Last week we examined a report from UsableNet about digital accessibility lawsuits. One of the issues that report featured was the sharp rise in lawsuits against companies using plugins/widgets that claim to make a website accessible compliant.
Spoiler: they don’t.
In fact, using them could draw negative attention to your organization. The 5/9/21 edition of nbcnews.com published a timely article by April Glaser that reports on backlash some of those plugin providers are facing from disability advocates that claim their solutions are anything but.
In recent months, blind people and disability advocates have been speaking out on social media 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 normal activities online, like paying rent, teaching a class or buying Christmas gifts.
It’s rough enough that accessibility standards aren’t defined at a Federal level and organizations are subject to sliding compliance scale but these increasing gray zones only pile on.