Altered User Experience
(Site Access Widgets)
Another type of quick fix essentially alters the
functionality of the user experience (UX) of
websites by providing a widget with different
user modes. This solution is similar to a separate site but is used as more of an add-on for
existing content and acts like assistive technology. And while it may provide some tools
such as changing color or speaking selected
text, it doesn’t address site issues when people
are using their own assistive technology.
Many of these widgets only allow one mode
to work at a time, preventing users from using
better contrast and text-to-speech.
This type of quick fix fails legal standards
for a few reasons. These widgets typically force
people to self-identify based on disability or
need. Additionally, they don’t account for
combinations of needs since people don’t fit
into neat “disability” buckets. For example, one
individual may need help with color contrast
and larger text to view certain website features,
but they may also need text-to-speech for
Organizations that choose this solution
don’t usually change anything about their pro-
cess, which means they continue to rely on an
(incomplete) end filter to cover continuous
barriers and issues which puts them at risk for
Separate (Alternative) Websites
Another common shortcut to digital accessibility is developing a separate website. This separate website caters specifically to people with
disabilities or people with one type of disability.
One of the most prominent reasons why
alternative sites may fail the legal standard is
because they’re contradictory to inclusion. Over
time, these websites widely vary in content and
features, defeating the purpose by allowing access to all people. When alternative sites are automatically generated, they tend to be designed
for users of text-to-speech without vision, and
thus force people with other disabilities to use
the alternative site without the valuable visual
content. For example, some people with learning disabilities such as Dyslexia, use text to
speech software, and people with motor impairments may use speech recognition software,
although they may have typical vision. Allowing
users to use the same site as others but allowing
for personalization or support for their own
assistive technology, is an approach that better
meets the needs of more people.
Why Might Some Companies
Use a Quick Fix?
A quick fix can be a viable solution, but only
if intended as a short-term solution. You can
provide a temporary fix while your financial
institution gathers the resources to make their
digital assets more inclusive at the code level.
Usually, this is the case with banks that:
■ ■ ■ Have a small development team or
none at all and need to contract the work.
■ ■ ■ Don’t have access to the source code of
their digital assets, for example when their
website was built by an external agency.
■ ■ ■ Have a small and largely static website that
rarely features updates or changes.
■ ■ ■ Are in the process or redesigning/rebuilding
their websites and are not willing to invest in
full remediation at the code level.
What Are the Pitfalls of
a Quick Fix?
It should be clear by now that a quick fix is a
temporary solution to a problem that will continue to exist. If a bank wants to be relevant in
today’s digital and litigious environment, it will
need to remain compliant with current digital
accessibility laws and position itself as an innovative, inclusive bank in order to maintain a
Additionally, a quick fix isn’t more lucrative in
the long run. Over time, it is common for organizations to spend more maintaining an overlay
or a separate website, than if they had made their
original website accessible from the beginning.
This is because most overlays require a team
of developers to create, maintain, and update
consistently. In short, an incomplete solution will
cost you time and money that you could have invested into a long-term compliance solution.
If you want to save time and money by investing in a long-term digital accessibility solution,
stay away from the following “quick fix” red flags:
Avoid misleading and over-promising statements. The statement “compliance with a few