Accessibility Solved. Part One: Fix the Problem

Part 1 of a 3(?) Part Series

The AudioEye approach to Accessibility is multi-faceted. This article discusses our first and primary focus: Fixing the Problem.

AudioEye specializes in fixing issues of accessibility through the integration of its proprietary technology. These solutions are proven, trusted, effective and cost-saving for any business or organization looking to:

  • Build and retrofit accessibility into an already existing website or web application.
  • Quickly conform existing environment(s) to achieve compliance with ADA-related industry standards and best practices.
  • Outsource accessibility in an effort to save time and money, or to reduce burden on finite IT resources.
  • Bridge a gap until issues can be fixed at the source.
  • Integrate accessibility into web applications and resources controlled by independent, 3rd Party providers and contractors.

Defining the problem that we are trying to solve

When not coded properly, websites can be difficult or impossible to access by people that rely on assistive technologies to navigate the digital world. In the same sense that a building must provide certain physical accommodations ─ ramps, rails, wide doorways, curb cuts, and elevators ─ websites must provide accommodations in the digital space. Websites should be designed and developed to accommodate users with diverse abilities in a manner that focuses on user-first, universal design principles.

Thanks to the many good folks who helped author (ahem... special thanks to AudioEye Board Member, the Honorable Former Congressman Tony Coelho) and enact the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we all live in a more inclusive society. In this society the principles of universal design have been adopted on a broad and massive scale. Unfortunately, when it comes to the digital experience, many are still left behind when it comes to universal design.

In the simplest terms, when websites are not designed with inclusion in mind, they present users with functional challenges ─ challenges that can and must be avoided. Fortunately, these challenges are technical and can be solved through the integration of smarter technology.

Without getting into the Business Case for Accessibility, and before we even get into the many different steps organizations can take in order to achieve success with digital accessibility (see Part Two: Sustainable, Self-Driven Accessibility), let's talk about how we here at AudioEye fix the problem that is impacting your users. For starters, the first thing to understand is ...

Overlay is NOT a Bad Word

JavaScript is, in fact, an efficient and powerful tool for solving accessibility issues. In a matter of minutes, the AudioEye JavaScript can be deployed in a secure fashion that begins fixing accessibility issues, right out-of-the-box. Learn more about the different issues that can be fixed automatically when integrating the AudioEye JavaScript.

JavaScript is used by 93.7% of all the websites - W3Techs

With this powerful tool, organizations can achieve conformance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 in 100 days or less. A vast majority of issues are fixed within the first few weeks of deploying the AudioEye JavaScript. This is accomplished using the AudioEye Ally Platform Developer Portal to organize and integrate sophisticated JavaScript techniques developed by AudioEye Engineers. Deploying AudioEye allows organizations to turn inaccessible web environments into fully accessible and optimized user experiences, in a fast and reliable manner.

For organizations that have received accessibility complaints filed by plaintiffs claiming ADA violations, AudioEye deployment is quick and effective. AudioEye can begin immediately fixing issues and establish a framework for a long-term digital inclusion strategy.

If you are looking for steps to take after receiving an ADA-violation demand letter, please contact AudioEye for a free guidance discussion.

Before getting into how organizations can incorporate accessibility and inclusive design-thinking into their corporate culture ─ let alone their designers and developers ─ let's take a look at some examples of how AudioEye has applied its technology to fix issues of accessibility for its world-class clients.

Customer Success

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Consumer Help Center powered by Zendesk

“The forms are very user-friendly and work exceedingly well with my screen reader”

Tracy Jordan Power Screen Reader User
District Coordinator of Assistive Technology at Tarrant County College in Texas

Overview
Prior to implementing AudioEye, web accessibility issues prohibited access to online consumer complaint forms for screen readers users. AudioEye remediated all issues and also implemented Ally+ Web Enhancement tools to provide access for non-screen reader users.

Accessing the original complaint form with various screen readers was nearly impossible and included issues such as unlabeled links and input fields, inaccessible dropdown menus for selecting a problem type, and, even, keyboard traps that completely prevented users from progressing through the form.

Once the AudioEye solution had been fully provisioned and embedded, the corrected version of the form had all of its links labeled, the mandatory fields were noted, and the combo boxes to select complaint issues were presented in a fully accessible combo box.

What People Are Saying

“I was previously unable to submit a complaint through the FCC’s website for submitting consumer complaints, as the web forms were not compatible with my JAWS screen reader or any other screen reading technology. Now, with AudioEye implemented across the Consumer Complaint website, I am not only able to breeze through the website and submit web forms, but the forms are very user-friendly and work exceedingly well with my screen reader. As a user of various assistive technologies, it is very encouraging to know that the FCC has taken measures to address this issue head on. Knowing that the AudioEye Web Enhancement Tools have also been made available for all site visitors, it is clear that the FCC is committed to addressing the diverse needs of those seeking access to its site.”
Stated by Tracy Jordan, a blind, experienced screen reader user, and the District Coordinator of Assistive Technology at Tarrant County College in Texas.

The FCC has renewed their annual subscription and, in early 2016, the FCC expanded its adoption of the Ally+ tools to include the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS).

Related: The FCC Consumer Help Desk Solution is One of Eight Technology Innovations Selected in the Game Changer Category

Other Customer Success Stories by Industry

JavaScript is only part of the solution

Fixing accessibility issues is a practical first step to eliminate barriers that can leave your users behind. In this, the age of the customer, no business or organization wants to knowingly exclude vast swaths of their user base. By addressing accessibility head-on, AudioEye provides businesses the opportunity to fix an urgent problem that has a direct impact on their business - without creating a distraction for the many stakeholders involved in the production and maintenance of their digital assets and infrastructure.

Now that we have touched on how AudioEye is capable of taking quick, noninvasive action, let's talk about the bigger picture. How can organizations develop and implement a sustainable and perpetual strategy for ensuring accessibility and usability for their users, while maintaining conformance to industry standards and best practices? The reality of implementing the systemic and company-wide changes that are required in order to achieve a sustainable digital accessibility strategy is non-trivial and requires diligence from across the organization; from the top-down and from the bottom-up.

In Part Two - Accessibility Solved. Part Two: Sustainable, Self-Driven Accessibility, we'll discuss these strategies and provide you with the tools that can bring any organization from accessibility zero to digital inclusion hero.

http://www.audioeye.com/sean-bradley

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