FZA Digital, LLC, the digital marketing and technology sister company to fusionZONE Automotive, LLC, has announced the release of ADAPT, a practical Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) toolkit to help protect its auto dealers.
The Supreme Court is now allowing cases to move forward against retailers if their websites are not accessible. fusionZONE Automotive’s websites comply with WCAG 2.1 standards right out of the box, but there is increasing litigation regarding compliance. FZA Digital has created a multi-level toolkit that gives auto dealer websites a higher level of protection.
Automotive websites change rapidly and often (third-party content, OEM marketing collateral, images and more) and are edited by both internal developers and dealership staff. Accessibility functionality can be impacted quickly and remain unnoticed until it’s too late. ADAPT was created to solve this frustrating situation. Designed for accessibility and minimal legal exposure, ADAPT includes practical hands-on tools and fully automated web accessibility technical tools, ensuring full compliance at any time.
“The recent refusal by the United States Supreme Court to hear the Domino’s ADA case means there will be no consistent legal standard to meet ADA requirements,” said Ed Barton, CEO and president of fusionZONE Automotive. “We designed ADAPT by analyzing case law and applying legal as well as technical expertise. The four elements of ADAPT are designed to meet or exceed all published legal standards for ADA accessibility. There is no ‘magic bullet’ solution to ADA Compliance. Having just one element is not enough.”
FZA Digital designed the ADAPT Toolkit Solution to be deployable on any website and can integrate the tools as long as the vendor agrees to install it.
ADAPT includes four primary elements that work together to provide a strong defense and real capabilities for consumers with disabilities. ADAPT addresses the website itself, displaying legal statements that offer alternative communication methods and technology that enables efficient, real-time accessibility features. It goes well-beyond the WCAG 2.1 A compliance requirements, ensuring continuous ADA accessibility for consumers and legal protection for FZA Digital clients.
FZA Digital’s ADAPT Toolkit Solution includes:
• A real-time accessibility and auditing tool. The fully automated accessibility technology performs two distinct functions: a) a real-time, on-site rendering tool, and b) automated AI analysis. A highly visible accessibility icon anchored to every page on the website allows consumers with disabilities to toggle a rendering tool on and off, tailoring the site to their personal needs. The interface acts as an overlay on the dealer’s website, which is specific to the user’s session. The user is presented with over 50 features from which to choose. At the time the site is rendered for the user, ADAPT makes any necessary adjustments in real-time. This provides an additional layer of compliance that acts as a safety net for any custom content that was not developed in strict accordance with the guidelines. The automated AI analysis technology uses both AI and machine learning technology to analyze the website. Once installed, it begins working right away, resolving accessibility compliance gaps in as little as 48 hours. After the initial 48 hours, ADAPT technology re-scans and re-analyzes the website every 24 hours to ensure that any new content, widgets or pages are also adapted and thereby compliant.
• A screen reader. This element resides on the website and can also be toggled on or off by clicking on the accessibility icon. While turned on, individual copy snippets can be read out loud directly from the site without the need for installation of a third-party screen reader. This is both mobile and desktop-friendly, working across all devices.
• An accessibility policy statement. Adding this customized accessibility policy statement to the website encourages consumers to reach out to the dealership first if they have any issues. It welcomes their feedback and lets them know their accessibility is a top priority, thus avoiding potential legal action.
• Monthly audits. FZA Digital staff consistently evaluate the website for compliance, ensuring any new creative, copy or design change incorporates the principles of accessibility as best as possible.
“While the guidelines offered by the WCAG for ADA compliance are comprehensive, they can also be overwhelming to understand as well as implement, especially for small teams,” said Alex Papadopulos, chief technology officer for fusionZONE Automotive. “Utilizing tools that encompass the requirements for compliance and leaning on the knowledge and expertise of a team experienced with the pitfalls of balancing design and technical requirements is important. Full compliance is difficult, if not near impossible, to achieve. But reasonable and timely efforts must be continually made.”