accessiBe Review: An AI-Based Website Accessibility Tool to Comply with the ADA
Did you know that your business can get slapped with an expensive lawsuit if your website doesn’t comply with ADA guidelines?
Yes, you read that right!
For one thing, the ADA classifies websites as ‘places of [commercial] and public accommodation.’
What this means is that since your business website is accessed by the general public from anywhere in the world, people with disabilities should be able to use them easily.
In 2018, the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group launched the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. This document contains a lengthy list of recommendations and specifications to make the different elements on your website PWD-friendly.
There’s just one problem:
Many of the recommendations included in WCAG 2.1 would require a significant amount of coding and programming, like including separate drop-down menus and adding a virtual keyboard. For many business owners, that means hiring a web developer that’s familiar not only with their website’s programming language but also with WCAG 2.1 and ADA guidelines.
Unfortunately, this option doesn’t come cheap. Not to mention that it would take a significant amount of time for a web developer to have everything in place. Needless to say, the options for a small business owner appears bleak.
On the one hand, they’ll have to double, or even triple, their sales so that they can compensate for the additional expenses they’ll incur to make their website ADA and WCAG 2.1 compliant. On the other hand, if they choose to forego this, they run the risk of being slapped with a compliance lawsuit.
Not only would this mean a hefty fine, but it would also damage the reputation and image of their businesses.
But what if there’s a way you can make sure that your website complies with ADA guidelines while only investing a fraction of the cost of hiring a web developer?
What is accessiBe?
accessiBe is a fully automated platform that is AI-powered. It scans, analyzes, and adjusts the elements in each page of your platform so that it complies with both ADA and WCAG 2.1 guidelines.
The platform was developed by three young men—Shir, Gal, and Dekel—who understood the biggest challenge small business owners face when making their websites ADA and WCAG 2.1 compliant.
They realized that the best way to overcome this challenge was to provide small business owners with a cost-effective solution to make their website PWD-friendly without affecting their bottom line.
Once you install accessiBe’s script into your website, it sections each layer of information into blocks to understand its composition and how each of the elements work.
It then processes the data collected and determines which ones are the most vital. It then feeds the essential data into the interface that will help your customers with disabilities easily browse your site.
Depending on the amount of information that’s currently on your website, this entire process could take up to 48 hours to complete.
Advantages of using accessiBe
One of the most significant advantages that accessiBe gives you is that its script is compatible with any website, even if yours was built from scratch without using a CMS.
After you create an account, you can copy the script that you’ll integrate into your website.
accessiBe has a library of installation guides that will teach you how to integrate the script, making the process even easier.
Another benefit of using accessiBe is that it makes all your new content compliant to ADA and WCAG 2.1 regulations — even without you having to pay anyone additional fees to make sure your new content (or website update) complies with the standards. accessiBe’s AI scans your website every 24 hours to make sure that all of your website elements comply with the regulations.
Also, accessiBe’s founders were guided by a team of lawyers that understand all the regulations inside out.
It’s for this very reason why companies currently using accessiBe on their website achieve a 96% success rate.
And since accessiBe’s script is integrated into your website, your customers with disabilities can access its interface on both their desktop or their mobile devices.
How accessiBe works
As soon as someone visits your website, accessiBe’s script automatically launches its accessibility platform. This is done intentionally so that if that person visiting your website has a disability, he or she can instantly use the platform. On the other hand, if your website visitor doesn’t have any disability, he or she can click on the “X” on the upper left-hand corner of the platform to close it.
accessiBe’s platform provides your PWD visitors with a host of different options that they can activate by clicking on the icons. For example, if your website visitor is visually impaired, he or she can adjust the font size and spacing between letters to make the text easier to read. A website visitor with epilepsy can choose to either stop any animations on your website and change the colors on your site under the Color and Display options.
accessiBe also gives people with disabilities a separate drop-down menu to make it easier for them to browse through your website that looks like this.
Your PWD visitors can access this by holding down the Alt button and then pressing the number 1 key.
Website accessibility can be easily achieved with the help of accessiBe
As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure that all your website visitors enjoy a positive experience while on your site. You also must ensure your business complies with regulations and policies that have been set in place by the government. accessiBe was specifically developed to help you achieve both of these.
Of course, nothing comes for free, and you’ll need to invest to use this for your website. For starters, you can get accessiBe for an annual fee of $490. But then again, ask yourself: Would you be willing to take the risk of getting slapped with an ADA-lawsuit that can potentially mean thousands of dollars worth of loss?
Some lawyers that are familiar with dealing with these types of lawsuits would tell you that you might have to pay about $50,000 to $75,000 to get these sorted out.
What are your thoughts about website owners getting sued for not being compliant with ADA standards?