Why Accessibility Widgets Are Not the Silver Bullet for Your Website


Why Accessibility Widgets Are Not the Silver Bullet for Your Website

April 13, 2023 Gabriel Hovatter
man looking through code on computer screen

Do accessibility widgets solve all your ADA problems and keep you safe from lawsuits? The short answer is no. And the longer answer, well, is a little more involved.

These tools are a stop-gap solution at best because the underlying issues remain. Think of the ADA accessibility services as a short-term option to use while Vizergy is making deeper repairs with your website. They are like placing a bandage on a wound while on the way to the hospital. In some instances, these tools do more damage than good because they not only cater to a specific disability, but they also don't function with the tools and applications someone with a disability would use to make it possible to purchase services from your website. These tools also don't function well, if at all, with mobile users.

Here are some key takeaways on accessibility overlay tools:

  • The core website code and ADA violations remain legally exposed (if the foundation isn’t solid, adding something on top won’t help anything).
  • Accessibility overlays lack manual human testing and actual remediation.
  • Accessibility overlays impact users’ existing assistive technology tools.
  • Overlays don’t work well, if at all, for mobile
  • Not only do overlays fail to provide legal protection, they can open new legal liabilities in their use.

In 2019, Vizergy developed the Performance Analysis tool to integrate with our CMS. This streamlined our process of running hotel websites through multiple scanning tools to check things like ADA compliance, page speed, structure, etc. Clients can purchase a full-service or self-service version of the Performance Analysis tool. With the full-service option, Vizergy performs the scan quarterly and consults with our design team to quote any needed changes. The self-service option gives the client access to the tool, where they can run it at their convenience.

Ensuring that a hotel’s website is ADA compliant has many advantages. It allows hotels to better serve guests and cater to a wider range of people. However, the major advantage is that it will protect a hotel against a potentially costly lawsuit. Another thing to consider is that customers with disabilities are very brand loyal and will be more likely to share their experiences with others in their community. Whether you’re considering building a new website for your hotel or not, those three letters — ADA — are ones all hospitality and digital marketers should keep in mind.

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