October 29, 2021

How accessiBe’s AI-powered Overlay Achieves Web Accessibility for Your Site

Image Source: https://www.pillsburybaking.com/

This content has been sponsored by accessiBe

Making your website accessible and compliant can be tedious and expensive.

After all, there are a lot of requirements you need to consider when creating an accessible web design.

Plus, failing to make your website accessible has some serious consequences.

It means you’re closing your business for 1 out 5 people in the world that are living with disabilities. On top of the business and reputation damage, you could also face accessibility-related lawsuits, costing you hefty legal fees and your brand’s reputation.

Achieving accessibility and compliance doesn’t have to be mission impossible, automated solutions such as accessiBe’s AI-powered overlay are making things much more business-friendly.

First, what is a web accessibility overlay?

An overlay is an integrated solution in the shape of a code you put on your website. Using this tool users can customize and personalize their experience according to their abilities.

Instead of a separate website (and without hardcoding), overlays allow users to customize the original website’s interface to a high degree.

While users must enable an overlay, the action doesn’t “create” a separate website. Instead, it allows users to utilize the tools within the original site.

A web accessibility overlay can make the process of making your website accessible for people with disabilities more straightforward.

Most modern website builders use a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) approach for drag and drop elements, however, this doesn’t automatically create an accessible website for users with disabilities.

You’ll need to code website elements properly, such as form fields, headings, links, and other required HTML fields, to make your site accessible to disabled users.

Web development and accessibility professionals can do this in two ways:

● Apply manual fixes to the website’s source code, which is costly, labor-intensive, and almost impossible to scale.

● Use web accessibility layered approaches, which don’t require changing the source code but adding to the code instead.

How the accessiBe AI-powered overlay works

accessiBe offers an automated and cost-efficient AI-powered web accessibility overlay.

It provides the features and functionalities to make your website compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Out of the many web accessibility solutions available today, accessiBe’s AI-powered overlay provides the most highly comprehensive features.

Their overlay covers a wide range of disabilities – more than are listed in the guidelines recommended by the ADA.

accessiBe’s overlay approach allows people with disabilities to tailor the interface to match their personal experience preferences and needs.

Below are some of accessiBe’s main web accessibility overlay features.

Accessibility interface

The accessibility interface provides adjustment features relating to your website’s design, User Interface (UI), and readability.

This allows users to make the appropriate accessibility adjustments based on their individual needs.

These accessibility adjustments and features include:

Accessibility profiles

accessiBe’s automated solution allows users to turn on accessibility profiles that automatically apply a set of common accessibility combinations.

Users can switch on ADHD-friendly, Blind Users, Vision Impaired, Seizure Safe, and other profiles for specific disabilities with one click.

Image source: johnsonsbaby.com.

Content adjustments

Besides the disability profiles, accessiBe’s AI-powered interface allows users to make individual adjustments to your website.

Your website users can modify how they want to display your site’s content. This allows them to make your content as readable and visible as possible, depending on their specific disability.

Image source: johnsonsbaby.com.

For example, users with visual impairments, such as aging sight and blurred vision, can magnify texts and change your content’s font size, letter spacing, and line-height (among others).

Color or Display adjustments

The accessibility interface allows users with varying degrees of visual impairments and color blindness to adjust how they want to view your website.

This includes modifying contrast and saturation, text, title, and background colorization, and enabling a monochrome color scheme.

Image source: johnsonsbaby.com.

Orientation adjustments

People with cognitive disabilities and visual or motor impairments can find it challenging to orient themselves on your website.

accessiBe’s overlay provides a solution. It allows users with these specific disabilities to use shortcuts, follow guiding elements, and reduce noise and distractions.

The accessibility interface’s orientation adjustments let users mute sounds, highlight focus, hide images, skip to useful links, and enable a reading guide (among other features).

Image source: johnsonsbaby.com.

The accessibility interface also includes a built-in dictionary and 12 language options.

AI powered accessibility adjustments

accessiBe’s overlay uses AI to handle the more complex accessibility adjustments. This includes keyboard navigation and screen-reader optimization.

Keyboard navigation

accessiBe’s AI works in the background to automatically adjust your website’s HTML. It adds multiple behaviors through JavaScript (JS) code to make your site operable with a keyboard.

This allows users to trigger links and buttons with the Enter key, browse your website using the Tab and Shift+Tab keys, use the arrow keys to operate dropdowns, etc.

Also, clicking the Alt+1 keys lets keyboard users enable the content-skip and quick navigation menus.

Screen-reader optimization

accessiBe’s AI-powered background process “learns” all your website’s components to ensure accessibility and ongoing compliance with the ADA and WCAG.

This allows the background process to provide screen-reader software that blind people use to browse the web with meaningful data and descriptions.

The background process uses the Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) set of attributes to give accurate, actionable icons descriptions, form labels, element roles, and form input validation guidance.

Essentially, accessiBe’s AI-based process provides rich and meaningful website elements and content descriptions, and data.

This allows blind users with screen reader software to “read,” comprehend, and use your website and its functions effectively.

Also, accessiBe’s background process can scan all your website images and give them meaningful, accurate image-object-recognition-based descriptions. This comes in the form of an alternate (ALT) text tag.

It also uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to extract texts embedded within your site images.

Users can turn on Blind Users and Keyboard Navigation profiles on the accessibility interface or through keyboard shortcuts.

Why choose accessiBe’s overlay to achieve web accessibility?

accessiBe’s overlay approach provides web accessibility to a wide range of disabilities.

The solution is automated and uses AI, eliminating manual coding, including tedious, constant, and expensive accessibility adjustments — even for websites that update daily.

accessiBe runs regular scans every 24 hours to check your website for accessibility issues and make proper adjustments accordingly.

It does so without changing your website’s hard code or limiting your site’s creativity and design.

In a nutshell, accessiBe’s AI-powered overlay can make your website accessible and compliant at all times without spending too much time, money, and resources.

This ensures your website accommodates all users regardless of their disability and protects your business from accessibility-related lawsuits.

Want to know if your website is accessible and compliant? Click here

About the author 

Peter Hatch

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