Rescue My Business vs Overlays

Many organizations are seeking quick, low-cost accessibility compliance solutions to avoid litigation and ensure their website is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508. Indeed, ADA-related lawsuits around web, app, and video accessibility have increased by 23% in 2020 and the trend is expected to continue upwards, so the concern is understandable. And with the digital transformation that occurred during the pandemic, even more organizations are recognizing the urgent demand for inclusive digital experiences both for users and employees.

, Rescue My Business vs Overlays

Website with accessiBe Overlay

Many people are unfamiliar with designing for accessibility from a technical perspective, and having to juggle multiple accessibility standards at the same time can feel overwhelming, especially considering that some of the standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), are quite technical in nature. Let’s take a look at what accessibility overlay tools offer, what their drawbacks are, and why these tools are inherently flawed when it comes to accessibility.

What is the significance of an accessibility overlay, and what are the advantages of having such an overlay?

An accessibility overlay tool is a type of automated software solution that claims to detect and fix problems with web accessibility. Overlays work by adding a snippet of JavaScript to the web page’s code and are usually accessed through a toolbar, plugin, app, or widget; options depend on the type of overlay. There is an important factor to note, however, that overlays typically do not change the source code of a website in any way. Rather than relying on algorithms, they can detect and modify some basic accessibility issues, such as color contrast or the size of the text. In addition to generic overlay tools, there are also custom overlay solutions, which are tailored-made overlays that promise to address the shortcomings of your publishing system better than generic overlay tools can. Despite the fact that these custom solutions are specific to your site’s code, they do not change your site’s source code at all.


Why are accessibility overlays becoming increasingly popular?

Businesses and organizations looking for a simple, fast, and inexpensive way to comply with accessibility compliance often turn to overlays. In recent years, the number of ADA Title III lawsuits filed in Florida has steadily increased.

The United States federal courts hear tens of thousands of cases each year, and there are a number of different types of cases. In 2013, there were 2,722 lawsuits, and in 2019, there are 11,053 cases. The number has grown from 2,722 lawsuits in 2013 to 11,053 cases in 2019. In addition to that, there have also been some high profile cases in the media that have brought more attention to ADA violations.

A lawsuit was filed against Domino’s after the company failed to ensure that its website and mobile app were accessible to individuals using assistive technology. After the ruling was handed down, Domino’s appealed the case to the Supreme Court on the grounds that there were no clear rules in place on how to make their services accessible, but their request was denied. Irrespective of whether or not business personnel are knowledgeable about accessibility, the case made headlines as it demonstrated the fact that businesses are required to provide equal access to their products and services to people with disabilities regardless of whether they are aware of accessibility requirements. The company that Beyoncé works for, Parkwood Entertainment, has been named in a class-action lawsuit for several accessibility issues regarding that were causing barriers to visitors with vision impairments.


Here are some reasons as to why accessibility overlays should not be used on your website

Many overlay solutions are used as a band-aid method to cover up some accessibility issues but they do not actually correct the underlying accessibility issues in the source code of the website. Relying on an overlay tool as a long-term fix-all solution can therefore leave you open to legal risk, since it gives a false sense of security. It’s possible and has happened in the past that lawsuits have been filed against websites that use overlays. The truth is that over 250 lawsuits were filed against companies in 2020 despite them using accessibility overlays or widgets on their websites.