Skip to content

PAAG Survey 2022

PAAG ran a survey across the publishing ecosystem in spring of 2022. The results gave important insight into the current state of accessibility in the UK publishing world, as well as the state of readiness and planning for the regulatory and technical changes coming down the line. Key findings were:

  • 62% of respondents came from representatives of publishers themselves, with 29% answering from publishing/technology vendors (e.g. conversion houses, typesetters, developers), and a little under 5% each from aggregators and funding bodies.
  • Only 52% of respondents represented organisations currently holding membership of PAAG.
  • Just 57% of respondent organisations currently have customer-focused accessibility statements on their websites.
  • 81% of respondents indicated that increased adoption of accessibility practices at their organisation would be driven by legal changes. 76% cited customer demand, and 57% cited vendor requirements.
  • Just 19% had fully implemented and integrated accessibility into their workflows, and only 38% of respondents reported that their organisation’s accessibility adoption programmes were currently in-progress.
  • The greatest hurdles to accessibility work were given as staffing resources (42%), in-house technical expertise (31%), financial resources, senior management buy-in and the workflow problem of sourcing image descriptions across titles (26% each).
  • The biggest technical challenges reported were accessibility metadata and image description (57% each)
  • Only 42.9% are currently adhering to the EPUB Accessibility 1.0/A11Y specifications
  • 55% of respondents reported that 10% or less of the content they publish that would benefit from image description are currently described (15% were not publishers)
  • 62% of respondent organisations had either teams or individuals specifically advocating for accessibility.
  • Almost 90% of respondents polled reported that they would like to see online learning modules and training developed in this space

A number of important insights emerged, as well as more clarity on the hurdles and requirements from the industry to really progress this mission. Overall PAAG observed an industry that was still mainly in the early stages of its accessibility journey, with only a minority of respondents having progressed beyond the initial planning stages and a very small fraction reporting accessibility practices as fully operational. Over 80% of respondents were strongly motivated to make progress due to legal changes, and respondents showed a strong desire for the availability of further online training resources on accessibility topics.

Please download the full results of this 2022 survey.