We understand that accessibility can be overwhelming. Our job is to change that.

Don’t Be Shy!

All ilumino staff who work on our projects are both Accessibility Subject Matter Experts and developers with experience over a wide range of custom, open source, and out of the box platforms.

No developers? No problem. Our team has the skills to take the work off your hands and remediate your website, applications, documents, or platforms to conformance.

Already have a team you love? Great! We’ll speak developer to developer and even jive to your deployment schedule if needed. We know how frustrating it can be to be handed a list of errors with no direction. So we make sure our thorough test results tell you exactly what to do, right down to the line of code in violation in most cases.

Glad you asked! This is our special sauce and, let’s be honest, standard training can result in a snooze-fest as all content does not always apply to every participant. Maybe you have a tight release schedule that prevents allocating your accessibility work over months and you need to make progress quickly. Sometimes you need help selling the value of making your project accessible; getting buy-in from the troops can be a bigger task than the actual compliance work. We can help with all of these potential blockers.

Our in-person A11y Enlightenment Engagement is a hands-on, highly productive, multi-departmental workshop format that propels teams to the next phase of their accessibility journey in a standard 3-day time frame. We work with you to build a custom agenda, define who needs to attend and when, and provide the specific tools, reference lists, and policies you need to maintain your digital compliance.

Virtual engagements are equally effective and perfect for teams where multiple locations are producing digital assets, or those who would like to include external developers or media teams.

  1. Running an automated scan will tell you everything you need to fix to meet the guidelines.
  2. Fixing all of the errors from an automated scan will make your product compliant.
  3. Putting an overlay or custom plugin that imitates assistive technology on your site helps users with disabilities.
  4. Offering an alternative accessible site or platform is an acceptable solution.
  5. You have to be 100% compliant to mitigate risks.
  6. Your products need to be 100% compliant to the highest standards at all times.
  7. Having a badge on your site makes it less likely that you will be sued.
  8. Accessibility is a one-time project.
  9. Your product will become ugly and plain after accessibility adjustments.
  10. Design, SEO, and usability suffer from implementing accessibility.

All three principles work together to form the overarching foundation of best practices for human-centered, inclusive, user experience, and accessible design for websites, applications, documents, products, and media.

Let’s look at a basic example: website navigation. Navigation built with all of these best practices in mind leads to:

  • Improved search visibility on Google
  • Quicker conversions
  • Easier to find information for everyone, especially for those with cognitive challenges or dyslexia
  • Ability for screen readers to access all links and let the user know where they’re heading

Ironically, and what you may not realize, is that meeting accessibility success criteria such as relevant alt text, properly ordered headers, descriptive title attributes, correctly structured tables and forms, and media enhancements promote your SEO rankings and site usability more than site optimization alone. Use accessibility as the catalyst to take your digital assets to the next level.

ilumino knows that each industry has its own goals, structure, and expectations in the compliance landscape. We’ve consulted and provided solutions for customers spanning eCommerce, government, commercial B2B, SAAS, hospitality, healthcare, higher education, travel, and financial services. We have trained content editors, designers, and developers. We’ll help you understand your specific responsibility and build a roadmap that makes sense for your organization.

ilumino’s key mission is to serve as a wise adviser providing clarity in a space that can be confusing and chock-full of conflicting information. This mission is deeply rooted and born out of a passion for illuminating the path to digital accessibility and helping others create an inclusive world.

Thus emerged “Lumey the Owl”. Our logo represents many symbolic qualities attributed to owls including: wisdom, information-seeker, change-influencer, faithful guide in the dark, master of maneuvering in the realm of the unknown, protector of suffering and yeah – magic. Lumey was designed to provide a friendly welcome to your digital compliance journey.

But don’t be fooled by Lumey’s kind appearance. He preys on inaccessible code snippets in the dark.

As the majority of web and document accessibility lawsuits have been filed by or on behalf of users with no vision, there has been confusion that WCAG only addresses the needs of blind persons, and therefore testing with and fixing your site for use by a screen reader means that you are satisfying the guidelines. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Take a look at the guidelines and you’ll notice that they are categorized into four sections known as “POUR”: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable (aha!), and Robust. Guideline 3.1, for example, states “Make text content readable and understandable.” There are a few reasons WCAG recommends we do this:

  1. Yes, so fully blind users or those with low vision can understand the content read to them by a screen reader.
  2. But also, so dyslexic users don’t become confused and lost in a site’s content, unable to navigate back to a section they liked and want to revisit, but can no longer find.
  3. So users with cognitive challenges can equally understand the carefully curated messages and information your site provides to complete the actions you desire them to take on your site.
  4. So ALL users interacting with your content can understand your message & brand, purchase your products, sign up for your newsletters, etc… without being confused by acronyms, tricky verbiage, or unusual jargon.

