One of the inclusion challenges least often considered and addressed in sport is web and digital accessibility. Sport providers are more often focused on the programs, activities and competitions we deliver for our members and participants, so things like websites and other digital experiences get little to no attention. This means that many current and prospective members may be facing significant barriers in accessing information and services online from sport providers. This could lead to missed opportunities for membership and participation as well as lost revenue. It can also leave sport providers open to a lawsuit.
Because we know the challenges web accessibility poses to sport providers and we know sport providers are usually focused on other things, Inclusive Sport Design has done the hard work for you in finding a solution to help you take action. We’ve done the research and considered the options. That’s why ISD has teamed up with UserWay, the world’s leading provider of website accessibility compliance solutions.
If you are ready to take action on web accessibility, then this is for you.
In this post we will introduce you to UserWay, explaining its features and benefits. In addition, you can find out how to get UserWay’s powerful web accessibility tools for yourself.
What is web accessibility?
First things first, what is web accessibility anyway?
Web accessibility is all about making sure that websites, tools, and technologies are made so that people with disabilities can use them. You can learn more about web accessibility and why it’s important for sport providers to consider by reading this post: Web accessibility for sport providers.
What is UserWay?
UserWay creates advanced website accessibility solutions that help ensure web accessibility compliance without having to rebuild or re-develop your website. This is super handy for sport clubs, organisations and providers who have limited resources, time and expertise to take on website redevelopment. UserWay provides a suite of tools to help you identify and remediate web accessibility issues and ensure compliance with various legal and technical requirements including the WCAG.
What it is
An AI-powered widget that provides front-end control for making smart modifications on your website without the need for recoding.
How it works
After installing a simple code on your site and completing some easy set up the widget is embedded seamlessly into your site. The widget provides a range of AI-powered functions to control things like:
- Keyboard navigation
- Text size
- Animation controls
- Cursor size
- Page reading
- Highlight links
- Text spacing
- Dyslexia font
- Tool tips
If you want to see the widget in action you can on this page! Click on the icon at the bottom left of the screen to open the UserWay widget embedded in the ISD site.
There is a free version and a premium version of the widget.
The free version is of course limited. It will let you embed a widget on your site that gives users some control of their own experience by optimising various elements of your site. While it is a handy addition, it won’t address the majority of WCAG compliance requirements.
The premium fully-featured widget on the other hand has a range of benefits for you and your site’s users, as well as ensuring your site is compliant with WCAG accessibility requirements. Even better – most of that happens automatically. Here’s a few more important features:
- AI-Powered remediation: Once installed and active, the widget automatically takes steps to identify and resolve accessibility issues for you. You can keep track of things directly in the widget.
- Deploy on any website: The widget is available for all leading CMS/site building platforms as well as plain HTML/CSS/JS sites. Which means it should work with your existing website.
- Customisation: You can customise preferred button types, language and locales, size, position, colour, accessibility statements, and more. This means you can make it look and feel like your organisation’s brand, with controls for mobile, desktop and tablet use.
- 30+ Languages: The widget is fully-integrated with 30+ languages. Plus it even has intelligent "auto-detect" mode, which means no matter what language your users speak or where your users are in the world it will automatically present them with accessibility options in the language they'll understand best.
As mentioned, there is a free version of the widget. However, for the full-feature widget you will need to purchase one of the available subscription packages. There are options for small businesses all the way up to large enterprises and public sector customers.
Real time site scanning
What it is
The UserWay site scanning and monitoring tool checks your website for web accessibility compliance in real time. It comes with a real time content monitoring dashboard that gives you trends and insights for your site, as well as actionable real time alerts.
How it works
It uses an underlying rule engine to monitor and evaluate accessibility violations that may be affecting your site. The rule engine is constantly updated to keep pace with the latest WCAG requirements.
The site scanner comes with a free and premium option.
The free option is limited to a single page scan on desktop resolution only. However, it will give you a first indication of issues you may have and ways to resolve them.
