One Reason Why Overlays (AccessiBe, UserWay, etc.) Can’t Make Your Website ADA Compliant

Let’s go ahead and assume that AccessiBe and any other overlay actually makes your website accessible.

Let’s assume that and it’s wrong, that’s not true. Overlays these accessibility widgets, they don’t make your website accessible whatsoever in any way shape or form, but let’s just assume that they do.

Even if they do, even if they worked flawlessly, there is one fatal flaw and that fatal flaw is that you have to activate it.

So you’re creating this separate experience whereby if someone has a disability they have to activate- they have to activate an accessible version of your website because your website inherently isn’t accessible.

So what happens if someone doesn’t know to activate this separate version of your website?

Well they’re left with an inaccessible website.

That’s a fatal flaw, right. Because what overlays are hoping is that everyone focuses in on screen reader users because their link to activate is going to be presented first to someone who is using a screen reader.

But I mean what if a screen reader screen reader user simply bypasses it right away just knowing they’re going to go to content lower down on the page. What if they just they they’re skipping ahead right away and they get an inaccessible website because they didn’t pay attention to the link.

Or what if someone had what if- what if someone has a different disability and they go to the website and they don’t notice the clickable icon to access this supposedly accessible version of the website, what are they left with? An inaccessible website.

And this is just one of the ways that overlays or anything that where you are enabling accessibility you are activating accessibility- any- anytime there’s a mechanism available for you to activate accessibility, you have failed accessibility, you have not made your website accessible.

What you have done is you have created a separate version of your website to be rendered with accessibility options available on the side that may or may not make your website more accessible.

Think of- there nothing wrong with let’s say like there’s a plugin and you can increase the size of your text easily on the on your website using a plus or minus- on using the plus or minus options from that plugin.

There’s nothing wrong with having that on your website

What is wrong is using a widget that you’ve installed to- in furtherance of making your website accessible.

That doesn’t- it doesn’t make your website accessible it just it just adds those options on top of your website.

It doesn’t work in and of itself, but the problem is one problem is is that your websites not accessible it’s it would only in theory be accessible if someone activated that option, but if they don’t activate it then they’re left within an accessible website.

And I’ve seen time and again where complaints are filed in court and the accessibility widget is ignored or they say that it doesn’t activate it, they say that it creates a worse experience than if there had been no accessibility widget- widget.

And it doesn’t matter which one it is they’re all basically the same some do some things that others don’t that there are.

This is not amazing technology this is very rudimentary technology that has been used over and over again it’s been repackaged over and over again.

It’s not special, it’s not cutting edge technology, it’s very basic software that can that they cannot they could have options that render your website differently and sometimes there’s a marginal benefit but more importantly it doesn’t make your website accessible.

But even if it did you still have to know to activate it and in that case it’s easy to not see the icon, to not be aware of the icon, to bypass the icon, or, more importantly, not want to use this accessibility widget.

So it- just the widget itself- the widget itself introduces contemplations that shouldn’t even be necessary for someone to use and interact access and interact with a website right it.

Everyone should be able to go to a website – the way we experience that website may be different – but either way all all experiences should be accessible.