Attitudes to Digital Accessibility 2023 - survey report methodology

The Attitudes to Digital Accessibility Survey 2023 is an online survey which explores current attitudes to digital accessibility from over 350 professionals whose work touches on digital accessibility in some way.

The survey was completed during September 2023 and provides a unique opportunity to understand a broad range of perspectives from across roles, sectors, and regions on topics including perceived levels of commitment to digital accessibility, vision and leadership, knowledge of processes that help turn vision into reality, confidence and development of competence, and procurement. Insights were gathered as data from closed questions and quotes from open questions.

The report for 2023 explores the survey for the second year, it was run at the same time in 2022 using broadly the same methodology in terms of contacting potential sample. In terms of questionnaire design some questions remained the same and some were added.

Key insights from the results of the survey were first shared on AbilityNet's free webinar with guests from IAAP and Open Inclusion on 31 October 2023, and will be further discussed at AbilityNet’s TechShare Pro conference in November 2023.

The survey in both 2022 and 2023 covered a number of topics which aligned to AbilityNet’s Digital Accessibility Maturity Model (DAMM).

  • Section 1: About you and your organisation
  • Section 2: An overview of digital accessibility in your organisation
  • Section 3: Vision
  • Section 4: Leadership
  • Section 5: Processes
  • Section 6: Capability
  • Section 7: Procurement

Notes about survey methodology

Data was collected via an online survey designed by Open Inclusion and disseminated via AbilityNet, Open Inclusion and partners. It was available online via Survey Monkey with accessible alternatives. The survey was live between 1 - 30 September 2023. 

It should be noted that when an invitation to a survey is disseminated in this way there are two factors to take into consideration in the analysis, 

1.    the impact of distribution channels used, and 
2.    the self-selection aspect of those taking part. 

This being the case, we cannot report the findings as a representative measure of behaviour and attitude across the whole of the workforce linked to digital accessibility. It is more likely to be received by those more engaged in digital accessibility given how it was distributed and more likely to be completed by those more interested in digital accessibility through self-selection bias. 

The impact of this potential sample bias is that it is likely to be a more optimistic picture of digital accessibility than may be more broadly the case, as respondents and their organisations are more likely to be more actively engaged or interested. 

With over 350 individuals taking part, the report does however build a detailed and quite broad picture of the state of digital accessibility from within a very wide range of sectors, organisations, roles and levels of seniority.

One of the strengths of this data is that it is an ‘on the ground’ reflection of how digital accessibility is being supported in organisations today from those within the organisations with varying levels of responsibility to deliver it. 

Respondents came from a broad range of industries, sectors and roles, including both technical and non-technical roles. A total of 363 respondents have been included in the data analysis for 2023.

Profile of respondents 

As is usual with online surveys, there was some survey ‘dropout’ and a number of survey responses were incomplete. This can be due to fatigue, loss of engagement or disruption due to other reasons. To maximise the insights, each section of the survey was ringfenced and respondents who completed each section were included in the analysis for those relevant questions. 

This is transparent in the report as base sizes report ‘all those answering each section’. The numbers included in the analysis for each section of the survey are shown in Table 1. Section 1 was the demographic and characteristic information about the respondent. 

Table 1: Number of respondents answering each survey section included in the reporting

  • Section 2: An overview of digital accessibility in your organisation - Number completing the section used for analysis: 363
  • Section 3: Vision - Number completing the section used for analysis: 305
  • Section 4: Leadership - Number completing the section used for analysis: 276
  • Section 5: Processes - Number completing the section used for analysis: 265
  • Section 6: Capability - Number completing the section used for analysis: 244
  • Section 7: Procurement (note respondents also had procurement as part of their role for these questions) - Number completing the section used for analysis: 241

Tables 2 and 3 show the demographics of the respondents in terms of organisations they worked within and their role. 

Table 2: Number of respondents by organisation type and size (respondents from Section 2)

Size of organisation

  • Under 250 employees: 100
  • 250 employees or more: 252
  • Not stated: 11
  • Total: 363

Organisation type

  • A business/ For profit: 125
  • A charity, voluntary sector organisation or social enterprise: 79
  • Government or public body including local or national administration or public services such as military, health or education: 144
  • Other/Don’t know/No response: 15
  • Total: 363

Just under two thirds (66%) worked in the UK, 21% in USA/Canada and 8% in Europe (outside the UK). 

In terms of the head office location, just under two thirds (64%) of respondents worked in organisations with headquarters in the UK, 25% worked in USA based organisations and the remainder were drawn from companies headquartered in a very wide range of locations across Europe, the Americas and Asia/Pacific. 

Table 3: Number of respondents by role (respondents from Section 2)

Seniority 

  • Executive / C-suite/Senior Leader: 64
  • Manager: 97
  • Non-manager inc entry/grad: 180
  • Other (please specify): 416
  • Prefer not to say/no response: 6 
  • Total: 363

Centrality of digital accessibility to role

  • Digital/technical roles where digital accessibility is significant to role: 64
  • Digital/technical roles where digital accessibility is occasional to role: 172
  • Non digital/technical roles where digital accessibility is significant to role: 109
  • Non digital/technical roles where digital accessibility is occasional to role: 14
  • Don't know/not stated: 4
  • Total: 363

Questionnaire

Just under 50 questions were asked over the seven sections. Most questions were closed. In 2023 a decision was taken whether to keep questions from the 2022 survey or to delete or re-frame them. It was important to keep some measures the same to explore change year-on-year, but it was also critical to add some new topical questions. It was felt that the end result was a good balance of the two objectives. 

Data analysis and reporting

The data was edited and the ‘other specify’ and open-ended questions were coded. The data was not weighted. 

This sample size and spread of respondents enabled exploration of the data by some key variables in the report. These are highlighted in each section where differences in response exists. 

It should be noted that in some cases percentage totals do not add to 100%, this is due to rounding if they were “select one” option questions or may add to significantly more than 100% if they were “select all that apply” questions.

About AbilityNet

AbilityNet believes in building a digital world accessible to all.

AbilityNet is a pioneering UK charity with a global perspective. We believe the power of digital technology should be available to everyone, regardless of ability or age. Our free online resources and a network of more than 400 community-based volunteers help individuals with any disability, of any age, to use all kinds of digital technology. 

Our teams of experts help organisations of all types and sizes to become more inclusive and to build accessible digital products and services. We are founder members of the global accessibility profession, work closely with some of the biggest businesses on the planet and organise TechShare Pro, Europe’s largest accessibility gathering.

About Open Inclusion

Open Inclusion is a disability and age-inclusive research, design and innovation agency, based in London and operating globally. 

It designs, conducts and analyses design and market research to help organisations make better decisions supporting improved customer and employee experiences, progress products or services, identify and develop sustainably valuable innovations. Often this draws on the very diverse experiences of its global inclusive consumer insight community.

Open Inclusion’s community has more than 1,100 individuals living in the UK or North America who experience sight loss, hearing loss, mobility or dexterity limitations, chronic health conditions, mental health conditions, neurodivergence, or are just getting older. Many have co-occuring access needs and / or other diversity characteristics that can further differentiate their experiences. Open Inclusion also accesses a broader global community of more than 350,000 disabled and older individuals through partner organisations operating in 23 countries. It often works in collaborative partnerships and is delighted to support AbilityNet for this important study with the survey design, analysis and syntheses.  

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