Accessibility Tools – AI-powered (accessiBe)
Accessibility tools are key enablers in the workplace and on the internet.
How do you feel about accessibility, especially on the internet? Wouldn’t you agree that everyone should have access? What would you say if accessibility cost tens of thousands of dollars? Not a big deal, right? Companies have plenty of money. And what if their mission isn’t focused on people with disabilities? A little more complicated but, just as sidewalks should be accessible to people with disabilities, so the internet should be accessible to all.
I wrote about this topic a while ago in Why is Accessibility Important for a Website? . One thing has changed since then. I am now aware of a solution which just might solve the website accessibility issue once and for all.
Accessibility for Small Businesses
Here’s where it gets even a little more complicated. Small businesses may have limited revenue. If that’s coupled with a narrow profit margin, it starts getting harder. For many years, maintaining an accessible website was very expensive. But ignoring accessibility could result in costly litigation. Talk about a rock and a hard place.
What if your small business is a single-person blog? Perhaps you are a foodie and have fulfilled a dream by launching a food blog. You’re doing very well, which could mean you’re earning $40-50,000 a year. You’re working long hours but you love what you do. Then someone says you aren’t accessible and it will cost $15,000 to fix the problems. Might your response be, I care about people with disabilities but… I can’t afford to fix the problems. Furthermore, I just want to blog about food. I don’t have to reach everyone.
Sounds reasonable right? But what if I have disabilities and can’t access the blog. And, I really love food and want to read every food blog I can find. But most of them are inaccessible. Well, that certainly isn’t fair.
Accessibility Tools to the Rescue
There has never been a good solution to this problem. A website designed from the outset to be accessible might be more sustainable but would still require effort. Websites developed without accessibility in mind can be hard to adapt. And, while my focus is on people who are blind, the world of disability is much bigger. How about people who are mobility-impaired? Are you protecting people with seizures? Intellectual disabilities are an entirely different matter. And the list goes on.
The bottom line is even if you wanted an accessible website, there were no easy answers for bloggers and similar small businesses. Happily that has changed and brings me to the focus of today’s blog, accessiBe. But, before I go there…
Let’s talk about accessibility regulations
In the US, you must comply with WCAG2.1 , ADA Title III and Section 508. In Canada, it’s AODA and in the EU, you must comply with EN301 549 . Those are the main ones and there is other...