Expert Score 4.5
Ease of Use
4.4
Customer Service
4.3
Features
4.7
Value for Money
4.6
PROS:
  • A real solution to 100% WCAG 2.1 AA compliance
  • Provide full compliance after manual remediation
  • Ongoing monitoring and periodic assessment
  • Tailored solution specific to each business needs
  • Simple installation and guides for support
  • Accessibility articles and resources
CONS:
  • Manual adjustments may take a lot of time
  • Toolbar requires download and installation
  • High cost
  • Slow response time for support

eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY

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eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY Review

What is eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY?

Having been around for a while, eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY is one of the most popular web accessibility solutions providers that can sure make your website,  mobile sites, and apps compliant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 508, and the latest WCAG standards. Their concept of accessibility solution is plausible.

eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY takes accessibility solutions through three stages, all involving automated and manual accessibility forms of solutions. 

They do this by first of all taking your website through accessibility testings that combine automated and manual efforts. This involves software-testing certain components of a website before accessibility experts manually examine individual pages on your site, testing individual functions using various techniques to identify problems users with disabilities encounter accessing your website through assistive technologies. The second and third stages are intertwined. After accessibility evaluation, eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY then integrates assistive technology through its innovative assistive technology toolbar to enhance the customer experience for people with disabilities. This accessibility toolbar contains functionalities such as screen readers amongst other useful tools that people with impairments can access web content conveniently and it is accessed via the Brand Disability Channel, an innovative strategy of eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY that helps companies promote products and services to people with disabilities.

In summary, eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY does not just help organizations stay ADA, Section 508, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and WCAG 2.0 compliant, it moves to position the company as one with a commitment to accessibility, thereby building a strong brand presence.

eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY Service(s) and Features

eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY has three major courses for its accessibility solution:

  1. Web accessibility testing
  2. Assistive Technology
  3. Brand Disability Channel

Web Accessibility Testing

eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY’s digital accessibility evaluation and remediation combine both automated and manual accessibility testing and adjustments performed by a team of accessibility experts to remove all barriers to accessibility, leaving your website accessible and ADA compliant.

Automated testing simply comprises of tools that will perform the automatic tests of certain components of a website and web application, including electronic documents. The software scans your website to check for the most common, lower-level issues normally found on websites and provide feedback, instantly about the component’s accessibility status.  

While automated testing may represent great ways to discover the different reasons web users with disabilities might encounter problems and areas of your website that may need the most attention or remediation, it generally won’t eliminate the accessibility barriers. More so, accessibility software and other assistive devices used by people with disabilities are difficult to emulate with automated testing tools.

For thorough testing, eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY provides a supplementary manual review by their web accessibility experts. These experts manually scrutinize individual pages on your site, coding, test individual functions and elements such as product searches and online form submissions while actively involving the input of users with disabilities to detect and resolve the persisting compliance issues across all your digital platforms to make your website 100% compliant with the ADA, Ontario Accessibility Standards, Nova Scotia  Accessibility Standards, and Section 508 compliant.

After the evaluation has been completed and a report issued, remediation and progression testing have taken place, and the website has reached the necessary level of WCAG 2.0 conformance, eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY will regularly assess your web content and digital properties such as PDF and multimedia to identify accessibility gaps and barriers, resolve web accessibility issues, and track your progression towards compliance through its ongoing monitoring periodic assessment. They can also train your web developers, program managers, quality assurance personnel, and content authors on digital accessibility.

Assistive Technology and Brand Disability Channel

Unlike most automated accessibility solutions (AccessiBe, UserWay) that provide accessibility widget via code, eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY integrates assistive technology with web accessibility testing services to enhance the customer experience for people with disabilities. This process goes hand in hand with the Brand Disability Channel.

eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY integrates assistive technology with web accessibility testing services through its innovative assistive technology toolbar to make the web accessible for people with disabilities that have trouble typing, moving a mouse, gesturing or reading a screen. The web accessibility tool for the disabled is a suite with different functionalities designed as an assistive technology browser for desktop users and mobile applications for mobile operators. This is not only to ensure the digital space is accessible to people with physical disabilities but also to provide a consistent experience across devices.

The eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY’s assistive technology toolbar does not pop up on the website like most out there, it is downloaded as a regular software to make the web experience meaningful across browsers and websites, not just the host’s.

The toolbar is an important accessibility feature through which users with disabilities, can use to ensure they can access the web according to their disability. Features of the assistive technology toolbar and application include:

  • Screenreader
  • Virtual Keyboard 
  • Hands-free mode – a simple swipe of the head up, left or right can control the cursor
  • Voice Commands
  • Easy Grid Easy Grid
  • Radar Mouse
  • Tag mode
  • Drag-drop
  • Double click

All across desktops, tablets, and mobile devices.

Let’s see how the eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY assistive technology toolbar looks like from one of their client’s websites…

Find the assistive technology accessibility sign

Web users can find the eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY assistive technology sign at the bottom of Greyhound’s home page. Clicking it takes users to a welcoming landing page designed by eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY and the host company, Greyhound, in this case.

essential accessibility and Greyhound’s landing page

This landing page represents the Brand Disability Channel, a digital accessibility ecosystem that makes it easy for customers/web users to interact with the host’s website and learn about your products or services. It is where eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY takes web accessibility up a notch and showcase your brand’s commitment to accessibility, diversity, and inclusion. This stage of eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY’s accessibility solution helps the host to engage more customers and learn how to better engage customers with disabilities through data sets. A complete marketing tool!

