Accessibility Overlay Widgets are Fugazis

The other day I thought of the perfect term for website accessibility overlays and that is fugazi.

So overlays amount to fugazi accessibility.

And what does fugazi mean?

Well it’s a slang term and it means a few different things.

But, generally, it means something is fake or artificial or has no substance, it’s a counterfeit, and it can also mean something that is messed up beyond repair.

So I think of fugazi in terms of watches.

So with a Rolex watch, if you don’t have a real watch – if it’s a fake, then it’s a fugazi.

You have a fugazi watch.

So with website accessibility, overlays are fugazis.

And here on the white board I have drawn a website, there’s a video on top, there’s a main body of content and then there’s a sidebar form fields and button and then more content beneath that.

And then last there’s a tiny accessibility icon and then I’ve superimposed that to represent this widget with a menu of supposed accessibility options.

Now this lays over the website – any changes that are rendered they over the website.

Hence the term overlay.

And so overlays are not real accessibility because real accessibility that actually makes your website accessible requires you to remediate your code, to go in and edit your code, to remediate your content, to make sure that your content has the accessibility considerations incorporated.

So the way we do this is we look to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and they tell us all of the different ways that we can make our website accessible.

But what we do know is that these overlay widgets do not make your website WCAG conformant.

And I have here written by the accessibility widget – it’s just a cheap widget, that’s all it is.

It amounts to fugazi accessibility, you are being sold a fake, you are being sold a lie.

I think of it as we’re on the streets and there’s a guy out there selling Rolex watches for $100 on the corner.

He’s selling you fakes, you should know it.

If you don’t then you’re not paying attention so does he really is the perfect term for this and and over.

I think one of the problems is people that buy the people the website owner and operators that are buying accessibility widgets, they’re believing the lie.

This is- it’s not there. And so but the problem is these overlay vendors, they don’t have any problem with lying to you and telling you that their cheap widget is a real solution.

And what happens is the overlay widgets installed, you’re showing everybody you have fake accessibility, but meanwhile you’re not- if you think that it’s protecting you against litigation you are mistaken.

If you go to you will see that a number of complaints have been filed against websites with fugazi accessibility.

So the point of this video is that if you have an overlay it’s fake accessibility, your website is not actually accessible to people with disabilities, and you are still completely susceptible to any litigation.