About the Survey

The Start of the Journey

Over many years, there have been many recognized surveys in the accessibility industry. One of particular note is the WebAIM Screen Reader survey. The results of the surveys have been utilized by the accessibility industry to help determine testing practices and better understand screen-reader users’ perspective.

However, over time individuals in disability communities like r/blind on Reddit voiced how the results do not necessarily match their experiences. Norbert Rum, an accessibility specialist from Americaneagle.com’s accessibility department, followed along in the discussions and reached out to Americaneagle.com to determine how to best provide a platform for the varying opinions.

In 2022, with the support of Americaneagle.com accessibility specialist, Charlie Beach, and director, Nick Goodrum, efforts began towards creating the Web Accessibility Survey. We connected with Jared Smith, the Executive Director of WebAIM, and approached him on opening up a new survey. He appreciated the opportunity to compare results and confirm if results will overlap or not.

Accessibility Community Colorful Design with multiple types of disabled people.
Illustration of a community of individuals with disabilities standing including a blind person , a person in a wheel chair, someone with a prosthetic leg, and other diverse disabled people.

Expansion of the Survey

By the end of 2022, the goals of the survey expanded to incorporate all users with disabilities. The goals of the survey were to avoid limiting to only one user base but provide a platform for many communities to voice their opinions.

The survey questions grew to incorporate all types of assistive technology use. Rather than assuming users only use one technology, the survey allows users to note all the types and combinations they use.

By the release of the 2023 survey, after curation and testing of the survey tools by multiple communities, word of mouth and connections of online support expanded to incorporate a wider audience including subreddits such as r/CerebralPalsy, r/Autism/, and r/Disability.

Reddit Blackout During the Survey

In mid-2023, a substantial Reddit blackout, affecting communities like r/blind, was triggered by a new policy charging high-usage third-party apps. This raised concerns about accessibility and content moderation.

This event had a significant impact on our survey. It not only highlighted the importance of third-party apps for accessibility, as seen with the shutdowns of apps like Apollo, but also disrupted our data collection by limiting access to key forums. Despite these challenges, the blackout shifted focus to digital accessibility and sparked broader discussions, aligning with our survey’s aim to understand and amplify the needs of users with disabilities.

Furthermore, moderators from r/blind initiated dialogues with Reddit Corporate to enhance the site’s native accessibility. Through multiple meetings, they addressed key issues such as keyboard traps, focus, and labeling. In the last quarter of 2023, we became increasingly vocal about any accessibility concerns on Reddit, maintaining direct communication with the corporate staff to advocate for improvements.

Snoo Reddit Logo on Dark Background
r/blind Reddit Snoo Logo

What is r/Blind?

r/Blind is a Reddit community committed to fostering understanding and support for individuals who are blind or visually impaired. This subreddit, moderated by individuals both with and without visual impairment, aims to promote awareness and inclusivity. It serves as a dynamic platform for discussions, sharing experiences, and advocating for enhanced accessibility. Addressing various topics from technology and daily life to cultural nuances, r/Blind unites visually impaired and sighted individuals in a supportive and informative environment. The community focuses on fostering dialogue and exchanging knowledge, with the goal of improving understanding and contributing to a more accessible world.

Participating r/Blind Moderators

Headshot of Dave Hamlin

David Hamlin

Pianist, composer, and parent, after losing his sight from injuries afflicted during an armed home invasion in February 2020 David became involved with the blind community on Reddit, r/blind, in late 2021. He joined the staff there in February 2022 and has been extensively involved in daily operations of the subreddit, and the affiliated Discord server. During the blackouts and protests over the changes to the Reddit API in summer 2023, due to their impact on the blind community, he was an active part of the team of moderators from r/blind who communicated with the members of the community, the media, and Reddit itself.

Headshot of Nuno

Nuno Nebeker

Nuno Nebeker is a software developer for a global engineering company and a community manager for r/Blind and associated communities. He’s involved in content moderation, community building, public and media relations – quoted on publications such as The Verge and Tech Crunch – accessibility testing and issue prioritization with platform development and management teams, and liaising with researchers and user-testing professionals.

