Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Public sector bodies and private sector companies have been urged to improve their digital accessibility after a new report found that 72 per cent of leading Irish companies do not have accessible websites.

According to the first Digital Accessibility Index for Ireland, no sector achieved an accessibility pass rate of more than 50 per cent.

The index, published by IA Labs, also found that that Ireland’s top five grocery retailers were classified as inaccessible.

All 10 of the country’s leading online housing and rental platforms were also deemed inaccessible.

It comes as data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows there are approximately 600,000 people in Ireland with a disability.

Kyran O’Mahoney, founder of IA Labs, commented: “The findings of the Digital Accessibility Index highlight the need for companies and public bodies to seriously consider their digital offering.

“No company sets out to create an inaccessible website, but our research tells us that there needs to be a greater focus on prioritising accessibility.

“The fact that not one of Ireland’s top five grocery retailers has an accessible website is an example of how barriers to access can be created, negatively impacting people with disabilities.”

Just one out of the country’s 20 private hospitals analysed passed the digital accessibility audit.

Of a sample of 28 websites belonging to Irish universities, private and public sector schools, just one website passed the audit.

Meanwhile, 89 per cent of Government departments were found to have accessible websites.

The websites of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the Department of Foreign Affairs are currently deemed not accessible.

Analysis of websites belonging to Irish political parties found that only the websites of Fianna Fáil, Labour and People Before Profit are digitally accessible for all users.

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