Should I Put an Accessibility Icon on My Website?

Sharing the split screen with me is the universal symbol for accessible parking spaces. And we’ve all seen the accessibility icons or the accessibility logos or symbols that are on websites. And I think at one point, those icons were a plus. I think they did create positive imagery, and they were associated with having an accessible website.

At this point, they are now so strongly associated with overlay widgets that it’s no longer a plus, it’s a negative. Overlay widgets do not make websites accessible. They don’t make them ADA compliant. They don’t stop litigation. And if you look at the actual accessibility community, they hate them. And they hate them because they have co-opted accessibility and turned it into something that’s supposed to be something that you can take care of with installing just a widget.

And you can’t. It’s not the idea that some kind of automated accessibility would be bad, but the problem is that there is no such thing as automated accessibility. You can’t install a widget on your website and make it accessible. In fact, you can actually introduce accessibility issues. So these widgets, these overlay widgets, they all have a symbol that you click on, and there are any number of menu options that can render adjustments to a website, but they don’t make the website fundamentally accessible, which is just a whole problem.

And there are videos and videos, hours of content on why overlay widgets are so bad. And I will link to below, and there you can see the brunt of the problem. But now what has happened is these icons are associated with these overlay widgets. So if you had an icon, it may give the impression that you have an overlay widget.

I think what I would do is I would stick to an accessibility statement, and I would do away with the icon, because you don’t want to have that negative connotation, that negative association following your website. So I wouldn’t have an accessibility icon on my website. I would publish an accessibility statement. I would have a thorough accessibility statement at that, demonstrating investment and a true commitment to accessibility beyond just the word spoken, beyond just the statement itself or the statement of commitment itself.

I would make it easy to find out what actions I had taken to make my website accessible. But what I wouldn’t do now is I wouldn’t put an accessibility icon just because I think that overlays have become such an insidious and they have such a horrible reputation, that I wouldn’t want anybody to think that I was associated with an overlay widget in any way.