The earth is flat and if you run too far in any direction, you could fall off. Fact or fiction? Of course, it’s a wrong notion and one that a simple Google search can verify. But it’s not always so easy to verify truths about topics you aren’t familiar with. And because the niche of web accessibility is not so commonly talked about, we’ve curated a list of myths to deal with. So, let’s bust 11 myths about automated web accessibility, once and for all.
1. Automated Accessibility Testing And Solutions Should be Applied to Digital Products by Default
👎False. Apple and Google, two of the biggest tech giants, do not apply accessibility profiles by default. On their platforms, a person who has a disability has the option to set their own preferences. This makes logical sense because people who have disabilities do not all have the same needs. Creating a platform that automatically loads an accessibility mode by default won’t suit the many requirements of the intended consumers, and may inconvenience consumers who aren’t disabled.
📱Learn more about iOS Accessibility Guidelines
At Equally AI, we take into account the specific needs of our community. We have different profiles for our beneficiaries’ individual preferences and needs, ensuring that they can have customized and seamless experiences when and how they want to. Just like Apple and Google, you will only need to set it once.
2. Web Content Editors Could Damage the Accessibility Experience.
👍True. On one hand, we acknowledge that web accessibility compliance can be achieved by accessibility experts who work in teams. On the other hand, when a website is undergoing constant changes, it’s better to rely on automated solutions that won’t break your site or ruin the experience for people with disabilities.
Equally AI adapts seamlessly to changes in your website’s function and structure—ensuring you always stay compliant.
3. Automated Web Accessibility Solutions Can’t Handle Regulatory Changes
👎False. Regulatory laws are constantly being reviewed, and with each review comes new recommendations. In 2018, the European Standards Organizations published an updated version of the EN 301 549 “Accessibility requirements for ICT products and services”, in which they referenced the WCAG 2.1 directly; as opposed to the previous version which merely included WCAG 2.0 as an “electronic attachment”.
Automated web accessibility solutions can adapt to any changes in regulations, and fast too. The Equally AI technology conforms to the requirements of different regional regulations – ADA, AODA, EN 301 549, etc. No matter the change, Equally AI always keeps you compliant with your regional standards.
4. Automated Web Accessibility Solutions Don’t Work
👎False. There’s a lot of distrust regarding automated accessibility solutions. This is largely due to the proliferation of overlays and solutions that just don’t seem to get the work done. We’re glad to let you know that automated solutions can do a complete job, and even scale with your website, ensuring you stay compliant all the time and provide a better user experience.
With Equally AI, you only need to enter one line of code, and we’ll do the rest. We’ll remedy errors in both the foreground and background elements of your website in real-time, keeping you compliant with your regional regulations and maintaining the WCAG 2.1 AA standards. The best part is that we do this while ensuring that people with disabilities still have a seamless experience on your site.
5. Automated Web Accessibility Gives People a Bad Experience
👎False. Each person with a disability experiences the web uniquely, and like people without disabilities, their experiences should be improved with continuous use. Equally uses automated technology to improve and personalize the experiences of your consumers. Each time a person uses our interface, our technology changes to better serve our beneficiaries. Our technology remembers the user, so it only has to be set once. Most importantly, our technology will provide people with disabilities and primarily the blind community with the best experience ever.
6. With Automated Web Accessibility AAA Level Is Unattainable
👎False. This is a tricky one because all governments require those in their jurisdictions to comply with the WCAG AA level. This is a good aim because conformance level AA addresses guidelines for usability and operability by a large number of users. The AAA level takes things a step further and primarily focuses on the requirements for people with cognitive impairments. Understandably, it isn’t easy to make all web content comply with WCAG conformance standard AAA, but when done, it’s worth it for the beneficiaries.
Equally AI provides conformance with WCAG 2.1 level AA and AAA at the same cost, ensuring your content is accessible to a broader range of people, more than what the law requires.
7. Automated Web Accessibility Solutions Are Fully Automatic and AI-powered
👎False. We understand what AI means and how it relates to web accessibility. Even the most advanced present-day AI technologies cannot completely make an entire website accessible. A real eye must go over the process to confirm it.
The best that can be achieved is IA – Intelligence Augmentation. This involves the use of machine learning and human accessibility experts to provide complete remediation.
At Equally AI, we use machine learning to save time, but every website has to go through a certified accessibility expert, who carefully inspects, confirms, and adjusts the work of the AI. This ensures we do not only provide compliance but a phenomenal user experience.
You only have to insert one line of code, and we’ll do the rest. We take into account the specific needs of our community, and we work together with them to make sure our product is loved by the community.
8. Automated Web Accessibility Solutions Affect Website Performance
⚖️True and false. Some companies use old technologies that affect the loading time of any website using their platform. And false, because Equally AI uses advanced technology that prioritizes your main page’s content. Our interface only gets rendered after your website content is loaded. This ensures your website’s performance is unaffected.
9. Making My Website Fully Compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA Could Harm Someone with Disabilities
👍True, and here’s how. When it comes to accessibility, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Good web accessibility solutions understand this and try to make sure that every barrier to accessing the web is taken care of individually.
For instance, the WCAG recommends that animations, unusual font faces, highly contrasting colors or images, or other distracters that pull attention away from the page content should be avoided. To reduce distractions on a page, one would have to dim other elements of the page. But in dimming other page elements, people with low vision would have a hard time operating the website.
Additionally, changing the color scheme (like how smart invert on Apple products work) to accommodate people with color vision disabilities would hamper the experience of people with regular vision. This is why an accessibility solution cannot cater to the needs of people with disabilities without using dedicated profiles that are activated on a per session basis.
Here at Equally AI, we have five dedicated profiles to help people with disabilities experience web content with ease.
10. One Must Manually Activate an Accessibility Interface for a Website to be Accessible
👎False. With our technology, websites are made accessible in accordance with WCAG 2.1 level AA standards by a simple integration of our accessibility solution. However, people with disabilities are offered the choice of enhancing their experiences by selecting one of several profiles.
11. Manual Web Accessibility Solutions Are Better than Automated Solutions
The main event. Manual accessibility solutions vs. automated solutions. We’ll give you the details, and let you decide which is better.
|Duration||Manual solutions take weeks and sometimes months to remediate accessibility errors, depending on the scale of the website.||Typically, it takes only a few days to remedy accessibility errors. Equally AI is able to provide ADA/WCAG compliance in 48 hours.|
|Cost||Usually, it costs thousands of dollars because of how long it takes.||Doesn’t cost as much as manual solutions. You can check out Equally AI’s pricing here.|
|Scalability||Not easily scalable. It takes time to adjust to changes in a website’s size, and after 12 months, such a website could lose 50% of its accessibility work.||Easily scalable. Can automatically detect changes and adapt to keep you compliant.|
|WCAG 2.0/2.1 compliance||Can give you compliance with WCAG 2.0/2.1 AA||An automated solution like Equally AI provides WCAG 2.1 levels AA and AAA at the same cost.|
We know this is not an exhaustive list of automated web accessibility myths. In fact, it’s far from it. These are just some of the most common ones we come across, so it’s vital to put them to rest.
Do you think we missed any other frustrating myths? Let us know in the comments section.