WebAIM Survey Results Shows Increase In NVDA Users On PC And iOS Remains Most Popular Smartphone In Blind Community

Macbook in use

The WebAIM Screen Reader User Survey has just released its findings, showing a growing use of NVDA among PC users, as well as a growing number preferring low or no cost options like this compared to commercial options, and iOS remains the top smartphone of choice for respondents.

Over 1500 people took part in the study, which wss conducted between December 2023 and January 2024.

JAWS maintained its position as the primary desktop and laptop screen reader for 40.5% of survey respondents, despite experiencing a slight drop in usage in favour of NVDA, which now serves as the primary tool for 37.7%.

Interestingly, the preference for screen readers varies geographically, with JAWS leading in North America and Australia, while NVDA finds its stronghold in Europe, Africa/Middle East, and Asia, once again outpacing JAWS in overall usage.

VoiceOver’s usage remains steady at 9.7%,

Chrome’s supremacy as the browser of choice continues unchallenged, capturing 52.3% of the desktop/laptop market. The synergy between screen readers and browsers is notably exemplified by popular combinations such as JAWS with Chrome, NVDA with Chrome, JAWS with Edge, and NVDA with Firefox. An overwhelming 99.8% of respondents have JavaScript enabled, highlighting its essential role in web navigation today.

The survey reveals a strong inclination towards free or low-cost screen readers like NVDA or VoiceOver, deemed viable by 78.1% of respondents, as alternatives to their more expensive counterparts. Mobile device accessibility is also a significant trend, with 91.3% using screen readers on such devices, led by VoiceOver at 70.6%.

However, the perception of web accessibility improvement has dimmed, with only 34.6% acknowledging advancements over the past year, a decrease from 39.3% in 2021. Additionally, 68.2% believe there’s no need for individuals to describe their appearance during virtual meetings or webinars.

Notably, the data indicates a reversal in the trend regarding the use of landmarks/regions for navigation, with an increase to 31.8% from 25.6% in 2021. Navigating through headings remains the most popular method for exploring page content, emphasizing the importance of well-structured documents for accessibility.

The survey also highlights CAPTCHA as the most significant barrier faced by users, pointing to the ongoing challenges in balancing security and accessibility.

Full details of the WebAIM survey can be found online and offer further insight.

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