Access2online: Accessibility on a Budget
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Services - Collaborative Accessibility Portal

The problem we address

Consider the common accessibility statement linked from the bottom of your home page. It begins by listing the accessibility standards you support and concludes with how to file accessibility claims with various government agencies. By claiming compliance to standards and laws like Title II of the ADA, you may feel your liability reduced, and providing links to official complaint forms is certainly compliant.

Picture of closed road prohibiting wheelchairsThe problem is clear if you put yourself in the shoes of disabled people who have arrived on your website, only to be frustrated by some inaccessibility, and then to land on your accessibility statement. The first part says you are accessible, that is, calls them uninformed or incompetent, and then invites them to begin the process that can lead to a judicial complaint against your organization from the DoJ or the Office of Civil Rights. This is like poking the bear and telling him where to find your picnic basket.

Our solution

Better is a Collaborative Accessibility Portal that converts adversaries into allies, and engages them in a process to make your website more accessible.

The CAP LogoYou replace your counterproductive accessibility statement with a link to your copy of our Collaborative Accessibility Portal, a portal that Access2online operates for you like a web service. This portal comes with a Coordinator trained in practical website accessibility who is familiar with your website, particularly its accessibility issues and plans. This Coordinator is also skilled with assistive technology like screen readers and is a master of overcoming accessibility obstructions.

Your Collaborative Accessibility Portal presents your disabled website visitors with easy support options far quicker than filing formal complaints. Besides phone, texting, email, chat, and fax, visitors are encouraged to use online forms for their support requests, forms that cut out voicemail and phone tag by collecting everything the Coordinator needs to solve an accessibility problem the first time, for example, the URL of the page with the inaccessibility.

Whereas the long term solution is a clear remediation suggestion the Coordinator sends your web designer, the immediate solution is a workaround for the disabled person who is stuck right now. This can be a sophisticated tip with the visitor's screen reader, but it is commonly just the sighted Coordinator getting past the inaccessibility to find the information the disabled visitor needs and getting that to him.

The Collaborative Accessibility Portal comes with other forms you can choose to activate for your portal:
  • assistive technology help
  • mail list sign up
  • suggestions
  • surveys
  • volunteer signups

Symbol of two wheelchairs helping each otherTo form a disabled community within your organization, a moderated blog presents a forum for questions and answers operated by the portal visitors themselves. The portal Coordinator makes sure all posts comply to your policy before displaying them on the blog. This becomes your window into your organization's disabled community.

Every support request on your Collaborative Accessibility Portal is fully traceable, including if it is delegated outside the portal. If you get a DoJ complaint on behalf of Sam Smith, for example, you can check the portal's support requests to see if you have a time-stamped record of the portal's Coordinator helping Mr. Smith past his inaccessibility.

How to get started

Access2online will provide a custom Collaborative Accessibility Portal for all current and past clients for free, that's free to set up and free to operate.

Symbol of helping the disabledAll you need do is to contact us and request it. We respond with a questionnaire about what we'll need to set up your Collaborative Accessibility Portal. Then we schedule a teleconference where we go over your particular interests regarding your portal, give you a password, and preside over a test drive.

After everything looks right, you replace your link to your accessibility statement with a link to your Collaborative Accessibility Portal.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

1) What if we're already following an Action Plan regarding accessibility?
Stick to it, and use your Collaborative Accessibility Portal to connect it to the community it is to address. Present your Action Plan through your portal for feedback, engagement, and support.

2) Can we provide our own portal Coordinator?
Yes, and they can do so from where they are. Besides knowing the accessibility issues of your website, this Coordinator would need to be a master of accessibility workarounds. This requires experience with assistive technology, particularly screen readers. Sadly, they cannot be disabled or they may be stuck at the same obstruction as your disabled website visitor. Keep in mind that your portal Manager will be able to do everything that our Coordinator can do within your portal. Your Manager can ease into any and all duties of our Coordinator that your Manager feels able to do.

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