Accessibility of the top 1,000 NZ home pages
Ciara Arnot Community Advisor •
In 2020, Access Advisors set out to audit the top 1,000 websites in Aotearoa for interface accessibility. The results provide an important call to action for anyone with a website to improve and a baseline to gauge improvements in web accessibility over time.
The results were heartening, with some websites doing a great job. However, the current state of web accessibility in New Zealand has a lot of room for improvement.
Around 84.5% of websites had at least one detectable WCAG2.1 error, meaning 15.5% had no detectable errors. Of the 1,000 websites 25 had no errors detected in this test. The top errors are very similar to those found in other similar international studies, and mostly affect people who are blind or have low vision. Some examples of what you can do to reduce barriers include:
- making sure colour contrast between text and the background meets minimum requirements
- ensuring that hyperlink names are meaningful
- including appropriate <alt> text for <img> elements
- checking the ID values
- ensuring there is a language element on each page
Meeting the standard set out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines is a good place to start, but testing with users to catch issues and barriers that won’t be detected by automated checkers is even better.
If New Zealand businesses focused on the top five common errors highlighted in this research they could significantly improve the accessibility of their homepages. And accessibility benefits everyone.
Each year InternetNZ uses profits from the sale of .nz domain names to give out community funding. They provide funding for community-led initiatives that extend the availability, use, and benefit of the Internet in Aotearoa.
This initiative was the recipient of funding in 2020.