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Expert Score 4.5
Ease of Use
4.4
Customer Service
4.2
Features
4.7
Value for Money
4.6
PROS:
  • Provide full compliance after manual remediation
  • Ongoing monitoring and periodic assessment
  • Tailored solution specific to each business needs
  • Brand marketing on accessibility commitment 
  • Assistive technology toolbar
  • Detailed accessibility guide
CONS:
  • Manual adjustments may take some time
  • Toolbar requires download and takes time in operation
  • High cost
  • Weak user support

eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY

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 with accessibility regulations. Their concept of accessibility solution is plausible.

eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY takes accessibility solutions through three stages, all involving manual accessibility forms of solutions with a somewhat semi-automated tool in the form of innovative assistive technology toolbar and mobile application.

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 2.1 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 tools that will perform the automatic tests of certain components of a website and web application against WCAG 2.1 Level A, and AA success criteria. 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 persisting compliance issues across all your digital platforms. On completion of the compliance audit, technical, and functional tests, eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY provides a report with recommendations and fixes with code-level snippets. Remediation can either be outsourced or carried out by your IT team under the eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY experts’ tutelage to make your website fully accessible to disabled persons and compliant with accessibility regulations.

After the evaluation, 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 and monitor your website or application and track your progression towards compliance through its ongoing monitoring periodic assessment program.

Other than sites and apps, they also remediate PDFs and multimedia. eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY also provides digital accessibility training to permanently integrate accessibility practices into relevant organizational workflows. The customized training is designed for your web developers, program managers, quality assurance personnel, and content authors on best practices, and implementation processes.

Assistive Technology and Brand Disability Channel

Unlike most automated accessibility solutions (such as AccessiBe and UserWay), that provide accessibility testing platform and widget or plugins, eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY integrates an actual 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 does this 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 widgets, 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 on Greyhound's website

Web users can find the eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY assistive technology sign at the right-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 through marketing 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!

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 remediation of accessibility issues to make the site accessible. 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

The eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY web accessibility services are project-based. Websites and apps have different requirements and organizations generally require different manual remediation of elements, documents, or multimedia. More so, eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY’s unique Brand Disability Channel landing page varies 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 a 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 manually by software auditing and manual evaluation 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 manual solution providers. Let’s look at some of the positives and negatives:

PROS:

  • Provide full compliance after manual remediation
  • Ongoing monitoring and periodic assessment
  • Offers a tailored solution specific to each business needs
  • Brand marketing on accessibility commitment
  • Assistive technology to provide various accommodations
  • Detailed accessibility guide

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

Among the many reasons to make your website accessible, having marketing campaigns around your accessibility effort and sending a signal of dedication to serving people with disabilities is a plausible way to get ROI on your organization’s accessibility commitment.

eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY 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 an assistive technology toolbar or mobile application, unlike automated accessibility plugins. The technology presents a suite of keyboard, mouse, and touches replacement solutions persons with physical disabilities can use to engage with the internet. The toolbar enables a 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. The only negative here is the need to download and its complexity in operation.

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 integrates accessibility via training and ongoing monitoring of your website in order to identify and remove barriers. 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.

Organizations looking beyond having an accessible and compliant website and trying to take to get the best out of its accessibility commitment should look no further than eSSENTIAL ACCESSIBILITY.

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