Now this may remind you of accessibility overlays, and I should highlight that, you know, accessibility overlays have issues.
They include that some of the vendors of these overlays, they make false claims, so an overlay is a product that website owners can buy and install on their website.
Claims like that are very tricky because as we said before, we can only detect a very small subset of issues and anyone who claims that they can detect all accessibility issues is lying.
Something else that is a problem with overlays is that they don’t always work well. And sometimes they might make things worse as well, for people with disabilities.
So that is a thing to look out for.
I don’t think it’s a problem necessarily with automatically fixing issues per se. I think it’s a problem with how the specific overlay products have implemented and if it shows one thing, it is that this isn’t an easy thing to do because you do need to get it completely right for it to really, really make sense.
Something else to say about overlays is that they only fix
the websites that they’re installed on. So some of these overlay vendorsmay sell their product and charge per website, so the website owner will need to pay and not all websites will have these overlays.
So if you would install an accessibility overlay, you’re not really contributing to the larger problem of, you know, websites on the web at large, not just the ones that you want to fix, but all of the websites on the web. I think that scope is more interesting and that’s the scope we’re looking at today.
Another thing to say about overlays is that they often don’t work well with the DOM updates, which are done of course, by a single page applications.
So these are caveats and you can find these and more on a website called overlayfactsheets.com and on this website, a number of accessibility practitioners, including myself,
have signed this manifesto where we say, you know, accessibility overlays have issues and, you know, please don’t use them.