Around the world, surveys are conducted that focus on technologies used by people who are blind or have low vision. The largest of these is done by WebAIM in the United States, including their Screen Reader User Survey and Survey of Users with Low Vision. However, there is usually very low representation from Australia and New Zealand.

In April 2021, with support from Blind Citizens Australia, Blind Citizens New Zealand and Next Sense, Intopia conducted a survey of the technology preferences of people who live in Australia or New Zealand and are blind or have low vision. Others relying on similar technology also replied in small numbers. We received a pleasing 156 responses to the survey.

A few disclaimers about the results:

  • Totals may not equal 100% due to rounding.
  • Total responses for each question may not equal 156 due to respondents not answering that particular question.
  • The sample was not controlled and may not represent all screen reader users.
  • We hope to conduct additional surveys of this nature again in the future. If you have recommendations or questions you would like us to ask, please email

The results below are high-level, preliminary results that we’re releasing for Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). We’ll be undertaking some detailed analysis in coming weeks, providing an update with further information.


Our first survey found that desktop/laptop use was nearly twice as popular to mobile device use, and the most common browser used by respondents was Chrome. JAWS was 50% more popular as a primary screen reader than NVDA. This contrasts with WebAIM’s 2019 results, that showed NVDA and Chrome to be about equal in popularity.

Apple iPhone was the mobile phone of choice, with three times the number of users choosing iPhone over Android. These results are very similar to WebAIM’s 2019 (predominantly North American) results.



We asked respondents several questions about themselves.


We had 156 responses:

  • 98 from Australia
  • 53 from New Zealand
  • 5 from other countries


The respondents ages were as follows:

Age Number of Responses Percentage of responses
18 to 25 years 14 9%
26 to 40 years 30 19%
41 to 55 years 51 33%
56 to 70 years 52 34%
71 to 85 years 7 5%

We were surprised at the low response rate from 18 to 25 year old’s, and will be looking for better ways to reach that cohort in future surveys.


Asked which disability respondents had, we received the following answers (note that multiple answers could be selected):

Disability Number of responses
Blindness – have no functional vision 66
Low vision – eyesight is reduced, limited or impaired and cannot be corrected with conventional glasses or contact lenses 50
Neurodiverse (e.g. ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyscalculia) 17
Deafness or hard of hearing 17
Motor disability affecting dexterity, reach or hand strength 15
Deafblind 14
Reading or learning difficulties 6
Other 10

Technology use

We asked respondents a number of questions about their primary technology.

Proficiency using the Internet

Respondents were asked to identify their own levels of proficiency with using the Internet:

Proficiency Number of responses Percentage of responses
Advanced 93 60%
Intermediate 53 34%
Beginner 5 3%
Not sure 4 3%

Primary technology

Device most commonly used to access the web:

Device Number of responses Percentage of responses
Desktop or Laptop 94 61%
Mobile Phone 44 29%
Tablet 14 9%
Other 2 1%

Other devices used to access the web

People also commonly used:

  • Smart home device
  • Smart TV
  • Smart watch

Only 6 people said that they don’t use multiple devices.

Operating system

Operating system used on main laptop or desktop device:

Operating system Number of responses Percentage of responses
Windows 116 86%
Mac OS 19 14%

Mobile phone

Type of mobile phone used:

Type of mobile phone Number of responses Percentage of responses
Apple iPhone 90 73%
Android (e.g. Samsung, Oppo, Pixel) 32 26%
Other 2 1%

Access Technology

Access technologies frequently used

Access technology frequently used by respondents (note that multiple answers could be selected):

Which of the following do you frequently use? Number of responses
Screen reader software 102
Screen magnifier software 40
Braille display 39
Browser text size settings 31
Operating system settings 29
Browser Zoom (zooms all page content) 27
High contrast mode settings 23
Colour changes using browser settings 16
Tools that highlight text as it reads 15
Other 24

Screen reader

Screen reader used most often on a desktop/laptop device:

Screen reader Number of responses Percentage of responses
JAWS 30 65%
NVDA 19 29%
VoiceOver on MacOSx 6 9%
Fusion 4 6%
Zoomtext 4 6%
Other 2 3%

Web browser

Web browser used most often on a desktop/laptop device with their main screen reader:

Browser Number of responses
Chrome 28
Edge 14
Firefox 14
Safari 6
Internet Explorer 11 1
Other 1

Screen magnifier

Screen magnifier used most often on a desktop/laptop device:

Screen magnifier Number of responses Percentage of responses
Magnifier – comes with Windows 10 33%
Zoomtext 7 23%
Fusion 7 23%
Other 6 20%

Further analysis of the Assistive Technology Survey will be available in the coming weeks. To be notified when full results are available, subscribe to the Intopia newsletter. A form to subscribe is available on the Intopia home page.

Survey conducted and results produced with the support of Charlii Parker and Adem Cifcioglu.