On this landing page is where web users, including those with disabilities, can download assistive technology communication support for free. After installation, you then have this…

Assistive technology toolbar is opened

Let the accessibility begin!

I tried to play with the hands-free mouse, the on-screen keyboard, and speech hover…

Using the hands-free mouse, the on-screen keyboard and speech hover

It sure enhances the customer experience for people with disabilities and it gets exciting. You can always use eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY’s assistive technology communication support on other websites and on your personal computer. Trust me to show you.

Using the assistive technology communication support on rolling stone website

There! I was going to use my head to move the mouse on Tina Turner’s picture.

NB: The website can be used by a disabled user after eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY has completed remediation without barriers. This means the assistive toolbar or the web accessibility tool for the disabled is only complementing what has already been done and has absolutely nothing to do with the accessibility process.

eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY Pricing

I can understand eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY does not publish its pricing given their type of project-based service. This is most likely because websites and apps will require different manual remediation of elements, and documents. More so, its unique Brand Disability Channel landing page will vary according to the brand’s commitment to accessibility and content. The bespoke pricing module could also mean a quality solution at a high cost.

eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY Platform and Support

The eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY assistive technology communication support download and installation are very simple. It takes the same process as normal software installation. Once you make it to the landing page, click on the eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY’s accessibility icon, and accept the End User License Agreement (affirming that the eSSENTIAL Accessibility Software is provided with no warranties whatsoever). Your setup is downloaded in two clicks and ready for installation.

Here’s the package you ordered…

eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY assistive technology setup

Double click to install…

After the installation and you have your eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY’s assistive technology communication support working, you can start making use of the features or even modify the features to your preference using the settings options. 

They also provide software support. Hover your mouse to the question mark (?) sign at the top right corner. The user support automatically opens in a new tab. There, you’ll find the software user manual, answers to your questions, and how to get in touch for extra support.

eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY’s resources page is one of the most robust resource pages amongst the accessibility solutions providers. One can literally learn about web accessibility from their blog posts. You’ll find white papers, webinars, case studies, and infographics among tons of extremely helpful articles to learn about web accessibility guidelines.

While you can jump on a call with their representatives, their support needs serious attention. Apart from the automated response, it is an extreme sport getting John online to answer queries. Response time takes over 24 hours and their social media is not helpful either. Support could also be improved with more FAQs on their solution and demo videos.

Here...

How-to instructions Live chat Phone Email Address
Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Why eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY? Pros and Cons

eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY offers a comprehensive accessibility solution. It solves accessibility issues via auditing software in addition to manual and functional accessibility remediations. It then provides a lasting accessibility tool for users with disabilities while also repositioning your organization. It is no wonder they have one of the best client lists and easily one of the fastest-growing among the manual solution providers. Let’s look at some of the positives and negatives:

PROS:

  • Real accessibility solution to provide ADA, Section 508 and WCAG 2.1 AA compliance
  • Provide full compliance after manual remediation
  • Ongoing monitoring and periodic assessment
  • Offers a tailored solution specific to each business needs
  • Simple installation and guides for support
  • Compliance without affecting the performance of the site
  • Detailed accessibility articles and resources

CONS:

  • Manual adjustments to fix accessibility issues may take some time
  • Toolbar requires download and takes time in operation
  • High cost
  • Weak user support – delayed slow response time

The Final Verdict On eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY

eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY accessibility solution is an all-inclusive one. It takes accessibility beyond problem-solving and made a business case of it without failing in its primary responsibilities. Their accessibility testing and remediation of a website or web application typically ensure barriers to accessibility are identified and removed. eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY’s solution also enhances the customer experience for people with disabilities through its digital accessibility ecosystem while also building a brand presence for its customers.

The eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY software solution provides assistive technology toolbar or mobile application with presents a suite of keyboard, mouse, and touches replacement solutions designed to make the digital world accessible to people with physical disabilities. The toolbar enables hands-free mouse for users with dexterity impairments, a screen reader for users with visual impairments, voice commands, the easy grid for quick navigation, and XY and radar mouse to help people with cognitive impairments such as dyslexia adjust the screen. Additionally, it runs up to seven different languages including English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, while allowing user control over each feature and would work across different browsers and websites.

Because eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY handles accessibility like a bespoke project, the solution may take some time so as to ensure testing methodology seamlessly integrates with your organization’s development cycles.  They streamline your accessibility process by tailoring your audit report, adjusting the project deliverables to match your timelines and lifecycle, and framing a personalized Prioritization Level Analysis report for your team. eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY also offers training and ongoing monitoring of your website in order to identify and remove barriers. This web compliance evaluation services with assistive technology ensure your website will continue to meet web accessibility standards and regulations as well as the WCAG 2.0 technical requirements. You can also be sure to receive support from their dedicated compliance specialist and testing team.

In summary, eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY tick most of the accessibility criteria boxes. Primarily, they provide site auditing, remediation, and continuous compliance monitoring to ensure websites stay ADA, Section 508, and WCAG 2.1 AA compliant while enhancing user’s digital customer experience with their multi-purpose toolbar software. Furthermore, eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY projects a disability-friendly brand presence, especially for multinationals with their accessibility (microsite) page.

If you’re looking beyond having an accessible and compliant website and trying to take your business mission to the next level, I’ll easily recommend it.

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