An estimated 26 percent of American voters, have a disability and may not have equal access and opportunity to browse campaign websites
RALEIGH-DURHAM, N.C., Oct. 5, 2020 – Ablr, an organization that provides digital accessibility solutions and services for people with disabilities, today released its “2020 Presidential Website Accessibility & ADA Compliance Report” that summarizes the findings of a comprehensive audit of the 2020 Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates’ campaign websites. Ablr identified 44 violations among the four political candidates’ websites, concluding each landing page does not comply with the standards set by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). This potentially shuts out 61 million voters living with a disability from critical information during one of the most important presidential elections in U.S. history.
Ablr’s report was conducted by its in-house auditors which include people who are blind and visually impaired (BVI). The audit established that President Donald J. Trump’s political campaign website had four website violations, while former Vice President and Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s website had 13 violations. Furthermore, the audit revealed that current Republican Vice President Mike Pence’s website had 17 violations, while Senator and Democratic Vice-Presidential Nominee Kamala Harris’ website had 10 violations.
“According to the CDC, 26 percent of the U.S. population lives with a disability, which means that with just a few weeks until the election, one in four Americans may not be able to access the websites for the Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates,” said John Samuel, CEO of Ablr. “We hope this audit encourages the immediate improvement of the website accessibility for each candidate’s site because voting is a civil right, just like accessibility is.”
The report provides a summary and description of each violation, as well as an impact classification. Violations were ranked as “critical,” “serious,” or “moderate.” Common violations include:
● Color Contrast is an issue that is often overlooked. Individuals with low vision regularly encounter difficulty distinguishing text from a background color if the contrast is insufficient.
● No Alternate Text / Alt text. The purpose of alt text is to describe images to people who are unable to see them. It is critically important that all website visitors understand what is portrayed in images on webpages.
● Descriptive / Discernible text is crucial for screen reader users as they are not able to discern the purpose of buttons and icons that have no accessible name. The text in a hyperlink can be anything, however, it should clearly describe the target resource.
● No Skip Links. These internal links at the beginning of a hyperlinked text permits users to skip navigational material and quickly access a website’s main content. Skip links are particularly valuable for people who access digital content using screen readers.
Key findings stemming from Ablr’s audit include:
● President Trump: Lack of discernible text fonts and no presence of skip links were among the major violations.
● Vice President Joe Biden: Several instances of insufficient color contrasts between different fonts and inaccessible by keyboard. Many people with disabilities cannot use a mouse and require a keyboard to navigate the Web.
● Vice President Mike Pence: Lack of discernible text fonts, with many instances of invalid ARIA attribute names.
● Senator Kamala Harris: Lack of discernible fonts and instances where multiple static elements of the webpage had the same ID attribute and multiple links are missing discernable text for screen readers.
Ablr hopes that the report sheds light on the importance of website accessibility compliance, especially in light of National Disability Employment Month – which is recognized every October. Click here for Ablr’s full findings from the candidate website audit.
To learn more about Ablr and its mission to ensure digital accessibility, please visit our website. Please note that the full launch of the website will take place on October 6, 2020.
Ablr is a digital accessibility and inclusion company founded on the key principle that all digital content, including websites, videos, applications, are accessible for everyone, no exception. Ablr offers the optimal blend of technology + humanity. Ablr’s team of visually impaired analysts ensures your content and digital assets adhere to the federal requirements of ADA, Section 508 and WCAG and human-centric usability. In addition to digital audits, Ablr offers website remediation, training and consulting.
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