Website Accessibility Overlays Don’t Protect You from Potential Lawsuits

A Gavel on top of a laptop

Overlays are products that claim to automatically fix a website’s accessibility issues.  All you have to do, they claim, is insert their JavaScript snippet on your website and your accessibility problems will be repaired.

With the increased number of accessibility lawsuits for inaccessible websites, it’s no wonder that offers for quick fixes are hard to pass on. So, it seems worth asking the obvious question: if you deploy one of these solutions will it actually reduce that risk?  In my opinion, NO

Website Accessibility overlays, plugins, and widgets might actually put a target on your back.

As more plaintiffs’ lawyers realize that people have installed an overlay that doesn’t work, they will start targeting these website owners specifically.  Around 100 Companies at the beginning of 2020 have received lawsuits after investing in widget or overlays, some lawsuits even listed widget features as an extra burden.

The majority of lawsuits these days are about things that impact an individual with a disability ability to use a site. The majority of the time, this is someone who is blind. Widgets won’t impact those claims and often will make the functional use for that person worse than it would be otherwise.

The only true way to avoid potential lawsuits and become fully compliant and accessible is to 1st perform an automated and manual audit, 2nd Remediate the failed checkpoints (accessibility errors), and to continually monitor all changes made to your website moving forward.