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In The Winery

              A second option is to take some incremental step
            or steps toward improving the website. Often, this
            involves fixing the easy-to-find compliance failures
            – issues like color contrast violations and missing
            alterative (“alt”) text on images. The advantages
            here are convenience and cost; many software
            tools can assist with this, and for not much money.
            The primary disadvantage is that the results are
            mixed, since no technology can catch every failure.
            In fact, most automated tools only detect about
            20-30% of the non-compliant issues. As a result,
            while software offers a step toward ADA com-
            pliance, it will continue to leave website owners
            exposed and vulnerable. And given that “copycat”
            suits are now the norm, your odds of escaping fur-
            ther litigation are low.

              The third option is for wineries to make their
            websites ADA compliant. The only way to do this is
            through human expert auditing that involves actual
            people going through the site manually to check
            for all 78 “success criteria” under the current web
            content accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.1). After
            that, wineries can use the audit reports to remedi-
            ate their sites and achieve meaningful compliance.
            While this option costs more, it remains the only
            reliable way to stop successive suits. It is also the
            right thing to do.

                    Widgets: Savior or Snake Oil?

              Many businesses – not just wineries – turn to
            third-party accessibility “widgets” as an apparent
            cure-all. These software plugins or overlays go
            directly on a website and claim to provide disabled
            visitors with an expanded set of accessibility tools
            to help them better navigate the site. To the unini-
            tiated, widgets seem to be the long- sought solu-
            tion: an inexpensive and easy-to-use button that
            makes fonts bigger, contrasts sharper, and other
            enhancements. Their simple integration with any
            website accounts for their widespread adoption.

              Unfortunately, as lots of their former advocates
            have found, widgets fail to make any website. In
            fact, there is reason to believe they make sites less
            compliant than before and more susceptible to
            litigation. The reason: the features they offer are
            already available to users via their browsers, their

            877-892-5332                  The Grapevine • September - October 2019                             Page 5
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