Well, well, well… what have we here, it looks like a couple of overlay vendors who sell manual audits.
I have a question for you: would you believe AccessiBe — the most infamous overlay widget seller— said these things:
“Going beyond automation and regulation is key for inclusion.”
“Professionally evaluating the website’s accessibility level is a key step in web accessibility and should be performed before, during, and after the remediation project. The audit report should be used as the remediation to-do list.”
Wait, why does AccessiBe sell manual audits?
Isn’t their widget, now dubbed “accessWidget”, supposed to be a “solution” for accessibility?
That’s what we’ve been led to believe and even on AccessiBe’s “accessWidget” FAQ, we still get this:
Is there anything accessWidget does not address?
accessWidget does not automatically create captions for videos nor remediate PDF or SVG formats as part of the standard subscription. We provide those services as dedicated projects with our professional services department.
Alright so does that mean the widget addresses everything besides captions and remediation for PDF and SVG files?
Then why do we need an audit?
Userway is like AccessiBe Jr. and although neither widget maker would like to admit it, they’re extremely similar.
In fact, let’s look at some language from Userway’s “Web Accessibility Audit” page:
The most reliable way to verify accessibility levels is through a manual audit.
Our best-in-class audits will identify potential issues and help you build a roadmap to remediation.
Is this really the same company who once claimed they had the “world’s leading automated website accessibility solution”?
Manual audits and remediation?
What was it again that reputable accessibility professionals kept trying to tell everyone that would listen?
Wasn’t it something along the lines of overlay widgets don’t make your website accessible?
Well now we have the biggest overlay vendors — with their automated “solutions” — selling manual services on their own websites. And guess where we ended up:
Audits and remediation are necessary to make a website accessible.
Which is right back where we started.
(P.S. manual is always implicit in the words “audit” and “remediation” because neither are possible through automation.)
So it was the longstanding, credible accessibility professionals like Karl Groves, Adrian Roselli, Jared Smith, Sheri Byrne-Haber, and Julie Moynat who were right all along and not the guys telling you they had an automatic solution for ADA compliance.
For more on why overlays don’t make your website accessible, don’t stop lawsuits, and people give them one-star reviews, read: