Beware of False Web Accessibility Compliance

Accessibility legislation around the world is leading to the rise of plugins for accessibility widgets that claim something like:

Just one line of code achieves compliance

How? “Automagically”

Please take any bold claims such as these online with a grain of salt. While some of these widgets may augment accessibility, they do not make your website WCAG 2.0 AA compliant—despite any claims they may make—and they do not fix any core accessibility issues.

The Ontario government recommendations for making accessible websites do not support any of these claims or technologies. No AI is recommended, and the only recommendation for using online tools is to help check if your website is accessible or not:

You can use an online tool to check if your website is accessible. Using an online accessibility checker does not guarantee that you will find all accessibility issues with your website. It is important to have a person review the site as well.

The whole page is worth a read as it is very comprehensive around how to meet the full compliance requirements.

Avoid the questionable marketing claims that promise compliance at a click. Ignore the reviews by fake or misinformed users. Instead, have an experienced web developer follow the specific steps provided by the government to help make your website accessible for people with disabilities.

A friendly note

The accessibility overlay plugins usually display an accessibility icon at the bottom of your website:

Accessible Icon

This red flag also signals to enterprising lawyers that you have likely not made the effort to make your website accessible. A quick test on their end can confirm this as fact, so be wary and ensure that you comply with the WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines without taking any shortcuts.

Note that we are not a law firm. Please view this as informational—not legal advice—and speak to a lawyer before coming to a conclusion.