Of course, if you really want to make an impact and up your compliance game then the premium version is the one you want. This is a really robust solution to keep on top of accessibility compliance for your whole web eco system. Here are just some of the main benefits:
- Desktop to mobile: The UserWay scanner can run multiple scans at the same time across all device types and resolutions including desktop to mobile. This is great since it minimises the risk of missing something.
- Large sites: The UserWay scanner can handle sites with thousands of pages, and does it super-fast too. Most sport provider sites are relatively small so you can expect results in minutes. But if your site is on the larger side, don’t worry: this tool can conduct up to 30,000 scans on a 15,000-page site in less than an hour.
- Screenshot your issues: The scanner comes with a built in one-click screenshot feature. This lets you identify and record the exact link, video, menu item, field etc. that is causing your accessibility issue.
Again, as mentioned there is a free option that allows you to scan one site page per month. The paid options allow you to scan more pages and offer real time monitoring. Packages start at USD$49.00/month for scanning up to 10 site pages. Custom options are also available for enterprise and public sector customers.
What it is
UserWay’s accessibility audit reports provide clear and actionable checklists to improve the accessibility compliance of your website and ensure adherence to web accessibility regulations and criteria.
How it works
The UserWay Audit provides you with clear and actionable checklists of each and every accessibility violation on your site, and how exactly it should be fixed.
UserWay offers a range of Audit packages to suit different needs. Simply choose a package, provide your website address and other details to request an audit. Depending on the package you could receive your audit report within 14 days.
The main benefit of the Audit is pretty clear, you know in detail, what you need to address across your sites and how to address it. But completing and audit also demonstrates goodwill and a real effort towards achieving compliance with accessibility requirements.
Audits are packaged as a one of fee and scale depending on the size of your website and complexity of features. Packages are available for standard sites, large sites and ecommerce sites. Custom options are also available for enterprise and public sector customers.
If you’ve made it this far you may be thinking about using one of UserWay’s powerful web accessibility tools for your sport organisation.
You may also be thinking ‘this is great, but I’m going to need some help’. This is where the UserWay customer support team step up to the plate with some really excellent offerings.
Let’s start with a couple of considerations.
Firstly, there’s no phone support. So, you can’t pick up the phone to call someone. For some this may be a downside, however there are many other ways to get support from the UserWay team. So, not a deal breaker.
The other thing to know is there is not one single way to get support. In fact, UserWay have several helpful sources of information and tools to help you get set up, learn more and take action.
- Live chat: You can talk to the UserWay team via their live chat available on the UserWay website. You will talk with a real person, and they will typically reply in just a few minutes. If no one is available at the time, then you can provide your email and they will follow up with you.
- Request a demo: If you want to see more and get further information to help you decide if UserWay is right for you simply request a demo via the UserWay website.
- Tutorials: You can browse UserWay’s free library of video tutorials and learn how to make the most of UserWay’s various tools.
- Blog: UserWay regularly publishes the latest digital accessibility news as well as updates from the UserWay team.
- UserWay University: A place where you can learn about all of the underlying accessibility compliance requirements of WCAG.
UserWay is a great solution for sport providers to make websites as accessible as possible. There are several world leading AI-powered tools available to ensure compliance with web accessibility requirements in line with WCAG regulations.
The widget offers a robust integrated solution for improving your website’s accessibility and user experience without having to rebuild your website.
The scanning and audit options also provide additional protection against accessibility issues giving you all the information and solutions you need.
These tools are also compatible with any site type on any device because it integrates all major CMS and website creation platforms and even runs on basic html sites. So no excuses there!
The resources and support available are substantial and even if you don’t use their tools you can learn just about everything you need to know about web accessibility from the free resources on the blog and UserWay University. So that’s a bonus.
So, if you’re a sport provider and you want to take action on inclusion across everything you do then you need to take action on your web accessibility too. The UserWay tools will provide everything you need to identify and address accessibility issues quickly and easily.
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