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This week, the episode is devoted to a topic we’ve covered extensively before, because it’s of critical importance to the future of our ability to access information. If the technology is any good, it could significantly lower barriers. But if it is snake oil, it could set us back significantly.\

Many of us have visited a website, and been greeted with a message to press a key for accessibility mode or to configure accessibility settings. It could be that you’re encountering a website that has been modified thanks to automated remediation techniques.

We’ve talked extensively about AccessiBe, because they’re a prominent player in the space and they have drawn attention to themselves by aggressively responding to their critics. But there are other companies too.

One such company is Userway. It’s co-founder, Lionel Wolberger, attended the recent convention of the National Federation of the Blind. He held listening sessions, and met one-on-one with many key people in the tech community. Userway offers a range of accessibility services, including automated remediation.

In this robust discussion recorded at the convention, Lionel and I discuss whether Userway’s technology improves the lives of the people it serves, how we can tell what modifications are being made to a site, how we determine which of these companies is responsible for remediation on a site we visit, and plenty more. We also discuss whether it’s possible that while one of these companies may be producing outcomes that are less than stellar, others may be producing better results and it is too simplistic to treat all such companies the same.

As always, you’re very welcome to share your views on what you hear, and your experiences with websites that are using what we’ve come to know as accessibility overlays.

That’s coming up this weekend in episode 254.