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THE BOTTOM LINE

The Internet is unavailable

The digital divide still exists: not just socially or geographically, but because the Internet is largely inaccessible to people with disabilities. Nucleus conducted in-depth interviews with 73 adults who are blind to understand the realities of Internet accessibility for a subset of the larger disabled population. With their assistance, we analyzed hundreds of Web sites and found that more than 70 percent of Internet sites—from top retailers to presidential campaign sites to the sites of sitting elected officials—all have critical accessibility blockers, rendering the prime directive of those sites inaccessible. For Internet retailers alone, denying full access to consumers who are blind is leaving as much as $6.9 billion annually to a handful of accessible alternatives.