By now, most businesses have heard from  the grapevine about the need to be compliant, or a horror story regarding a lawsuit because they weren’t. So why are businesses hesitating to pick up the phone?

One common trend is the idea that becoming compliant will sacrifice other key business initiatives. If not executed properly, this can be absolutely true. However, if conducted strategically, beginning your accessibility journey can actually benefit other initiatives and add to their success.

For example, consider SEO. Ever since Google released their Lighthouse accessibility browser plugin in, it’s no secret that accessibility promotes SEO and vice versa, and that Google’s algorithms give preference to accessible sites; image alt text, descriptive page titles, and descriptive link text (avoid “click here”) are all SEO best practices…as well as WCAG requirements…

Or, how about your campaign for increased brand adoption, conversions, or purchases on your site? In order to meet WCAG “Success Criterion 3.2.3 Consistent Navigation”, you might find yourself implementing a menu structure that’s easier to use for all, killing two birds (Lumey’s least favorite joke!) with one stone. It’s the technical version of how wheelchair ramps effectively aid moms with strollers, people with shopping carts, and those temporarily on crutches all at once.

Bonus! Starting your accessibility journey is a great catalyst to assess your digital assets and determine if you really need the old baggage of inaccessible code hanging around, or if this is an opportunity for addressing long-avoided content, document, and webpage updates. Two birds.

Reference: https://webaim.org/blog/web-accessibility-and-seo/

That’s a good plan if you thrive on unnecessary risk! However, it’s a matter of “when” not “if” you will need to become compliant. Just like today’s expectation is that all websites are mobile-friendly, we’re not far from a world where accessibility is no longer a line item, but an expected part of the process. And at the end of the day, it’s the right thing to do.

Further, legal precedence has shown that there is no limit to the amount of web accessibility cases that can be stacked against you at once, and that settling these types of cases does nothing to limit your exposure to future litigation.

Trust us. It’s much more manageable and cost-effective to address accessibility proactively versus being forced to approach it in a reactive manner, with a much larger scope of work, all while paying a premium to get it completed under an accelerated timeline dictated by the courts.

Accessibility is not a line item. If your web developer is allowing you to choose whether you want your new site and/ or the updates to your existing site, application, documents, or product to be accessible, chances are they don’t understand the guidelines, your risk for not being compliant, or their responsibility.

Just as an architect would consider physical accommodations at the outset of designing a building, websites work the same way. At ilumino, we start the process on day 1 by reviewing brand proposals, wireframes, design files, and technical component plans. If this isn’t part of your developer’s skillset, we are able to plug seamlessly into their process to insure the same end result; conformance assurance and risk mitigation. You need to feel confident you are adequately addressing your digital compliance accessibility responsibilities.

Friendly reminder: beware of band-aids like overlay tools. Teams who don’t understand how to conduct accessible code remediation may be suggesting these in lieu of the effort required when engaging a vendor like ilumino to help. Overlays are highly misunderstood and are not the one size fits all solution that some suggest.

Here’s where you LIKE us:

We’re honest. The truth is there is no such thing as a quick fix with digital accessibility. Advocates like ilumino are hard at work to improve the technology, processes, and solutions to make the transition as easy as possible but admittedly there’s a long way to go. The reality is that remediation at the code level is the only way to make technology equally inclusive for all users, and that takes time, an initial overhaul if you’re just starting your journey, and an assessment of your digital assets.

Here’s where you LOVE us:

Achieving digital accessibility compliance doesn’t have to be hard to achieve or maintain! It can be difficult if you engage a vendor who doesn’t understand your unique development process, your business operations, how to conduct training on accessible coding techniques, or assigns team members lacking development or accessibility expertise to your project. We understand this may be the last thing you want to address, but our mission is to make accessibility as easy, fun (yes, we said it), and hands-off for you as possible.

Have more questions?

Ask us any of your accessibility questions! We promise we don’t bite!