Web accessibility is the practice of making websites usable for all online visitors, including the ones with limitations, impairments and disabilities. It involves following particular design principles that make sure that people who experience limitations or difficulties have same experience as the ones who do not. Accessibility is a vital goal for websites as it provides all users equal access to the content present on the online platform. The interface of AccessiBe includes a session-based design and UI adjustment tool that makes accessibility modifications that are compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA & AAA requirements.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are organized by four key principles and categories. They state that all web content must be POUR or Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust. WCAG is the most widely accepted and referenced set of standards in case of website accessibility lawsuits, and is considered to be the best way to achieve accessibility.
Here is a brief outline on the important categories of web accessibility:
- Perceivable: Users must be able to process information, no matter what form it has been presented in. Among other things, this involves providing audio for those who cannot see and text for people with a hearing impairment. One may not create audio for the whole text, but in a manner that content is consumable by screen readers and other assistive technologies.
- Operable: People with disabilities usually use a variety of tools to operate websites and applications. Many of them may not operate a mouse, and hence alternative keyboard based operation has be implemented. Animations and media has to be controllable to aid users with cognitive disabilities operate a website. The time limits provided for completing an action must also be configurable and generous.
- Understandable: Even if a user can perceive and operate a website, it does not mean that they can surely understand it. To be understandable, websites need to use concise and clear language, while offering functionality that is easy to comprehend. When users take an action, the connection between the action and result would be obvious. Navigation must also be consistent across the site. In case users have to go through a process, such as a checkout, proper guidance needs to be provided. Forms present in the website also need to provide clear labels and have a logical flow.
- Robust: Online users get to pick their own mix of technologies, within limits. Websites need to work well enough across multiple platforms, browsers, and devices in order to effectively cater to the individual needs of the users. As a site dictate supported technology platforms, they end up restricting access for any non-conforming user. Clean code is typically more robust and consumable across platforms.
The AI machine learning technology offered by AccessiBe makes use of contextual understanding and computer vision to address the complex, back-end requirements required for screen reader and keyboard navigation adjustments. Detailed insight into this technology can be found at their website.