Who doesn’t have the internet?

As you will realise the primary aim of Squawk is to create awreness of accessibility on the internet and hopefully try to influence our readers to take accessibility seriously.

Most people think accessibility only relates to people who have a “disadvantage or deficiency, especially a physical or mental impairment that prevents or restricts normal achievement”.  But look at the phrase in more detail, read slowly and think about the first 3 words.

“Disadvantage or deficiency”

In my book this clearly defines accessibility

Based on the disadvantage or deficiency website owners can attract even more visitors and customers by thinking about their web-sites accessibility. In addition to those people who have a disadvantage or deficiency caused  by a  physical or mental impairment that prevents or restricts normal achievement there is a large group of people out there who are also suffering from accessibility issues.

According to 2008 figures from the UK Office for National Statistics.

  • 70% of those aged 65 or over had never been online – a figure which dropped to a third for those aged between 55 and 64.
  • 93% of those with a degree or higher level qualification has home internet access – a figure which drops to 56% of those who have don’t have formal qualifications.
  • 29% of women have never used the internet, the same is only true for 20% of men.

When asked why they didn’t have the internet.

  • 60% said they didn’t need it or want.
  • 27% said the cost of equipment or internet access as too high
  • 15% thought they didn’t have the requisite skills.

Two million more adults accessed the internet in 2008 than in 2007.

Lets look at the maths:

Based on the 2001 UK national census the UK population is about 58,789,194 (58 Million) , of which about 80% are termed as adult that’s about 46Million (OK -46.4M)

  • People aged 65 and over formed 16 per cent of the population.
  • Nearly 30 per cent of the adult population have no qualifications.
  • Nearly 20 per cent of the adult population have a degree or higher qualification.
  • The adult population is nearly a 50/50 split male and female.

So do the maths

  • 50% of 46 is 23 (hey I’m good!) so  that means that
  • 4.6 million males and 6.67 females have not used the internet – total 11.27Million adult people.

Based on the figures nearly 1.7 million think they don’t have the skills to access the internet.  Thats a lot of people – and that’s just in the United Kingdom – one of 195 official independent countries in the world (192 sit at the United nations).

Are these numbers not enough to stop and make you think about making web sites easy to access?

It is one of the reasons  why sites like Twitter – easy to use (but not accessible try the accessible twitter) – are popular and take off.

The internet is a massive place with millions and millions of users.  By December 31, 2008, 1.574 billion people were using the internet according to Internet World Statistics, as equipment and internet access becomes cheaper more and more people are going to be on line for the first time.

Sites which have good usability and accessibility will become more and more relevant

"Opportunitas tandem"