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I have a website that has a "Contact Us" button that opens a live chat window. It looks like this:

Screenshot of Blank Website in Chrome with "Contact Us" Button on Bottom Right

This particular live chat provider is not accessible to those with disabilities. We contacted them and they said they're going to work on it eventually, but not anytime soon.

Rather than switch live chat providers, I was thinking of providing some alternative to those with disabilities. For example, a link to our contact us page, which has a contact form that is accessible.

To be clear, this alternative would be in addition to the existing live chat button. So those who do not have disabilities could use the live chat, while those with disabilities would use the contact form.

If it matters, we're aiming for WCAG 2.0 AA compliance.

If you were making this live chat accessible, what would you do?

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    What kind of disabilities are we taking about? – Kishan May 31 at 23:41
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    WCAG 2.0 AA compliance covers a wide variety of disabilities. I don't know them all off the top of my head, but think visual (color blindness, imprecise vision, blind), cognitive (slower than average thinking, inability to process some types of information), motor (must use a keyboard rather than a mouse, can only use voice commands), and so on. – Nicholas Westby Jun 1 at 6:25
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WCAG has the concept of "conforming alternate version" but I discourage that approach unless absolutely necessary, but it sounds like the "loophole" you'd need in your situation. You'd end up with a different user experience for different types of users, which is not a good thing, but if you have to do that temporarily, it would be ok.

  • This doesn't 100% answer my question, but I think you've gotten as close as I can reasonably expect. There is still some wiggle room in interpreting "provides all of the same functionality". For example, it allows a person to contact the company, but not via the same channels. Thanks for linking to the WCAG guideline; very useful. – Nicholas Westby Jun 10 at 18:14
  • Well, to answer your question 100%, your original question was, "If you were making this live chat accessible, what would you do?", and that's a very subjective question. I can tell you what I would do, but then everyone that posted what they would do would be considered a correct answer (green checkmark) because you can't really say it didn't answer your question. Everyone told you what they would do, which is what you asked for. Perhaps you need to rephrase your question to get a 100% response, such as, "What is considered WCAG compliant?" (which is what I tried to answer). – slugolicious Jun 12 at 14:28
  • Like I mentioned, your answer is as close as I can reasonably expect (in other words, you did a great job of answering this question, even though I am left with unknowns, which are no fault of your own), which is why I marked it as the solution. Thanks again for your insights. – Nicholas Westby Jun 12 at 19:34
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When your page loads completely (sometimes message delivered before complete loading of page) on users window after 3 second provide voice message (do you have difficulty in seeing this live chat? If yes press Y on keyboard , if no press N on keyboard) Something like this. If user respond using keyboard.

  1. Y = change live chat to contact us page link
  2. N = don't change. Keep default live chat

Thanks

  • That is a technical solution to the issue I've outlined (one I would not recommend, BTW). While I appreciate the effort, I was more looking for advice on whether or not the general idea would be acceptable (e.g., in the case that the site were to be audited for WCAG 2.0 AA compliance). – Nicholas Westby Jun 3 at 5:06

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