Introducing accessFind - the world's first search engine for only accessible websites

accessiBeSystem
May 25 2021

Introducing accessFind, the world’s first search engine for only accessible websites, connecting millions of users with disabilities to the potential of the Internet.

Before we dive in, accessFind in a nutshell:

  • A nonprofit initiative, created with the community for the community and in collaboration with influential disability-focused organizations
  • A way for people with disabilities to enjoy the tremendous opportunities the internet has to offer, such as finding an electrician, paying rent, and so much more
  • Powered by accessiBe, as part of our mission to make the internet accessible by 2025.

Understanding the web accessibility gap

According to the CDC, 1 in 4 adults has a form of disability. This is 20% of the population that needs accessibility but currently, out of 350 million active websites in the US (and over 1 Billion worldwide!), less than 2% are accessible to people with disabilities. This disproportion has created the ‘web accessibility gap’.

This gap is growing each day as more websites are being built than made accessible. This is because most websites are built by business owners who use affordable, template-and-plugin-based website builders that aren’t able to provide accessibility by default.

Though there are only about 250,000 accessible websites in the US, a drop in the bucket compared to the total number of websites, this is still a significant amount of services, online stores, and informational websites that web users with disabilities would, and should, use today if they knew where to find them.

So how can people with disabilities find these accessible websites and enjoy the opportunities that the Internet has to offer?

Currently, the chances of finding an accessible website in a particular search are slim to none because the total number of accessible websites is so low compared to how many websites exist. Since there are only 8 results on the first results page, in most cases there won’t be an accessible website for people with disabilities to choose from. This makes the search experience frustrating and even futile for people with disabilities.

Search engines are practically the gateway to the internet. We make 5.4 billion online searches per day, but for more than 1.5 billion people with disabilities around the world, this gateway is practically closed.

accessFind enables people with disabilities to enjoy the tremendous opportunities the internet has to offer

accessFind is a consumer-centric, non-profit initiative. As the world’s first inclusive search engine, accessFind connects millions of users with disabilities with businesses, goods and services, and so much more.

accessFind also opens more opportunities for businesses by enabling them to gain greater exposure to potential customers, people with disabilities, that comprise a huge segment of the market. To submit your website at no cost click here.

“For too many people, using popular search engines is a frustrating and fruitless experience,” said Shir Ekerling, CEO of accessiBe. “With the understanding of the web accessibility gap, the decision to put our resources into accessFind was an easy one. With accessFind, users with disabilities finally have a search engine that provides them with results of readily accessible websites, working to bridge the existing digital divide and giving accessible businesses direct value from making their website accessible and inclusive.”

accessFind is built for the community, with the community

Joshua Basile is a C4-5 quadriplegic, trial attorney, and founder of SPINALpedia.
He has been part of accessFind’s development and growth from the very beginning and is calling for disability-focused organizations to take part in making Internet history.

accessFind is created alongside people with disabilities and in collaboration with leading disability organizations such as The United Spinal Association, Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, The Viscardi Center, The IMAGE Center of Maryland, Earle Baum Center of the Blind, Senspoint, and Determined2Heal, who take the strategic role as accessFind’s founding members.

“We live, work and play in an increasing digital world. accessFind is the place for people with disabilities to search for websites and be assured they are accessible, thus eliminating the frustration that occurs when logging on to an inaccessible site,” said Michael Caprara, Chief Information Officer, The Viscardi Center. “We hope this is another step forward in encouraging businesses and organizations to make their websites accessible for all users and that every search engine follows accessFind’s lead.”

Being a Founding Member enables disability-focused organizations to represent their community, provide insights, and test and suggest features and improvements so the solution works better for their communities.

If your organization would like to lead the future of inclusive search, we invite you to join as Founding Members and have a seat at the table alongside other like-minded organizations. Find out more here.

Together, we can unlock web accessibility, and we believe accessFind is a big step forward for all disability communities and society as a whole.

Join accessFind today and take part in internet history.

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