Meetup.com Raises Concerns with New Accessibility Overlay – WP Tavern
Meetup.com raised some considerations with the WordPress neighborhood (and the broader neighborhood of accessibility professionals) this week after it added an accessibility overlay to its web site. The overlay, powered by EqualWeb, shows an inventory of settings that may be toggled, ostensibly to deal with numerous accessibility wants.
Accessibility overlay merchandise are sometimes marketed as a fast repair resolution that may make a web site ADA compliant and immune from authorized motion, when accessibility had not been inbuilt from the start.
In Could 2021, accessibility advocates signed an open letter urging individuals to not use accessibility overlay merchandise like AccesiBe, EqualWeb, and others. Signatories revealed a four-part assertion that articulates the the explanation why overlays are dangerous:
- We are going to by no means advocate, suggest, or combine an overlay which deceptively markets itself as offering automated compliance with legal guidelines or requirements.
- We are going to all the time advocate for the remediation of accessibility points on the supply of the unique error.
- We are going to refuse to remain silent when overlay distributors use deception to market their merchandise.
- Extra particularly, we hereby advocate for the removing of accessiBe, AudioEye, UserWay, User1st, MK-Sense, MaxAccess, FACIL’iti, and all related merchandise and encourage the positioning house owners who’ve applied these merchandise to make use of extra sturdy, unbiased, and everlasting methods to creating their websites extra accessible.
WordPress’ Neighborhood Group makes use of Meetup.com to arrange native and digital meetups, in addition to instructional occasions. Accessibility practitioners contemplate the usage of overlay merchandise a flagrant malpractice and are calling on Meetup.com to desert this resolution in favor of addressing inaccessibility on the root of the issue.
After receiving some complaints, Meetup appeared to take the overlay down however reinstated it the following day. On the time of publishing. the overlay remains to be on the web site. WordPress neighborhood organizer Angela Jin offered to contact Meetup.com on behalf of involved neighborhood members. Within the meantime, accessibility evangelist Amber Hinds suggested the Neighborhood Group discover Meetup.com options and stated the WordPress Accessibility Meetup will probably be wanting into utilizing a unique occasions calendar.