Don't Shoot the Messenger - We're Here to Help!

Jul 04 2023

Until now accountability may have been lacking, we do not have a position to protect - we want to ensure those paying for compliance, achieve it.

Here at AAAtraq, we can sometimes pick up the unfortunate title of ‘The Bad Guys’.

Thanks to our capabilities, we’re continuously uncovering erroneous vendor claims to our clients or developer shortcomings where they’re not fixing our clients’ websites like they say they are. We just report things as they are, and often, the results are not liked or well received.

But we’re not the bad guys, we’re just here to help!

At the price point of the service we can't include 1-2-1 support, but we do realise, and we want our clients to understand, just how important it is to have someone qualified in dealing with accessibility diagnostics to help fix your website.

Exposing those who could be leaving you vulnerable

The reality as to where you are with compliance may not be what you want see as the result of one of our audits. After all, being told by those who’ve been doing the work for you that everything’s ok is much nicer to hear, but isn't it better for us to make you aware rather than being advised by a lawyer sending you an ADA demand?

Indemnity

Today, the ADA / Accessibility sector is only in it's infancy. However, over the coming years (and legalisation is coming together to support this NYS-P08-005 and AB 1757) vendors will be made far more accountable for their claims and consultancies will have liability for any claims they make (Risk Managers will ensure where claims of compliance are made indemnity is in place and financially backed).

Service provider 101

Ask your proposed vendors or consultants for specifics of their capability: what standards do they work to and what’s their compliance deliver process? What independent validation do they use to check their work? Ask them for reference sites and check them (you can use the checker at www.Sitemorse.com/check (opens in a new window) [it’s quite technical but if there’s any red, you know there’s an issue] It's unfortunate, but we’ve found that 61% of those offering this type of service either don't have the skills or are reliant on the limited capabilities of free tools.

The reality

The reality is that this is the level some people will have to go to fix their sites – look at the detail! How on earth could anyone who isn’t an accessibility technical developer be able to deal with this? It’s also not your fault if your vendor or developer is saying, ‘There’s nothing wrong’ but the fact remains that both you and your vendor have the responsibility to sort this out.

With that in mind, from September 2023, we’re offering our clients a fixed price service to help: for $249 any AAAtraq subscriber is entitled to two hours of an accessibility technical developer’s time wherein we’ll investigate your code, detail the errors and actions to take in order to improve your compliance and help you.

Example / Detailing issues and remediation

To give you an example of what an accessibility developer’s technical support answer to a client question would look like:

The main issues on the front page are:

  • The colour contrast ratio between the blue background and white text on various links (“The name here”, “Something USA”, “Agenda event”, etc) is 3.83:1. It needs to be at least 4.5:1 – i.e. the blue background needs to be a bit darker. This also applies to the white-on-light-gray newsletter ‘Subscribe’ button and the ‘Check our latest video!’ link.
  • The first four social media icons on the left-hand bar are missing their ‘alt’ text, which is especially vital as they are links.
  • The page has no level 1 heading (i.e. < h1 >), and the headings which are currently < h4 > would be better as < h3 > so that the headings go level 1, 2, 3 in order.

If these issues are fixed, then the page should pass the check.

Website accessibility is made unnecessarily complicated, generally by those claiming to have the skills and capabilities in this field! Often, their first reaction to our reporting is dismissal – after all, they have a position to protect, and perhaps this exposes that they can’t quite live up to their promises … We’re here to ensure you have complete clarity when it comes to your risk through our independent monitoring – guaranteeing you’re on the right path to compliance.



New California Assembly Bill on Website Accessibility Could Result in a Lawsuit Tsunami ( AB 1757 ) (opens in a new window)

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