We can all agree that web design is incredibly important. When done properly, it allows users to effortlessly reach the information they need – all it takes are a few clicks. This makes a vast repository of knowledge and everything that comes with it accessible to people all over the globe, almost regardless of the hardware, they’re using.
This is very significant to people with disabilities because online interaction removes so many problems and barriers they have to deal with in everyday life and elevates them to a playing field that is equal for all. This is what created the term “web accessibility”, and the principle behind it is much more important and impactful than you might at first think.
What is web accessibility
Web accessibility is a feature of all well-designed websites because that kind of website helps people with different kinds of disabilities to enjoy its content. Not only that, but disabled people can also contribute to the website in question and feel like valued members of an online community. A poorly-designed website, on the contrary, will erect new barriers these people have to overcome.
In short, these days good web design means that a website is not only intuitive but also accessible to any and all visitors, no matter the problem they’re struggling with.
However, web accessibility is also beneficial to people who are not disabled. Maybe your health is preventing you temporarily from enjoying websites like you usually do, maybe your Internet connection is not good, or you’re in a place where you just can’t turn the volume up…Web accessibility helps with all of that.
It is easy to see from all of this why businesses would want their websites to be web-accessible; at the very least, it broadens the pool of potential clients substantially. But there are other benefits to this, such as improved user experience and raised brand awareness, so it certainly pays to invest in making sure your website can be reached by as many people as possible.
In many countries, web accessibility is actually mandated by law: from the EU and the US, all the way to China, India, and Australia, websites have to be made accessible to pretty much everyone around the globe.
So how can you make sure your site meets all the criteria? How can you make sure that you’ve made your creation approachable to as many people as possible? Stick around and find out!
Best Web Accessibility Services
There are indeed many services out there that can help your website become accessible to people with a wide range of disabilities. Not only that, but they also make sure that you are compliant with legislation on a global scale and will even issue a certificate to you which you can then proudly display on your pages. But which one should you choose?
Here are the top 4 web accessibility services you can currently find on the market!
accessiBe is without the slightest doubt one of the best services of this kind on the market. It will automatically make your website compliant with all web accessibility legal requirements as soon as you get your hands on it.
The whole thing is actually composed of two separate applications – one that allows users to adjust the UI and generally the design of a website, and the other that uses advanced AI to help people with screen readers and those in need of keyboard navigation adjustments find their way around.
The great thing about this service is that it covers so many different disabilities. Not only can blind people “see” with it, but people whose eyesight is impaired in some other way can make plenty of adjustments to make the website easier to read. These include increasing the size of spacing, changing fonts, contrasts, and color ratios, enlarging the cursor, additional emphasizing of links, and many more options.
People with motor problems can count on the aforementioned AI to change the website so that it can be browsed with just a few buttons, and there is a detailed dictionary here which helps people with cognitive problems make the connections they would otherwise miss. Even people with epilepsy can have websites made completely safe for them because all flashing animations will be frozen.
ADA and WCAG 2.1 compliance is something you can count on from day one, and you will also get a certificate proving that you have indeed everything that the legislation requires.
It is also important to note that you can get a free 7-day trial of this product to see how it fits your needs, or you can schedule a demo whenever it suits you.
The pricing model is subscription-based, and you can choose between making annual or monthly payments. In the former case, however, you will get two months free. The prices start from 49$ per month (490$ per year) and depend on the number of unique pages a website has.
So, give this service a go and see why it is so widely recommended!
accessiBe WP Plugin
Before we move on to the next entry on this list, we have to mention that there also exists an accessiBe WP plugin that does absolutely everything we have described above. So, if you’re running a WordPress website, you can very easily make it 100% web-accessible. It’s all that the service has to offer, only in plugin form. Simple as 1, 2, 3!
If you want to make sure your website is compliant with all web accessibility legislation, most importantly ADA and WCAG, Deque can help you achieve that.
This company has been around for quite some time, having been founded in 1999, and the list of their clients is quite impressive, with Google and Microsoft leading the way. That immediately tells you that these people know very well what they’re doing.
The way Deque works is based on axe, the most popular toolkit for creating accessible websites in the world right now, but they also offer various services and even training designed to help your company’s team perform better and create something accessible to everyone.
Now, when it comes to axe tools, you get to choose between three main categories:
- axe DevTools (used to be known as WorldSpace Attest) is meant to be used as a code checker to help developers immediately react to problems with accessibility as they work. It blends seamlessly into other development tools, so creating an accessible website becomes pretty much a standard.
- axe Auditor creates tests and reports that allow anyone to pinpoint the problem both manually and automatically.
