The concept of accessibility plays a crucial role in the development and management of a website. Basically, good accessibility helps a large portion of the population – people with disabilities – browse your site with greater ease. Not only is it an ethical duty on your part, but it also helps you reach out to a greater audience. Apart from that, the law demands websites to be ADA and WCAG compliant as well. Failure to meet those standards can lead to lawsuits and strict legal action against the website’s owner.
This is where accessiBe comes in. It is one of the best accessibility plugins available in the market. Simple to use and operate, it can drastically improve your website’s accuracy within minutes. And when it does, trust me – you will be surprised to see the difference it makes. It is undoubtedly the ideal solution for ADA and WCAG compliance. In this review, I will cover all the features of accessiBe in a systematic manner.
How Exactly Does accessiBe Work?
accessiBe functions by using two different applications to help your website achieve complete ADA and WCAG compliance.
- Foreground application – This is the plugin’s accessibility interface that lets disabled users adjust various parameters of your website, in order to meet their own unique requirements.
- Background application – This is based on the plugin’s exclusive AI technology, which carries out tasks like screen reading, optimizing keyboard navigation, and “heavy lifting”.
It is important to note that although most other accessibility solutions offer one of these two applications for manual adjustment, accessiBe is the only plugin which deals with both of them in a completely automated manner. Moreover, ADA and WCAG compliance needs to be monitored continuously. After all, websites are always being altered and updated with fresh content. accessiBe regularly scans your website every 24 hours to identify and fix any accessibility issues that come up.
How to Install and Setup accessiBe
You simply need to add one line of code to your website to install accessiBe. The accessibility interface and corresponding icon will now turn up on your website. You can access the menu via the aforementioned icon. The plugin’s inbuilt AI application will now scan and analyze your website for accessibility issues, and fix them automatically. This process will take about 48 hours, following which your website will become ADA and WCAG compliant. Henceforth, accessiBe will scan your website for any new accessibility issues every 24 hours.
What Is The Significance Of Ongoing Compliance?
As noted above, professional websites are regularly updated with fresh content, including images and videos pertaining to new items put up for sale. This could potentially lead to alterations in your website’s accessibility, known as “accessibility gaps”. If not rectified swiftly and periodically, you will have to pay hefty amounts of money to get your website audited regularly. accessiBe saves you from this hassle by continuously monitoring and fixing your website’s accessibility issues.
accessiBe’s Front End Features
After you insert the aforementioned line of code, the accessiBe accessibility interface will automatically be put up on your site. It offers a large number of useful features for users with disabilities, which have been discussed below.
1. Accessibility Profiles
You will be able to select one of the pre-defined profiles created specifically for various disability requirements. These include the following profiles:
- ADHD Friendly Profile
- Blind Users Profile
- Cognitive Disability Profile
- Epilepsy Safe Profile
- Keyboard Navigation Profile
- Visually Impaired Profile
All of these profiles have certain unique features intended to optimize your website’s accessibility in light of the concerned disability. For example, the Visually Impaired Profile increases the size of all fonts and enhances all the visual data on your website. As a result, users suffering from visual impairments like cataract, glaucoma, and tunnel vision are able to browse your site more easily.
It is important to mention here that blind users have screen-readers installed in the operating system of their computers. Similarly, motor-impaired individuals use the keyboard to browse the Internet instead of the mouse. accessiBe detects these things and switches on the appropriate profile automatically. It is especially important because blind individuals obviously cannot locate the accessibility icon.
2. Accessibility Content Adjustments
By virtue of accessibility content adjustments, you will gain control over every aspect of your site’s written material. These include features like adjusting the font size, highlighting links and titles, altering the spacing between the letters and lines, and much more.
3. Accessibility Color Adjustments
Similar to accessibility content adjustments, these features allow you to change the color scheme of your website as needed. This includes everything from adjusting the background colors, textual elements, and contrast to switching the entire site to a monochrome color scheme.
4. Accessibility Orientation Adjustments
Orientation adjustments are necessary in the case of users suffering from ADHD, cognitive disability, and epilepsy. They offer various options like ceasing animations, concealing images, muting sound, and providing reading assistance by selectively highlighting the text.
accessiBe’s Backend Features
As a departure from “accessibility plugins”, accessiBe offers extensive back-end treatment for your site. This basically involves an AI-based analysis of your website’s accessibility needs and carrying out the required adjustments. Many of these problems cannot be resolved merely by installing accessibility interface widgets. accessiBe ably tackles compatibility issues involving keyboard navigation and screen reader software. Let us take a brief look at each of these.
1. Screen Reader Compatibility
Basically, the Screen Reader software is intended for reading aloud on-screen text for blind users. Your website needs to be compatible with this software for it to work. For that purpose, WCAG mandates the website to follow a set of patterns known as the Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA). These are installed to your website’s code and allow it to “communicate” with the software.
2. Keyboard Navigation Compatibility
Keyboard navigation allows motor-impaired users to perform all the functions of a mouse, such as clicking and scrolling, with their keyboard. However, modern websites with their complicated elements need to be highly optimized in order to be fully compatible with keyboard navigation. In fact, the list of WCAG requirements for keyboard navigation compatibility is quite extensive.
How Does accessiBe’s Background Processing Achieve These Goals?
In short, accessiBe scans the entire code of your site and directly adds ARIA tags and keyboard functionalities to different elements of the site. They are added in the form of a separate layer without involving the website’s main code, so don’t worry.
How Does accessiBe Improve The Accessibility Of Your Menus?
This is another useful feature of accessiBe’s background processing ability. It adds readable tags for each element in the menu. As a result, a screen reader will properly identify and announce every element. It can also switch tags promptly when the website is being browsed. These tags can help a blind user in going through the website’s content with greater ease.
Coming up with alt text, or accurate alternative descriptions of images, is an important virtue expected from screen readers. accessiBe is equipped with various object, character, and image recognition technologies (OCR and Iris) to automatically produce accurate and detailed representations of your website’s images. Screen-reader compatible alt tags are vital for getting across this information to blind users.
How Does accessiBe Compare With Other Accessibility Plugins?
accessiBe has a number of notable advantages over other accessibility plugins out there. These have been listed below:
- Cost-effective, with the exception of the remediation service and manual audit
- Deals with only one provider, instead of the usual trend of two or more
- Fully compatible with keyboard navigation and screen readers
- Offers a complete accessibility compliance solution
- Provides genuine accessibility to disabled users
How Does accessiBe Compare With Manual Accessibility Services?
accessiBe has several advantages over manual accessibility services as well, which have been discussed below:
- Much more cost-effective compared to manual accessibility services
- Fully automated and time-efficient
- Supports the concept of ongoing compliance
- Features infinite scale
- Only one provider for complete compliance (both front end and back end)
How to Check Your Website’s Accessibility Compliance Level
If you have made efforts to improve the accessibility of your website, accessiBe’s automated compliance audit tool is just what you need to learn about the results of your work. It is a free-to-use, automated feature which utilizes AI technology to scan your website, check for accessibility issues, and give you a detailed report of the various factors influencing your site’s accessibility. It will also suggest the steps you need to take to fix these issues, if any.
All in all, accessiBe is an outstanding website accessibility solution that is more than sufficient to achieve compliance with ADA and WCAG regulations. It features a rare combination of front end and back end compatibility, efficient AI technology, and user-friendly interface. Starting at $490 for sites having over 1,000 pages, it is one of the most cost-effective web accessibility solutions in the market. Unlike most of its peers, accessiBe is remarkably fast and accurate as well. It is a highly recommended resource for protecting yourself from potential legal issues, and helping your website and business achieve greater heights of success.