Building a More Inclusive Digital World With accessiBe’s AI-Powered OverlayOctober 19, 2021 No Comments
Featured article by Jeff Broth
These days, most of us agree that we should all be working harder to make the world a more inclusive place for all.. After all, individuals with disabilities are commonly referred to as “the world’s largest minority,” with over 1 billion people, or 15% of the global population, living with some form of disability.
Just as business owners make physical provisions for their customers and visitors with things such as wheelchair ramps, automatic doors, and disabled toilets, online website owners are also required to make accommodations to make their websites fully accessible to all users. With this in mind, accessiBe has developed a state-of-the-art, AI-powered overlay that helps businesses of all shapes and sizes achieve compliance of their online sites without the need for expensive website overhauls. Thus, companies can minimize the risk of lawsuits while simultaneously improving the online experience for their customers.
Web Accessibility: Laws and Guidelines
As it turns out, web accessibility isn’t left to the discretion of the website owners. Clear laws and guidelines stipulate the minimum level of accessibility that each website must provide to its users. If a business fails to meet these criteria, it could face a potential lawsuit. In the USA, there are three main laws/guidelines that you need to be aware of. These are:
- Section 508 of The Rehabilitation Act – Section 508 is a series of rules that apply to government institutions, but it also applies to any business or organization that receives government funding. Section 508 requires that any digital platform or website that accepts federal funds and is accessed by the general public must comply with its rules, which mandate that all technology be accessible to persons with disabilities.
- ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Title III – This law prohibits discrimination “on the basis of disability in the activities of public accommodations.” The legislation was originally intended to address barriers at physical venues, but it is now being applied to websites and digital services.
- WCAG 2.1 – The WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) are the most important guidelines for web accessibility policy. They are used to establish the benchmark for web accessibility law in most countries. The WCAG is a large and complicated document; however, it can be boiled down into four main concepts. Websites must make efforts to ensure that these standards are followed on their site, ensuring that it is perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.
What Is A Web Accessibility Overlay?
In these instances, the business owner would have to hire a web designer to specifically rewrite and recode the site to achieve WCAG compliance. Of course, this can get expensive rather quickly, particularly if you have a large website with a significant backlog of content to tackle.
However, many of the existing web accessibility overlays have been criticized for conflicting with web accessibility guidelines. In some cases, it has been known to make the experience worse for disabled users. As David Shaffer Law points out, some accessibility overlays and plug-ins are creating a “separate but equal” experience for disabled users, which is, in fact, a form of discrimination. On top of this, many solutions on the market offer a one-size-fits-all approach, which means that there is no ability for users to customize their experience based on their disability. Furthermore, clunky overlays are known for being slow and inaccurate, usually hindering web performance for all users.
accessiBe: Best In Class Automated Web Accessibility Solution that Ensures ADA & WCAG Compliance
Founded in 2018, accessiBe has quickly become the number one web accessibility solution on the market and is currently trusted to protect almost 100,000 sites, including industry-leading organizations such as Netflix, Yokohama, GlaxoSmithKline, LA Lakers, British Airways, Hilton, Porsche, and Fox News. They recently secured 28 million dollars in Series A funding and have recently opened offices in New York and are planning to double their number of employees.
Here are some of the main advantages accessiBe’s overlay provides over the competition:
- Unprecedented levels of compliance – accessiBe’s AI-Powered overlay is the most compliant on the market, helping businesses achieve compliance with WCAG 2.1, ADA Title III, Section 508, The Unruh Act, EEA, ACA, and more.
- Caters to a wider range of disabilities - accessiBe covers the most diverse range of disabilities compared to other providers on the market. Their overlay goes above and beyond what is laid out in the guidelines, ensuring that each of your website visitors has the best experience possible. This helps to extend market reach, boost brand perception, and avoid costly litigations while ensuring all users can operate and interact with your website.
- Customizable – accessiBe’s AI-Powered overlay provides people with disabilities the option to customize their experience according to their personal needs. This is a game changer since there is a diverse range of needs and requirements even among individuals that share the same category of disability.
- Automated – The most complicated accessibility modifications, such as screen-reader optimization and keyboard navigation, are handled by accessiBe’s AI technology. In most cases, the entire procedure takes no more than 48 hours from start to finish, after which your website will be compliant – and you don’t even have to lift a finger.
- Continuously updated – One of the best features of the accessiBe overlay tool is that its AI technology scans once every 24 hours to make sure websites remain compliant. Suppose there is new content added or adjustments made to previous web pages. In that case, the accessiBe overlay will drop back in once per day, ensuring new updates are being remediated for compliance. This means you are continuously protected from lawsuits.
As web accessibility becomes a more critical issue in our society, there’s little doubt that the number of litigations and lawsuits filed against non-compliant websites will continue to rise. Fortunately, accessiBe offers business owners an easy solution to bring their website up to scratch, ensuring compliance against a wide variety of laws, rules, and guidelines.
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