Amihai Miron, CEOIn today’s Internet-centered economy, website access should be democratized for every individual, and the differently abled community is no exception. For individuals with disabilities, navigating websites can be daunting, and oftentimes impossible, given the fact that not every website is built for easy access for the disabled. With the government’s increasing concerns around website accessibility for the differently abled community, organizations are facing increased pressure to tailor their portals in accordance with new accessibility compliance requirements. User1st, an innovative startup company, helps organizations improve their website’s accessibility for the people with disabilities based on the international standards known as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA level. “With User1st, companies can achieve compliance with the laws concerning civil rights for web accessibility without having to rewrite their base code, thus saving cost and time,” explains Amihai Miron, CEO of User1st.
User1st provides an overlay for websites that enables functionality with assistive technologies, such as screen readers used by the disabled community, without requiring major changes to a site’s structure. With a layer of code and additional information imported to the website, companies can maintain their existing web design and still deliver an accessible user experience for the people with varying physical capabilities. The firm’s approach is to provide simple integration to keep accessibility independent from standard website support and maintenance requirements. Whether screen magnification, screen readers, or alternative keyboard navigation, User1st support access to these tools, while offering complete compliance with laws such as the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
User1st works by updating the code and context of a website, and by tracking changes made to a site’s structure. The company enhances website accessibility for every physically challenged individual with their flagship product, uSuite, which includes proprietary tools uTester, uRemediate, and uMonitor. uTester, a compliance report generator, allows developers and Quality Assurance teams to observe accessibility compliance by automating regression testing.
With User1st, companies can achieve compliance with the laws concerning civil rights for web accessibility without having to rewrite their base code, thus saving cost and time
“User1st’s testing tools open pages on the server browser and scan it to generate reports for higher compliance accuracy on the website,” says Miron. Based on the uTester regression test reports, uRemediate, a compliance editor, allows companies to address compliance issues by injecting a script to the website. Once added, uRemediate’s backend and editing tools can be utilized to configure semi-automatically and with no need for additional coding the website for improved accessibility functionality. uMonitor, a host-based monitoring solution, helps track web accessibility violations across a site from a centralized location.
Miron believes that there are two dimensions for compliance, including standardization of accessibility principles, such as WCAG guidelines, and the legal requirements to meet the standards. User1st’s solutions are meant to meet both dimensions and are updated regularly to align with the international website standards as best as possible. The company emulates the actions of potential users to gain a more thorough understanding of potential accessibility gaps with regards to WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines.
User1st focuses on creating social impact by enabling the disabled community to leverage the capabilities of the Internet. With a huge customer base, the company aims to extend its reach in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe. “Currently, we have hundreds of websites that have integrated User1st, displaying our accessibility button to roughly a billion users a year. We are getting greater exposure every day and we plan to keep up our momentum of providing accessibility across the Internet,” Miron concludes.