Usability and accessibility » A11y overlays

Sebastian Greger This is a living document
Last update:

JavaScript-based “overlays” promise accessibility as a convenient add-on, but very much fail to deliver.

So-called “accessibility overlays” represent technological solutionism in its purest form (“don’t worry about inclusive design, you can fix it with a few lines of code later”) and opinions are manifold why using them is a bad idea. Their claim of compliance with legal requirements is at least disputed, and from a user’s point of view they — unsurprisingly — don’t seem to deliver on their promise.

Maybe the most comprehensive resource collecting opinions and evidence:

Some other good readings:

Karl Groves has authored a fact sheet, collecting arguments, evidence and signatures:

Overlay Fact Sheet

I'm Sebastian, Sociologist and Interaction Designer aiming to bring toge­ther social science and design for inclusive, privacy-focused, and sustainable "human-first" digital strategies. This is my "digital garden" with carefully curated resources. For a more stream-like outlet, see my journal.

My occasionally sent email newsletter has all of the above, and there is of course also an RSS feed or my Mastodon/Fediverse profile.