The initial results of our screen reader survey are now available – http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey/
With over 1100 responses (thank you to all that participated!), the data provides a load of useful information about screen reader user demographics and preferences. Some of the results were about what we expected, but some of them very much surprised us. We are already re-thinking some of our long-standing philosophies about alternative text – particularly for decorative-type images.
We understand that the survey design was not perfect and that this may not truly represent all screen reader users, but we believe the results can be very informative for developers wanting to create accessible web content.
Here’s a small sampling of a few findings:
- The most common screen readers used are JAWS (74%), Window-Eyes (23%), NVDA (8%), and VoiceOver (6%).
- 74.6% of screen reader users upgrade to the newest version within one year.
- 12% of respondents use a screen reader on a mobile phone.
- 76% of users always or often navigating by headings.
- 36% never or seldom use text-only versions of web pages.
- 71.5% of screen reader users reported that Flash is very or somewhat difficult.
There is much, MUCH more to be learned about this diverse group of screen reader users at our survey results page.
If you have feedback or questions about the survey, please post them here. We will be posting more in-depth analysis and details on the free-form text responses in the near future. We anticipate doing more of these types of surveys – if you have recommendations or questions you would like answers to, please let us know.