Briefing
person
Scott Millar
Category
UX
Date posted
30 May 2022
Read Time
UX

Do accessibility plugins fix issues, or cause them?

What is it?

Accessibility plugins (or accessibility overlays) are tools that you can install on your website, typically through JavaScript, to improve accessibility.

Claiming to fix any code that prevents assistive technologies from being used easily, they are usually overlaid onto a website and add extra controls that modify its appearance to improve the experience for users with disabilities. 

This may include page colour contrast or enlarged page text.

Why is it important?

The features of the plugin may seem beneficial, however the end user will likely already have assistive technology installed on their device for other programs and software – not just websites.

Accessibility plugins may improve compliance against a handful of major accessibility standards, however, full compliance cannot be achieved with a plugin alone. On top of this, 72% of those with disabilities believe accessibility plugins are not effective.1

Any products that claim to make your website fully accessible should be challenged and viewed with a pinch of salt.

What to do next?

Accessibility is a big problem on the web for both users and site owners. Using quick fix plugins can be appealing, however for the longer term, the majority of solutions are doing more harm than good.

Genuine accessibility requires investment of resources. By running regular accessibility reviews and optimising your code you can start to make your website inclusive to everyone. 

If you need support in taking the next steps to making your website more accessible, get in touch with our team today.

1 https://webaim.org/projects/practitionersurvey3/