Third-party software designed to assist with ADA & WCAG compliance.
There are a number of third party software services available with a stated purpose to address website accessibility and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.
If you find that these services offer compelling value and you anticipate benefiting from the additional protection these services claim to offer, then in most cases these software widgets can be installed on your SmartEtailing website with a single line of code.
You will find a short list of these services on our Integrations page. While we do not endorse these services, we have confirmed that the installation of the code is not problematic for the function of your website.
Not required to be accessible
SmartEtailing has gone to great lengths to ensure that our website platform meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) published by the World Wide Web Consortium - which generally sets out the elements necessary for a website to be accessible for people with disabilities. Websites built on our platform routinely rank very favorably - often surpassing national retailer websites.
We make every effort to incorporate accessibility standards with all software enhancements and content additions to the platform - and our staff is trained on website accessibility best practices.
Proper website construction and maintenance is generally all that is required to meet accessibility guidelines, and therefore additional third party services are not considered a mandatory addition to your website in order to properly serve the disabled community.
About accessibility widgets
Accessibility widgets provide an overlay added to existing websites that seek to address accessibility issues related to ADA and WCAG compliance. Accessibility widgets generally have two components.
Toolbar: Often shown as a button that site visitors can press to open a suite of options and adjust the site styling, such as increasing contrast, stopping any moving elements, or even offering a text to voice program.
Automated changes: This generally comes in the form of automatically applying alternative text labels to images that do not have any and/or restructuring elements of the site navigation or headings to be more uniform and inline with the standard design website practices which assistive technology such as screen readers rely on.
Installing an accessibility widget alone is not enough to ensure an ADA compliant website and they cannot provide absolute protection against litigation nor do they guarantee a website completely free of accessibility issues.
Benefits and drawbacks of accessibility widgets
Choosing to subscribe to a third party accessibility software warrants careful consideration. We encourage you to conduct your own research and carefully read software user agreements so you can make an informed choice.
- Some disabled users will appreciate having access to on-site tools.
- Website visitors may appreciate the clear expression that you value accessibility.
- Widgets could signal to predatory lawyers that your business has taken action towards making your website ADA compliant, and could therefore indicate that you will be a less attractive target for threats of litigation.
- These software services can contribute to a more successful legal defense if litigation does occur.
- Widgets can be an impediment in some cases because they can negatively interact with other accessibility technology preferred by disabled users.
- Services cannot guarantee that legal claims will not arise. Predatory lawyers often are less concerned with actual website accessibility, and may still make unfounded claims in pursuit of settlement.
- An accessibility widget alone is not enough to ensure an ADA compliant website.
- Additional subscription costs (in most cases).