Evaluating digital accessibility providers: 13 key questions to ask

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Summary: With a variety of digital accessibility providers on the market, how do you choose the one that best fits your organizational needs? We equip you with 13 key questions to ask during your evaluation process.

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There are a variety of digital accessibility providers on the market today offering varying levels of service and support. Most excel in one area. For example, some solutions only provide the technology that automatically scans a website for accessibility issues. Others rely on technology to attempt to fix a percentage of identified issues. Still others will take it beyond technology and involve professional testers using assistive technology to audit your digital experience. How do you know what capabilities you need? Or if you do know, how do you find the solution that will best support your organizational accessibility objectives? 

Below, we equip you with 13 key questions to ask as you’re evaluating digital accessibility providers. 

For a more comprehensive approach to your buying decision, request our 2022 Digital Accessibility Buyer’s Guide.

Questions to ask a potential digital accessibility provider

Getting clear, straightforward answers to important questions will help you determine which type of digital accessibility partner to choose. Here are the 13 key questions to consider in your evaluation process:

  1. What types of assets can you help make accessible—websites, mobile apps, PDFs, software, digital products, widgets?
    Tip: Make sure the solution can provide accessibility support for every type of digital experience, as well as your future needs.
  2. Do you perform manual testing using assistive technology as well as testing by people with disabilities?
    Tip: Human evaluation is critical when it comes to understanding your state of accessibility. Only testing by accessibility experts, including people with disabilities, and using multiple assistive technologies, can accurately determine whether an experience is accessible for your users.
  3. Do you help me prioritize the errors I need to fix?
    Tip: Results from automated scans and manual analysis of your user flows should be delivered coherently in a manner that helps you prioritize issues based on severity and impact to your users.
  4. Can you fix my errors for me?
    Tip: The most efficient, effective, and secure approach to fixing accessibility errors is for those who own the code to also own fixing it. A partner should provide code-level guidance for internal teams to make the necessary adjustments themselves. This approach is more secure because it prevents third-party access to your code, and it helps build internal expertise and understanding for sustainable accessibility. Without this approach, when building new features, these same teams will re-introduce previously resolved issues because they have not fully learned how to build with accessibility in mind.
  5. Do you provide ongoing support through every phase of the development lifecycle?
    Tip: Fixing errors once a product, website, or app is live leads to costly, inefficient work (and re-work), and it creates risk as users are exposed to barriers. A partner should be able to assist with every stage of the experience lifecycle, from design to coding to testing to authoring.
  6. How does your solution integrate with my current systems and processes?
    Tip: Ensure that your partner can align with your existing development processes and technologies. For example, can they sync identified issues with the project management tools you’re already using, like Jira and Azure DevOps? Can they operate at the same pace as your development teams, timing with your sprints?
  7. Do you have a legal team to help me if I receive a demand letter or lawsuit?
    Tip: A partner should have an internal team that understands global digital accessibility standards as well as how they relate to case law trending and legal regulations. These experts should help validate any legal claims against you and provide support to help your organization avoid future risk.
  8. What is your pricing structure?
    Tip: Clearly understand if all tools, technology, and services, as well as access to subject matter experts will be included in a quoted price, or if they will be billed separately. Determine whether change orders will be required to solve the problem. If a vendor is billing by the hour, clearly understand their rate and how they determine the number of hours needed for auditing and remediation support.
  9. How many of my users will have access to the platform?
    Tip: You should be given platform access for as many users as is needed to make your asset accessible. Clearly understand if a vendor is charging per user seat, and if so, how much each seat will cost.
  10. Will I be working with a dedicated team?
    Tip: A dedicated team will be familiar with your accessibility objectives, your assets, and your progress made over time. If a vendor does provide a dedicated team, it’s important to understand each member’s area of expertise and how often you will have access to them.
  11. What type of accessibility training do you make available to my internal teams?
    Tip: On-demand and live training opportunities should be tailored to specific job functions and included as part of a comprehensive package.
  12. How does your solution support multisite or multi-product management?
    Tip: A comprehensive dashboard should aggregate all your brand’s digital properties into a single, easy-to-action view.
  13. Do you help with the creation of an organization-wide accessibility policy?
    Tip: A partner should help you create and implement an accessibility policy. This policy will establish clear structure, organizational clarity, and accountability when it comes to your overall commitment to accessibility.
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Answers to these questions will help you evaluate whether a provider is capable of equipping you, and your teams, with the full range of resources to accomplish your organizational accessibility goals. 

An innovative solution

For a comprehensive approach to accessibility management, request a demo of the eSSENTIAL Accessibility solution. Our approach combines tooling and technology with access to expert services and training, all at a fixed-fee price. Our solution is the market’s only full-scale, enterprise-ready digital accessibility platform, enabling you to meet your accessibility objectives and scale with confidence. 

What to do next

We can help you meet WCAG standards and maintain ADA and AODA compliance:

  1. Connect with us today to learn more about our comprehensive approach to digital accessibility, including our automated and manual auditing capabilities and extensive range of managed services.
  2. Visit our resources section to download free white papers and webinars, and find our newest blogs on industry trends.
  3. Connect with us to continue the conversation on Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook.

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