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Website Accessibility with AI | ADA Compliant Websites Made Easy

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Table of Contents:

What is Web Accessibility and Why is it Important?

Imagine trying to navigate a website, but you can't see the screen or distinguish between the colors of a website's design. Or perhaps, you can't use a mouse or touchpad due to a physical disability. For approximately 20% of the world's population, this is a daily reality. Web accessibility is all about breaking down these barriers and making the internet a place where everyone, regardless of their abilities, can explore, connect, and engage freely. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has laid out guidelines, known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1), to help developers create more accessible websites. These guidelines have been embraced by governments globally and are now part of various legislations. But how can we make implementing these guidelines easier? Enter accessiBe, an AI-powered tool that's changing the game in web accessibility.

SEO Benefits of Web Accessibility

Implementing ADA compliant designs on your website not only enhances accessibility but also brings significant SEO benefits. Search engines like Google favor websites that provide a better user experience, and accessibility is a key part of that experience. By making your website more accessible, you're improving the site's usability, which can positively impact your search rankings. Moreover, when you enhance the readability of your website's content for screen readers, it makes it easier for search engine bots to understand and index. This can lead to improved visibility in search results. Furthermore, accessiBe's compliance with WCAG 2.1 standards aligns with Google's recommendations for accessibility, potentially giving your website an edge in SEO performance. Thus, accessiBe not only helps in creating an inclusive web environment but also contributes to your website's SEO strategy.

How AI Enhances Web Accessibility

In the realm of web accessibility, a revolutionary tool named accessiBe is making waves. It utilizes two applications that together achieve compliance: the interface and AI-powered processes. The interface is a session-based design and UI adjustment tool that makes accessibility modifications based on a user's individual needs. All adjustments are compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA & AAA requirements.

On the other hand, accessiBe's AI machine learning technology uses contextual understanding and computer vision to address the complex, back-end requirements needed for screen reader and keyboard navigation adjustments. The best part is, this can be added to your website with just a few clicks and without compromising on the design of your website.

Capabilities of the Interface

Screen Reader Optimization

One of the key features of accessiBe is its ability to optimize content for screen readers. Screen readers are essential tools for visually impaired users as they convert digital text into spoken words or braille. However, for these tools to work effectively, the website's content must be properly formatted and tagged. This is where accessiBe's AI comes into play. The AI applies contextual understanding processes while analyzing a site. It visually matches elements and behaviors to millions of past encounters, learning from context what elements actually do and their purpose on the page. Then, it implements all the necessary code adjustments to reflect to blind people using screen-readers exactly what’s on the screen and the purpose of every element. This AI-driven process ensures that the content is accurately interpreted by screen readers, providing a seamless and inclusive web experience for users with visual impairments.

Interface Changes for Color Blindness and Other Visual Impairments

The interface of accessiBe is designed with a wide range of capabilities. It allows users to increase and decrease font size, change type, adjust spacing, alignment, line height, and more. Users can select various color contrast profiles such as light, dark, inverted, and monochrome. Additionally, users can swap color schemes of titles, texts, and backgrounds, with over 77 different colors.

Epilepsy Safe Browsing

For users with epilepsy, they can stop all running animations at the click of a button. This includes videos, GIFs, and CSS flashing transitions. The interface also allows users to emphasize important elements, such as links and titles. They can also highlight particular focused or hovered elements.

Hearing Impairments or Audio Sensitivities

For users with hearing devices who may experience headaches or other issues due to automatic audio playing, the interface provides an option to mute the entire website instantly. Additionally, the interface includes an on-demand dictionary linked to Wikipedia and Wiktionary, allowing people with cognitive disorders to decipher meanings of phrases, initials, and slang on the spot.

Features for Users with Limited Mobility

accessiBe also provides a range of features designed to assist users with limited mobility, including the optimization of keyboard navigation. Users who rely on keyboards or similar devices for navigation can benefit from the AI's ability to understand and adjust the Document Object Model (DOM) order. The DOM order is the sequence in which elements on a webpage are read and interacted with by assistive technologies or keyboard navigation. accessiBe's AI ensures that this order is logical and intuitive, allowing users to navigate through the website easily and efficiently using only the keyboard. This includes providing visible focus indicators and skip links, ensuring all functionality is keyboard accessible, and more.

Additional Features

Moreover, users can change the cursor's color and sizing, view in printing mode, enable a virtual keyboard, and more. These features provide a more personalized and accessible browsing experience for all users, catering to their unique needs and preferences.

The AI Application

accessiBe's AI is responsible for handling the more complex accessibility adjustments such as screen-reader optimization and keyboard navigation. Prior to accessiBe, these could only be achieved manually, with long, complex, and costly projects.

The AI applies the contextual understanding processes while analyzing a site. It visually matches elements and behaviors to millions of past encounters, to learn from context what elements actually do and their purpose on the page. Then all the necessary code adjustments are implemented to reflect to blind people using screen-readers exactly what’s on the screen and the purpose of every element.

Installing accessiBe to Make a Website Accessible with AI

Installing accessiBe on your website is a straightforward process. Once you've signed up for the service, you'll be provided with a unique script. This script needs to be added to your website's code, specifically in the <head> section of your HTML. If you're using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, you can add the script through your CMS's settings or use a plugin that allows custom scripts. Once the script is added and saved, accessiBe's interface and AI-powered processes will start working on your website, making it more accessible to all users. It's important to note that you should have the necessary permissions or consult with your web developer before making changes to your website's code.

After the initial remediation, accessiBe provides an accessibility statement, visible within the interface, that confirms a website's compliance status to all site visitors. This statement serves as a testament to the website's commitment to providing an accessible experience for all users.

The Future of AI and Web Accessibility

In conclusion, AI has the potential to significantly enhance web accessibility. Tools like accessiBe are leading the way in making the internet a more inclusive space for all users, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. As AI continues to evolve and improve, we can look forward to even more advancements in web accessibility, ensuring that everyone can fully participate in the digital world.

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