Now more than ever, it is imperative that your website is accessible to everyone, whether they are disabled person or not. In order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), many brands may be tempted to take advantage of companies that claim to have a quick fix for accessibility, like AccessiBe—but at what cost?
While their affordable services may seem like the perfect solution, you may find yourself in the middle of an endless string of expensive lawsuits as more and more blind people claim these services simply do not work.
Let’s take a closer look at the fire AccessiBe has found itself in and how to avoid burning your brand in their flame.
Who is AccessiBe?
AccessiBe is one of the largest automated accessibility companies on the market today. With services costing a mere $49 a month to allegedly make your site WCAG and ADA compliant 24/7 with one simple line of code. They even offer an accessibility statement and certificate of performance to their clients to avoid lawsuits and prove their compliance.
Their technology and services quickly garnered them millions of dollars in investment and landed over 132,000 clients, including major players like Pillsbury Benadryl, Playmobil, and the Los Angeles Lakers, as well as some government agencies, such as the Louisiana Department of Health and the state’s Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Things seemed to be smooth-sailing for the accessibility platform—that is until complaints started popping up on social media from blind patrons struggling to use their services.
What Customers Are Saying
These days, especially post-COVID, we do everything online. From paying bills to buying groceries, the world is becoming increasingly reliant on the internet—so imagine what it would be like suddenly not being able to access some of your favorite sites. That’s where many blind people claim to find themselves as companies like AccessiBe become more prevalent across the digital landscape.
In recent months, blind people and disability advocates have been speaking out against the brand and suing companies that use AccessiBe. Blind people say AccessiBe, which is supposed to automatically make websites more compatible with the screen readers blind people rely on to access the internet, has prevented them from all sorts of everyday activities online, like paying rent, teaching class, or shopping for gifts. While some experts can navigate through the glitches, for many, it has rendered a huge portion of their usual sites completely inaccessible.
The situation has taken such a left turn that in the past few months more than 400 blind people, accessibility advocates, and software developers alike have signed an open letter calling on companies that use these automated services, like AccessiBe, to stop. Some have even started using the phrase, “AccessiBeGone”—yikes.
What You Can Do About It
We get it. An automated service may seem like the way to go—but if you really care about making your site accessible to everyone while simultaneously meeting all WCAG and ADA compliance requirements, one simple line of code is not going to do it. Trust us, we wish it were that simple.
Save yourself the headache of a lawsuit (and a major wad of cash) and usher in an entirely new group of potential clients by partnering with a company that knows what they’re doing, like STAUFFER. We have the experience and knowledge to back it up, so you can rest easy knowing that everyone will be able to access your brand with ease.