While regulations for site accessibility have been around for years, companies have been slow to respond. I don’t believe it’s a matter of empathy or compassion on the side of corporations… I truly believe that companies are simply struggling to keep up.
As an example, Martech Zone ranks poorly for its accessibility. Over time, I’ve been working to improve both the coding, design, and metadata needed… but I can hardly keep up with just keeping my content up to date and publishing regularly. I don’t have the revenue or staff to keep on top of everything I need to already… I’m simply doing the best I can.
I don’t believe I’m the exception here… in fact, the numbers are startling when you analyze the web and its adoption of accessibility standards:
An analysis of the top million homepages on the web estimates that just 1 percent meet the most widely used accessibility standards.
What Is Accessibility? What Are The Standards?
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) define how to make digital content more accessible to people with disabilities. Accessibility involves a wide range of disabilities:
- Visual Disabilities – includes full or partial blindness, color blindness, and the ability to visually discriminate contrasting elements.
- Auditory disabilities – includes full or partial deafness.
- Physical disabilities – includes the ability to interact with a digital medium through hardware other than typical user interface devices like a keyboard or a mouse.
- Speech disabilities – includes the ability to interact with a digital medium through speech. People with disabilities may have speech impediments that challenge modern systems or may lack the ability to speak at all and require some other type of user interface.
- Cognitive disabilities – conditions or impairments that inhibit a person’s mental process, including memory, attention, or comprehension.
- Language disabilities – includes both language and literacy challenges.
- Learning disabilities – includes the ability to navigate effectively and retain information.
- Neurological disabilities – includes the ability to interact with a website without being negatively impacted by the content. Examples may be visuals that trigger seizures.
What Components Of Digital Media Incorporate Accessibility?
Accessibility isn’t one component, it’s a combination of front-end user interface designs and the information presented:
- Content Management Systems – the platforms utilized to develop user experiences. These platforms need to accommodate accessibility options.
- Content – the information in a web page or web application, including text, images, and sounds as well as the code or markup that defines both structure and presentation.
- User-Agents – the interface utilized to interact with the content. This includes browsers, applications, and media players.
- Assistive Technology – screen readers, alternative keyboards, switches, and the scanning software that people with disabilities utilize to interact with the user agent.
- Evaluation tools – web accessibility evaluation tools, HTML validators, CSS validators, that provide feedback to the company on how to improve the site’s accessibility and what your level of compliance is.
AccessiBe: Incorporating AI for Accessibility
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is proving to be more and more helpful in ways we didn’t expect… and accessibility is now one of them. accessiBe combines two applications that together achieve full compliance:
- An accessibility interface for all the UI and design-related adjustments.
- An AI-powered background to process and handle the more complex requirements – optimization for screen-readers and for keyboard navigation.
Here’s an overview video:
Without accessiBe, the process of web accessibility remediation is done manually. This takes weeks and costs tens of thousands of dollars. But what’s most concerning about manual remediation is that once it’s finished, it gradually gets ruined due to browser, CMS, and of course, website updates. Within months, a new project is needed.
With accessiBe, the process is much easier:
- The accessibility interface instantly appears on your website.
- accessiBe‘s AI starts scanning and analyzing your website.
- In up to 48 hours, your website is accessible and compliant to WCAG 2.1, ADA Title III, Section 508, and EAA/EN 301549.
- Every 24 hours, the AI scans for new and revised content to fix.
Shelling out thousands of dollars multiple times a year is not something most businesses can afford. By making web accessibility effortless, affordable, and continuously maintained – accessiBe changes the game.
accessiBe also offers a Litigation Support Package at no extra cost, in the case that your website’s compliance is challenged. Along with their personal attention, the package includes professional audits, reports, accessibility mapping, compliance supporting documentation, guidance, and more.
Disclosure: My firm Highbridge is an AccessiBe partner and we are utilizing my affiliate partner tracking link in this article. If you require assistance with configuring and deploying AccessiBe, we can assist.