Live Chat Accessibility And The ADA

Web security and accessibility

Digital accessibility today

Digital accessibility across the web and websites are becoming increasingly popular and necessary. For one thing, we are in the digital age. Brick and mortar businesses are moving to the web at a furious pace. But that’s not the only reason to keep accessibility top of mind.

Supporting accessibility is even more important from a social standpoint, as broadening businesses scope and reach strengthens company brands. SnapEngage is committed to serving the needs of all types of demographics, including users with disabilities.

Chat opens the door to more powerful customer relationships, and is known as the channel with the highest customer satisfaction rate across the web. Users with disabilities can be empowered to experience greater access to the internet.

We strive to meet the most current guidelines for compliance, including the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA. By addressing and believing in these access standards, SnapEngage is delivering greater value to all users, including our clients’ users.

What is digital accessibility?

Let’s break this term down. Accessibility is about making things friendlier and more accessible to all people, whether they have a disability or not. Digital refers to anything related to the internet, which today, is everything.

Put the two together and see a world where the web is accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. Guidelines can be put into place to ensure anyone using digital tools and platforms are able to have a pleasant experience.

Why are we hearing about this now?

Digital accessibility may be a newer concept to some industries, but for others it has been top of mind for quite some time. One reason is because digital accessibility lawsuits are on the rise. Ask Domino’s pizza. Now is the time when ordering a pizza, planning a vacation, paying bills, and checking package statuses all happen on one device, all without talking to a single person. The SnapEngage visitor experience (what customers experience when they are chatting) has been designed to follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA to assist you in overall web presence compliance.

3 important aspects to consider when discussing accessibility

SnapEngage is built to be accessible. Serving a larger community, including community members with disabilities, should not be an afterthought. With that in mind, here are three aspects to consider for your business.

1. Any business using chat for support or to provide a service must make chat equally available to disabled persons under the law. 

2. A disability, like hearing, visual, and color-blindness, should not keep anyone from participating in a web conversation. 

3. Software accessibility can require a lift from both the provider and the business. Take care to do your due diligence.

Web accessibility best practices

There are many tools available today, and we recommend checking out the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines for in-depth details. From the SnapEngage side, we have a few suggestions.

Keyboard navigation Every component of the chat can be accessed using a keyboard without requiring a mouse or trackpads.
Outlined elements Actionable elements (like button choices) can be outlined with a border.
Color contrast Create high-contrast color schemes palettes in the Design Studio so all text is clearly visible.

Communicating with all visitors

Accessibility needs to cover the entire website, including extra site tools like live chat. Chat enables engagement throughout the entire customer journey and is the quickest way for customers to get in touch with you.

Accordingly, chat should be a top accessibility priority.

Continuing to make your online site accessible will ensure that the internet as a whole becomes more welcoming. For more ways to improve communication, reach out to us.

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