Squarespace Weak on Accessibility and ADA Compliance

Squarespace has taken the wrong approach to accessibility.

And their stance on accessibility can be condensed down into a single blog post that was coincidentally updated just two days ago on November 28th.

And so I’m on this post right now and I’ll link to it in the description.

And in the frequently asked questions section, I’m going to read a few excerpts.

Is my site accessible?

Accessibility requirements differ around the world you are responsible for ensuring your site complies with applicable laws.

Squarespace customer support can’t provide advice about making your site compliant with any specific accessibility laws, regulations, or standards.

Another question: Is Squarespace working to improve accessibility?

Yes. Squarespace takes accessibility seriously. We’re always looking to improve and this work is ongoing. We’re committed to making our services more accessible to users of all abilities. We’re in the process of reviewing our services to improve user experience and to make it easier for our customers to make their sites accessible.

This is problematic and it sounds like the legal team has bottled accessibility.

It’s pure speculation, but that’s what it sounds like because there’s so much weak and hedging language rather than just embracing accessibility.

And, really, I don’t think it does anything to really mitigate legal risk.

You don’t have to overextend yourself and say that Squarespace will make your website ADA compliant or ADA compliant or 508 compliant. You don’t have to do that but you can do more.

And one way you can do more is by simply having an accessibility statement.

Squarespace does not have a published accessibility statement – for a website builder platform that is unacceptable.

And their statement can be really found in this single blog post under a subheading, Squarespace takes accessibility seriously.

Okay well how seriously because it doesn’t look like you take it seriously at all.

And, yeah, this amounts to a quick tips blog post.

Worse for them, you know sometimes you can look at recent updates and say, okay, well we know this you know this organization is proactive about accessibility.

In this case, their blog post was updated on November 28th 2022 so as of two days ago their stance was we’re working on it.

You’re working on it?

Website accessibility has been a big topic, a main topic of discussion around website creation now for several years and you’re still working on it.

What do we have concrete to take away from this blog post?

Really nothing. You’ve got a quick tip- quick tips guide and a few frequently asked questions where you basically say, hey we can’t really help you.

Again, you know, and that just gets to my next bullet point this is weak hedging language and then if you look at squarespace.com they’re accessibility on their site isn’t horrible but there are still they have a number of accessibility issues themselves that they should have remediated a long time ago if nothing else to make their own website accessible.

But they have a responsibility as a platform to make sure that their customers can create- have have as much as possible to create an accessible website.

Squarespace should be following Wix’s lead in that Wix is trying to make their websites as accessible as possible out-of-the-box.

Wix acknowledges, hey we can’t make your website fully accessible because you edit and control the content but to the extent we can we’re going to help you.

And that’s the approach that Squarespace should be taking So what they have right now is embarrassing.