As a business owner, you might get tempted to build a DIY solution for your website’s accessibility. And why not? A do-it-yourself approach works in many other facets of business. For example, filing taxes when you’re self-employed is made easier with current software. Payroll can be done in the cloud. So it only stands to reason that a lot of business owners feel that they can use automated tools to find out the accessibility defects on the website and work out ways to correct them manually. Moreover, many free libraries have essential rules required to develop web accessibility.
While these options may seem tempting, there can be many challenges to optimize website accessibility manually. In this article, we are going to discuss them and whether a business should opt for automated solutions.
Laying The Groundwork
Having complete web accessibility is essential for businesses to be ADA compliant. Relying on automated testing tools will only give you access to about 41% of the accessibility violations of your website. You will first need to build a testing tool that can tell you about all the content and graphical user interface (GUI) defects concerning web accessibility.
It might be easier if your developers, marketing team, and content team are all working on similar tech stacks and frameworks. But that is seldom the case. That means you will have to build a testing tool that can work across a range of tech stacks and frameworks. You will also have to design the tool to keep up with the existing and future trends of frameworks. So before you start developing the tool, you will have to identify and outline the various technologies and frameworks that are used in your organization.
Once you gather the required human resources, you can start building the tool that can provide equal access to people with disabilities on your website. But after you’ve finished the accessibility solution, you will need to test it before implementing it. That is the most challenging stage of the development process. Your team will find bugs in the program which will need support. You might try to use open-source teams or have your developers fix these bugs. Open source teams might be the more cost-effective solution, but their regular updates might cause something to break in your tool. These support solutions might also cause future problems in your website accessibility tool.
Advantages of Buying Automated Solutions
So as we can see that there are numerous hassles of building an accessibility solution from the ground up. Now we will discuss the advantages of buying an automated solution that provides accessibility to people with disabilities on your business website.
Automated accessibility solutions are a package of professional services that reduce the time to optimize your website. The time saved in implementing the solution also reduces the chances of you facing accessibility lawsuits. The professional services can provide integrated solutions that can work seamlessly across a range of tech stacks and frameworks. These solutions also work with different types of assistive technologies like screen readers, Braille printers, and many others.
The professional teams understand the challenges faced by different businesses to optimize web accessibility. If your company’s build process of tech stacks are unique, these services will provide out of the box solutions. They will also provide support to ensure that your website is accessible to people with disabilities. The services will also help your team in building strategies to use accessibility solutions. They will guide your content and marketing teams on how to use the tools to generate ideal alt text for your images, captions for your videos, and numerous other features. Automated web accessibility providers like accessiBe can make your website WCAG 2.1 and ADA compliant within several hours.
The article is not to discourage your team of developers that are trying to build an accessibility solution for your company. We have just tried to shed light on the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches to optimize your website accessibility. Every company has a unique set of requirements when it comes to making it accessible to people with disabilities. The purpose of the article is to provide you the details of the time and effort required before you start your journey to optimize your website accessibility.