of 269 answers were received.
269 persons answered this survey, most of them via the Internet. As shown in
below, most of them come from Europe and
Associated countries (43%) and from North America (43%).
Figure 1 - Respondents' country repartition
Respondents are mainly web developers, webmasters (29%) and from other technical fields (Web designers, website management and
maintenance, other technician / developers) (11%), as shown in
Figure 2. The unspecified category (29%) represents respondents
that replied with a description of their website's activity, rather than their own role within the organisation. Answers
received covered various types of organisations and website activities (software development companies, universities, etc.).
Figure 2 - Respondents' activity
Results of the survey shows that awareness about accessibility issues, as well as, knowledge about the accessibility enabling
features of web development tools have a major impact on the widespread implementation of accessible sites.
Questions 3 to 7 of the questionnaire deal specifically with this issue:
The survey shows the following:
To the question "Are you aware of WAI", 58% of respondents answered no.
Question 3 shows that only 36% of respondents try to make their web sites or applications accessible. Reasons cited for not making this
effort could be broken down as follows: 67% cite a lack of knowledge about the
WAI guidelines, and 9% a lack of technical knowledge. Note that 14% do not have
time to spend on accessibility issues. As shown in
Figure 3 - Reasons for not making accessible Web sites / applications
Question 4 shows that while only 36% of the respondents try to make web sites or applications accessible, a little bit more (51%)
try to make them usable and, as shown in
Figure 4, major part of respondents who do not cite the following reasons: do not know
about usability concepts (around 77%), no time (11%) and lack of technical knowledge (6%).
Figure 4 - Reasons for not making usable Web sites / applications
63% of respondents use at least one specific software for developing their web sites or applications. The most used are
Dreamweaver (34%) and FrontPage (30%), as shown in
Figure 5. In this figure, "Others" (16%) represents software that were
cited only by one or two respondents.
Figure 5 - Software used for development
At the same time, respondents were asked whether the software they use generates accessible code. Answers show that depending on
the software, accessibility features were not always known by users, sometimes because they come as a plug-in or because the
function is hard to find.
For example, 33% of Dreamweaver users answered that this software does not generate accessible code, which is not correct (the
latest versions of Dreamweaver allow developers to be prompted when inserting Web elements that may need accessibility attributes
but this option is disabled in default installations) and only 43% of FrontPage users answered it could generate accessible code.
This shows that even if some software include accessibility related features, they are not necessarily easy to use.
In general we see here that the lack of knowledge about WAI guidelines,
usability, and the proper use of website development tools
are the main barrier for people not making accessible web sites or applications.
Note however that we could say (question 7) that 41% of the respondents considers themselves having medium programming skills (medium
level) and 37% declared having relatively high (good or very good) programming skills. In correlation, web developer, designers,
maintainer and other technicians or developer represents approximately 39% of respondents.
From these questions, we could conclude that the main issue could be training of developers and technicians, but also training of
managers and decision makers on accessibility issues.
Although major part of the respondents' main activity is closely link to development, only 13% received some training in accessibility or
usability issues, which shows a lack in this domain. These respondents received training mostly directly on the Internet (29%) or at
school (23%) as shown in
Figure 6. However 74% of respondents who received training already would like to get more training in web
accessibility or usability issues.
Figure 6 - Training types
Most of the respondents received training in all major parts of web accessibility and usability, as shown in
Figure 7, covering
WAI, how to make an accessible web site, usability and how to test the
accessibility of a web site.
From this part, we can already draw a first conclusion that the source of training and knowledge is rather fragmented (cf.
and that self-training (books, Internet resources and unspecified self-training) represents the most common type of training (44%).
Together with the fact that the main source for training mentioned by respondents is the Internet, it shows that creating an e-training
platform could rather easily and efficiently fill in this need. Indeed, Internet or web-based training applications could easily be
used for self-training, by specialised centres, user organisations or even employers and could let the users work on their own or
with a trainer. Furthermore, the fact that 17% were trained by other people or through a mailing list could reinforce the need for
a common knowledge base or community forum available to developers on the Internet.
Very few respondents who received training considered it sufficient or do not want to learn more (4%). 74% of respondents who
did not receive any training are interested in getting trained on accessibility issues.
Figure 7 - Training topics covered
71% of respondents who received already some training would like to get trained again. 36% would like to get training on the same topics
and 40% would like to receive training only in topics not covered during the first training sessions.
Figure 8 shows the topics that users
would like to see covered.
Whereas 39% of responders are from the United States of America, only one responder mentioned having received training on
[new window] Section 508.
Section 508 is an American law enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people
with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals. Section 508 provides also guidelines
and technical standards to implement the law itself.
Figure 8 - Training topics to cover
This survey allowed us to cover a wide range of users and organisations. It confirmed the fact that quite a large amount of websites is
currently not accessible, mainly because website developers, maintainers, designers or managers are not aware of accessibility issues
or lack the proper knowledge or training to fully use the available tools.
It also shows that people are interested in getting trained on making accessible web sites and testing their accessibility, and on
WAI, even for users who already received such training before. It should also
be noted the importance for user to get training regarding legal aspects, which could probably be due to the interest of
managers and decision makers who represents a significant part of the respondents.
The survey also showed that 44% of respondents trained themselves using various resources and particularly on the Internet. This
could be due to time and resource constraints and indicates the potential usefulness of providing a flexible e-training platform for
distributing training programs on Web accessibility.
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