accessiBe Review: The Codeless WordPress Plug-In That’s Boosting Web Inclusivity

According to the CDC, one in four adults in the US are living with some type of disability. It’s clear that we need to do more to improve the online experience for users, especially those who require certain provisions to access a minimum level of service.

Moreover, we are currently on course to record the most digital accessibility lawsuits in one calendar year. Thus, not only is web accessibility becoming an increasingly important moral issue, but neglecting it can lead to damaging financial repercussions due to legal compensation. Taking all of this into account, it begs the question as to why companies don’t put more emphasis on web accessibility.

Well, the answer is simple: time and money. Unfortunately, up until late,  making your website accessible was very challenging especially if it’s a lean operation with limited resources. Essentially, web accessibility wasn’t accessible to everyone to take part in the inclusion efforts due to resource and knowledge barriers.

At the same time, any form of DIY coding is generally ineffective and ends up causing more problems than it solves. Fortunately, a new solution has come onto the market through accessiBe, who created an AI-powered web accessibility platform that automates the process.

Web accessibility: Why it’s important

Did you know that over one billion individuals in the world are living with some form of disability? Yep, that’s a lot of people you could be excluding from your website if you fail to make adequate provisions to accommodate them. In fact, disabled adults in the USA alone possess a disposable income of $490 billion, one of the most significant market segments in the world.

Apart from the obvious commercial benefits of web accessibility, it’s wise to adhere to the various legislation put in place to accommodate those living with disabilities. In general, you need to be aware of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 (with the latter being the universal set of guidelines that defines how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities).

The WCAG 2.1 guidelines are based on four essential principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. These are also the same four metrics that are used to measure the accessibility of your website, and if there are failures, you could face litigation as a result.

With that said, successfully meeting these requirements has proved a considerable challenge for companies, especially if they have large quantities of content to bring to spec. Fortunately, this is precisely where accessiBe comes in, providing a much-needed solution for businesses of all shapes and sizes that want to prioritize the usability and accessibility of their website.

How accessiBe makes your website more accessible

accessiBe’s AI-powered solution utilizes two independent applications (an accessibility interface and an AI-powered backend) to help websites achieve compliance with the various sets of accessibility guidelines, including the WCAG 2.1 Here’s a quick rundown of how each of these applications operates:

Accessibility interface

The accessibility interface provided by accessiBe’s AI-solution gives every one of your website visitors the ability to personally adjust the site design and UI to their specific needs. Not only does this create a vastly superior experience for your visitors with disabilities, but it also ensures that all other site users get to use and interact with the site as usual.

People with epilepsy, for example, can change the site settings to make all online components safe, removing the danger of seizures caused by flashing or blinking animations and dramatic color combinations. Furthermore, accessiBe’s AI-powered solution comes with preset accessibility profiles that combine typical accessibility configurations to fit the demands of a specific impairment. All the user has to do is select the best option for their needs, and the website will update itself. The following are some of the most often used accessibility profiles:

  • Seizure safe profile
  • Vision impaired profile
  • Cognitive disability profile
  • ADHD friendly profile
  • Blind users profile (screen readers)
  • Keyboard navigation profile (motor)

On top of the preset accessibility profiles, accessiBe’s AI-powered solution provides hundreds of adjustments that are designed to achieve, and go beyond, WCAG 2.1 AA compliance. These include content adjustments (altering how the content of your site is displayed), display adjustments (altering colors and contrasts), as well as orientation adjustments (shortcuts and guiding elements).

AI-powered backend

The AI behind accessiBe’s platform is responsible for scanning and evaluating your website at least once every 24 hours, guaranteeing that your company is always accessible and compliant. Thanks to the power of machine learning, accessiBe’s tech can manage complicated modifications such as screen reader optimization and keyboard navigation in real-time, and the best part about it is that it’s entirely automated. As long as the website layout makes sense, the AI will remediate all existing content and make it accessible.

With just a simple WordPress plug-in, website owners can provide complex backend features such as screen readers and keyboard navigation. To do this, the AI analyzes components and compares user behaviors to millions of previous encounters in order to understand the context attributed to particular elements and why they are on the page. This means that popups, menus, links, icons, images, dropdowns, and forms are all handled by accessiBe’s AI, resulting in a vastly improved experience for disabled website visitors.

Final word

If you own a website, you must put measures in place to ensure that it is accessible to users of all ability levels. Not only does this make smart business sense, seeing as you will open up your products and services to more people, but it will also keep your business compliant with the various laws that prohibit the discrimination of users with disabilities, such as the ADA and WCAG 2.1. While line-by-line code modification can be used to manually remediate all of your current and future content, accessiBe provides a practical and robust solution that makes adhering to the standards and making your website accessible to disabled users in a fast and business-friendly way,

Alex