For persons with disability, an accessibility ‘fix’ can be worse than the flaws

Automated accessibility web services are on the rise due to legal pressure for website accessibility, but they can have unintended consequences for users with disabilities. Complaints include the tools offering quick fixes while making websites harder for the blind to navigate. Users, like Patrick Perdue, often find these solutions make their online experience more challenging than before.

In recent years, the popularity and use of automated accessibility web services has risen sharply  because of advances in A.I. and new legal pressures on companies to make their websites accessible. But it is not working out that way, persons with disabilities have complained about these tools offering websites seemingly quick solutions to their accessibility problems while making it harder for people who are blind to navigate the web.

Patrick Perdue, a radio enthusiast who is blind, says he used to shop online for radio equipment before his preferred website’s new accessibility software made it harder— not easier — to navigate.  ‘I’ve not yet found a single one that makes my life better, I spend more time working around these overlays than I actually do navigating the website,’ said Perdue