Can Overlays Like Accessibe Make Your Website ADA Compliant? DOJ Leaves Them Out

I am on and I am screen recording the post entitled, “Guidance on Web Accessibility and the ADA” and this was published by the Department of Justice, the DOJ.

And the Department of Justice is very important on the topic of website accessibility because they are the federal agency that regulates and enforces Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities act.

And as everyone knows, most litigation surrounding website accessibility is coming in under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and other anti-discrimination laws that run in parallel with Title III.

So what’s interesting is if you go through this post and I’m scrolling through it now and I’m not not really scrolling through it to read through everything so much as to show that at no point in this post is there any mention of overlays or AccessiBe or plugins or widgets.

And the one section you would think that there would be any note of that is the resources section at the very end and so I’ve stopped the screen recording on that resources section and we see five bullet points:

• 18F Accessibility Guide
• Section 508 information and communication technology accessibility standards
• Section508.Gov and
• The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

Now don’t you think that if there were this “solution” to website accessibility that was as easy as installing JavaScript code and embedding that code into your website, don’t you think that everything would be resolved right now?

Don’t you think that the DOJ would say you need to install this code so that you can make your website ADA compliant?

They didn’t- there’s no mention of any type of software, technology, app, plugin – anything of that sort, nothing is mentioned in this entire web guidance post.

And I’m scrolling up the post now and it’s dated March 18th 2022.

So this is from about seven months ago and there is no mention of overlays. And one would think that if there truly were this, you know, this simple installation that could make a website accessible meaningfully accessible / ADA compliant that the DOJ would have mentioned it.

And maybe they don’t mention any company specifically, but they would make mention of such technology so when you’re considering one of these overlay options, keep this in mind.

And I will link this post below so that you can read the guidance from the DOJ themselves.

This is, this is- a lot of the information here wasn’t new I think what was the most significant was the DOJ provided concrete examples of what could be a website accessibility barrier.

The DOJ didn’t explicitly say that conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines is required and I think that’s for that’s for a few reasons but one important one is that it’s important to remember that WCAG is not the law.

It may be incorporated into the law at certain times but perfect conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines is not necessary for meaningful access.

So I’ll provide a link to this below but this is the very fact that overlays were omitted from this post and they’ve been around for years but the very fact that they were they were omitted from the post tells you- it speaks volumes.