Headshot of Samuel in a Fable shirt.

Samuel Proulx

Samuel Proulx is the Accessibility Evangelist at Fable, a leading accessibility platform powered by people with disabilities. As a blind individual, Sam knows and values the importance of accessibility in all aspects of life and is a strong advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities in the digital world. As an active member, contributor, and moderator in many online communities, Sam has his finger on the pulse of digital accessibility. As one of the founding members and first employees on the Fable team, Sam has been integral to Fable’s mission and company vision from day one.

Additionally, Sam is the co-host of the Disability Bandwidth podcast. He’s also an avid gamer, reader, and technologist. Recent talks Sam has given include Google’s Tech Circus, SxSW EDU, and Site Teck Global.

A black-and-white portrait of Norbert Rum with headphones, resting his chin on his fist, wearing a collared shirt.

Norbert Rum

With more than 20 years of experience, Norbert has carved out a distinguished career in digital world of Accessibility, SEO/SEM. His journey is marked by leading successful accessibility solutions, conducting WCAG compliance audits, and founding a thriving online community for the visually impaired over a decade ago, which now boasts over 23,000 members. This initiative highlights his dedication to making digital spaces inclusive, particularly for those with visual impairments.

An experienced speaker at industry events like CSUN, Norbert’s approach effectively blends technical proficiency with an in-depth understanding of user needs. This perspective is shaped directly by end users, ensuring that digital platforms are not only compliant but also engaging and user-friendly.

In his work, Norbert adopts a client-focused view, striving to transform digital landscapes into accessible, impactful, and approachable experiences.

Message From the Moderators

As developers and members of the accessibility community, we are committed to understanding the challenges faced by blind individuals. This interest has frequently been expressed on platforms like Reddit’s r/Blind, the community’s Discord server, and on the rblind.com.

This kind of direct, person-to-person contact cements the importance of web accessibility in the minds of those who can improve the web landscape for disabled people every day. It can reveal and highlight subtle, but vital trends and patterns, even if anecdotal, that aren’t captured by other means.

The opposite end of the research spectrum is wide-scale surveys, like the WebAIM Screen Reader User Survey, now in its tenth iteration. These strive for quantitative results that are actionable across a broad population: valuable goals indeed.

Both avenues of research face important challenges. When disabled individuals come together in communities, physical and virtual, they most often seek mutual understanding, support, growth and solidarity. Growth and a better relationship with the rest of the world is, in part, made possible by research efforts that provide those in a position to improve disabled people’s lives more tools and information. That being said, the disabled individual must not be burdened by this community and global interest and expected to retell their experiences at a moment’s noticed when prompted by those who, however well-meaning, are outside their community. The r/Blind community, for example, is acutely aware of the impact of “survey saturation.”

The Web Accessibility Survey attempts to bridge this gap between person-to-person contact and wider research, and to lessen the impact on disabled participants. It was designed within disabled communities based on the insights from other surveys and on the anecdotal trends discussed by and observed within disabled communities. By collecting data on a range of disabilities and access needs, it aimed to be intersectional and informative. By leveraging community insights, it aimed to bring as-of-yet underrepresented trends into a quantitative perspective. Finally, it aimed to combat survey saturation, by presenting disabled communities with an opportunity to impact actions on web accessibility through an initiative by the community, for the community.

Stylized circle split in half showing employees in the office on one side and the americaneagle.com HQ building on the other.


Not the clothing company or the airline. Americaneagle.com is a web design, development, and digital marketing agency with over 25 years of experience transforming the way that brands interact with their audience in the digital space.

Americaneagle.com includes a dedicated accessibility practice with certified specialists that have supported some of the world’s most recognized brands in creating inclusive accessible digital solutions.

To help educate clients as well as the accessibility industry, Americaneagle.com opened up and sponsored the Web Accessibility Survey efforts with team members, tooling, development, and hosting.