- axe Monitor is aimed at larger websites as it dynamically scans and monitors how accessible they are, plus it can also create detailed reports on the matter.
As we said, it is possible to get some services from Deque too, such as audits, verifications, and even the creation of programs and strategies that make sure you are always compliant with all the necessary legal standards.
Training for your employees can also be organized, and there are some very interesting methods involved, primarily Deque’s Accessibility Empathy lab which shows exactly how accessibility barriers affect some people.
Deque primarily aims at big companies with large teams involved, so while they are undoubtedly great at what they do, accessiBe will likely appeal to a larger audience because it’s a bit more intuitive and can be used by anyone. That’s why we put this service at number two.
Accessibility.works is another provider of accessibility-related services that makes sure your business is perfectly compliant with all relevant legislation.
First of all, they can provide consultation that can help you establish an accessibility program of your own. This assesses your risk and shows you how you can guide and lead your company so that it is always safe from any lawsuits.
Then there’s the option of conducting detailed tests and audits which can be done in several different ways. Automatic advanced tools, analysis of your code by an expert, an examination of the assistive technology you have in place, and much more will all be deployed to make sure your website is ADA compliant.
Remediation is also a big part of the company’s offer, and we think they do a really good job with this because a wide variety of issues is covered. For example, design can be changed to help people with impaired vision use the website more easily, code can be expanded to include assistive technologies, and the content, in general, will receive a complete overhaul. After all that, you will be absolutely sure you are in accordance with WCAG and will even get a certificate for that.
Finally, training sessions can also be arranged, something that is bound to help your team understand what they need to keep an eye on. This is divided into basic and more advanced lessons for content creators, designers, and developers, so every part of your team will know exactly how to approach their tasks.
There’s a very useful blog on the website that covers many interesting topics related to this issue, so if you’re looking for some light reading that will also educate you on the subject, you’ll love what you can find here.
Accessibility.works is very much an excellent company when it comes to helping their clients create websites suited for just about everyone, and their list of clients proves that. Therefore, they certainly deserve a spot on this list.
4. Bureau of Internet Accessibility (BoIA)
Last but not least, BoIA is also an entity that should be considered if you’re looking for someone who can help you make your website more accessible and ensure that it’s in tune with all legal requirements. They offer a variety of audits, from the more standard ones covering WCAG and ADA, all the way to kiosk audits. What’s particularly interesting is that you can get a free website analysis from them, which represents a great starting point.
The thing that helps BoIA stand out from the competition in this line of work is the fact that they are very focused on the clients’ staff. As a matter of fact, they will audit the staff too, in addition to the website, of course. Not only that, but the Bureau can offer expert help in staffing, which allows you to become more efficient and fulfill your company’s needs more easily.
Obviously, with this kind of philosophy, you can expect quality training too, and the one thing that we found quite interesting in this respect was the self-paced training which allows your team to access it whenever they want.
But there are many other interesting services you can expect here, as well, such as the 24/7 accessibility support for your website and the color contrast validator. The remediation services are also very detailed, plus there are several very useful checklists you can go through to see which elements you may be missing.
Blog and even webinars are also available, and that really rounds up the package here perfectly. In short, the Bureau of Internet Accessibility has a whole lot of features with which they can help you out, and if you are ever in need of expertise on the subject, don’t hesitate to contact them.
You may not think about it too much, but there is no doubt that web accessibility is incredibly important in this day and age. Not only does it help people with disabilities get online, but it also helps businesses thrive, reach more customers, and create a better user experience for everyone.
This can be especially important for big companies because web accessibility is mandated by law in most of the world, so making sure your website checks out means avoiding the risk of lawsuits.
There certainly are many companies out there that can analyze your website and help you correct any flaws that it might have, but they are mostly focused on providing their services to big corporations.
accessibe is different and its product is very intuitive and easy to use, something that people with disabilities are sure to appreciate a lot. Not to mention that it also comes as a plugin for WordPress.
That’s why, despite the fact that all services on this list are top-quality, we’ve put accessiBe at the top. With it, in just a few clicks, users can change the features of your website to better suit their condition.
Now, some of you may be thinking that we forgot to mention Userway in this article on accident. Well, there’s actually quite a good reason why it’s not on our list.
Although Userway does take care of some accessibility issues, the changes it makes are only cosmetic. What this means is that by using Userway, you’re not addressing many of the WCAG compliance requirements. So while Userway is a step toward achieving WCAG compliance it is definitely not a standalone solution. More information on the issue can be found in this article.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you – whichever of the aforementioned companies you go with, you won’t be making a mistake.
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- Top 4 Web Accessibility Services That Will Make Your Site More Inclusive and Approachable - November 22, 2020
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