Why You Shouldn’t Use Accessibility Overlays

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Hi everyone. Today I’m going to show you that how the accessible apps are not really accessible or they are not going to make your website accessible and might get you sued. So first of all, as you can see, this is a shopify store and we have this accessibility app installed. And we are going to use this Wave Chrome extension to see if there is an issue on the website. And when we run that, as you can see, there is no erro r and no contrast error on this website. I’m going to refresh this page. Let’s go to the Best seller and let’s look at here. So there is zero error and zero contrast error. But that’s not the case if we try to check this website on the webaim.org. And let’s try that. Okay, so you see 13 contrast errors. And actually on the other way when we’re using this extension, it was showing the zero errors and zero contrast errors. Let’s try another page and see what results we get. So we go on Best seller page. As I showed you on that page, there were zero errors. So let’s try that over here. Let’s see. So let’s run the command. Okay, the page is loaded and you can see it’s the same collection page, Best seller. And you will see it’s showing the one error and five contrast error. But again, if we come on this page and sorry, we run this Wave app. So that’s the case. So basically these apps are hiding the errors and they are not basically fixing the errors. So hiding is not going to help. Because when any blind people, any law firm come on their website and they check your website, they are going to see how your website is performing. They are not going to see these apps. And that’s where you get the p roblem. And the major thing is your website should be accessible. And the tab button, the tab button is basically a button on your keyboard above the cap log button. So that tab button should be working because mostly partially like blind person or the blind person, when they use your website, they use the different software, like the different Windows software. They use the iOS accessible tools. So I’m going t o show you, that how we’re going to test that website on a tab. So I’m going to go on homepage, I’m going to use the tab key on the keyboard. So you can see. First thing is, okay, let’s try that. Okay, so first thing is coming there account wishlist and okay, it’s working, it’s working. Now what happened? Skip this, skip the whole part, skip the banner, skip all that text and it just directly come to this banner. And now from these two banners, it skipped the Best seller and directly came over here. Now it skipped all these sections. Skip all the pictures. It’s just going on this picture. But skip this text, this text. And now it’s just directly come to these pictures. Now in this box you will see directly watch our video but it skip this whole section. So, that’s the tab problem. And when somebody is coming on your website and they are not going to see all the feature, then you get lawsuit, then you get sued, then you get problem. So, we strongly recommend not to use these app because they are not going to help you. You should hire a developer and get your website accessible properly as per the guidance for WCGA and once that fixed, then you’re not going to f ace any issue and you will not need any kind of app. And tabs working should be checked twice for all the website. And see, you can personally test your website if it’s functioning properly as I showed you in this video. You can just follow the thing s and you can see if it’s working or not. And you can use the voiceover command turned on in your Mac or in your iPhone and you can even test that through voiceover as well. So hopefully that video will help you. If you have any questions, if you nee d any help, you can visit our website Ecomback.com or you can email us at sales@ecomback.com for more information. Thank you.

Overlay Accessibility Apps Aren’t Really Accessible

Overlay solutions are automated software programs that, in a nutshell, add a layer to the site to address only a tiny percentage of accessibility issues. They simply “fix” the easy stuff while omitting essential components, making it impossible to claim that your website is ADA compliant.

In this age of social media, some websites have introduced quick fixes to solve a variety of problems. These quick treatments are typically referred to as an “accessibility button,” which can only be accessed by some disabled people who have to locate and activate the app.

The button opens a toolbar that contains features such as text adjustments (size, spacing, alignment), color (contrast, saturation, monochrome), cursor adjustments, magnification, and a screen reader. Artificial Intelligence is used in a few accessibility buttons to interpret pictures and add automatically generated descriptive tags to them. However, the actual user of a screen reader seldom benefits from this technology.

Accessibility Button Is Not the Solution to ADA Compliance

When running a simple automated test using WAVE and Google Lighthouse, you can clearly see that the button is essentially a band-aid loosely covering the site and not actually solving all accessibility errors. In fact, overlays miss 70% of WCAG issues.

Aside from the legal concerns, overlays might present barriers for persons with impairments in how they experience a website. For instance, there are many ADA errors that are ignored by accessibility overlay tools. This includes the absence of headings or headings that aren’t properly coded, missing alternative text on images, no labels on form fields, lack of submit button, among others.

Overlays don’t actually address accessibility concerns in the source code, so people with impairments may still be unable to access information on the site at an equal level as everyone else. Overlays also do not take into account the needs of users who rely on assistive technology. Users that use assistive technology already have their devices and browsers set to their preferred settings. Sometimes, overlays cause these configurations to be ignored and force them to utilize the overlay instead.

Overlay tools may also have a negative impact on the performance of your site. Because overlays are frequently hosted on a third-party vendor’s server, if the overlay script is sluggish to load, you will have no control over it. Even custom overlay solutions lack flexibility and might break during routine site maintenance. One little modification on your website has the potential to affect the whole overlay.

When you combine all these issues together, it’s easy to see why we don’t recommend any overlay solutions. All in all, overlays create a negative user experience, alienate this portion of your user base, and result in negative brand perception and potential revenue loss. By utilizing overlays, you are providing persons with disabilities with a web experience that is less useful, which is directly opposed to the goals of digital inclusion.

Have an Accessible Website by using EcomBack’s ADA Compliant Website Services

EcomBack has a 7-step strategy to address the accessibility concerns on your website with the goal of avoiding future lawsuits.

After meeting with your company and discussing the best approach, our team of ADA consultants starts with a comprehensive audit to identify urgent problems, alerts, color contrast, media, video captions, ARIA, page flow, and more. We also provide an Accessibility Statement and ADA training for your employees.

Contact us for a website audit consultation today!

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