Chris Ashton

dai11y 12/10/2021

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5 False Claims 1-Line “AI” Accessibility Script Vendors Make (video, 13m, or read the transcript)

  • Eric Eggert disputes five claims that companies [such as accessiBe] make about their products:
    1. “Accessibility can be fully automated”. Human judgement is required to determine what kind of alt text is appropriate in a given context.
    2. “AI solutions are effortless”. For you maybe, but the effort is simply shifted to the user, i.e. they now have to use the screen reader widget on your site rather than the native screen reader they’re used to.
    3. “These tools protect you from lawsuits”. Eric says that this is a scare tactic, and a poor motivator for implementing accessibility. Only 11,000 ADA Title III lawsuits happened in 2019, despite 98% of all websites not meeting WCAG 2.1, so the chance of being sued is statistically low.
    4. “It’s cheap”. These services cost $1,500 to $5,000 over a three year period of coverage. If you don’t renew, you lose those ‘benefits’, whereas if you pay an accessibility consultant to fix the problem at the source, the fix is permanent.
    5. “WCAG conformance. AA! 100%!”. Eric cites numerous examples of websites using these widgets, and still having accessibility violations. He summarises “I cannot fathom how they claim WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility.”

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