TPGi Review: Accessible Interactivity
(TPG Interactive, formerly The Paciello Group)
What is TPGi?
Web accessibility has become an essential aspect of creating inclusive digital experiences. TPGi (formerly The Paciello Group, now known as TPG Interactive) has emerged as a leading provider of accessibility solutions, with the aim of providing equal access to individuals with disabilities. In this review article, we will explore the TPGi widget, its capabilities, usability, integration options, and the impact it has on users and businesses.
TPGi: Who are they?
TPGi is a renowned company specializing in web accessibility consulting and solutions. They have been at the forefront of the accessibility industry for over two decades, offering a range of services that make digital content and platforms accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities. Their expertise lies in providing cutting-edge digital accessibility tools, including the TPGi ARC Platform widget and plugin.
Time-saving, especially in avoiding the need to re-inspect items.
Very useful: Sends code fragments for W3C markup validation
Valuable: inspection of selected elements
Clear remediation recommendations
Initial learning curve: only relevant for users with some experience and knowledge of accessibility.
A major update in 2022 caused significant user frustration (tools were restored in 2023).
The wide range of options available might be overwhelming for certain users.
ARC Toolkit Capabilities
Checks contrast of text over imagesUsers can modify elements in the developer console
Users can re-scan to see if fixes clear the error
Offers visual representation of tab order
Additional Capabilities: Compatible Solutions for the ARC Platform
ARC Toolkit: A powerful Chrome extension designed for professional-level accessibility testing. Easily assess individual web pages on-demand, swiftly identifying and addressing issues related to WCAG 2.1 Level A and AA guidelines.
ARC Capture: This comprehensive multi-browser extension offers deep analysis capabilities for your most critical user flows. Seamlessly integrated into ARC, ARC Capture supports both manual and automated evaluations, providing valuable insights for optimizing accessibility.
JAWS Inspect: Specifically developed for Windows desktop, JAWS Inspect provides a focused environment for diagnosing accessibility issues without the complexities of the end-user product. By utilizing JAWS output transcripts, this tool aids in rapid issue identification and seamless sharing across quality control and compliance systems.
JAWS Connect: JAWS Connect is a user-friendly, no-code solution for websites and applications. It empowers JAWS screen reader users to provide direct feedback effortlessly at the precise point where they encounter barriers. By enabling swift communication, organizations can promptly address and resolve accessibility challenges.
TPGi, established in 2002, boasts more than two decades of expertise in the field of web accessibility, with remarkable progress especially in the last several years in expanding its reach and advancing its technology.
As of 2023, TPGi is a formidable player in the digital accessibility sector, with over 1,000 customers, showcasing the credibility it has built over its two-plus decades of operation.
Vispero and TPGi have brought their ARC software to the AWS Marketplace for the U.S. Intelligence Community. ARC assists in compliance with Section 508 and other standards, offering improved security and mission impact.
21 W3C Contributors
TPGi stands out in the industry with 21 employees who actively shape accessibility standards at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
TPGi does not have many reviews online. On Google, users were very positive about TPGi tools until an update in 2022, whose negative impact heavily influenced the overall rating. A 2023 update seems to have solved bugs, and users are happy once again.
Founded in 2002, The Paciello Group (TPG), led by accessibility pioneer Mike Paciello, quickly gained a dedicated following within the industry. In 2017, TPG was acquired by Vispero, with the vision of expanding the company into a more comprehensive accessibility solutions provider. Vispero produces assistive technology designed for individuals with blindness or low vision, including JAWS®, the screen reader with the highest utilization worldwide.
TPG integrated Always Accessible and its ARC Platform into their offerings, followed by the acquisition of Interactive Accessibility in 2018. In 2021, TPG consolidated their people and solutions under the new name TPG Interactive (TPGi), with the goal of integrating accessibility into digital environments, shaping the future of inclusive design.
TPGi’s goals and performance
TPG Interactive collaborates with organizations worldwide, across diverse sectors including government agencies, technology vendors, retail/eCommerce, software/technology, publishing, banking/finance, healthcare, and higher education. Their services are customized to serve the specific requirements of each client, whether it involves providing specialized expertise for specific projects or establishing long-term strategic partnerships. Through close collaboration with partners and customers, they are committed to making a substantial global impact in advancing accessibility.
Starting from a deep understanding of the complexities faced by enterprise clients, as well as smaller organizations, in achieving website accessibility, TPGi developed ARC as a solution. This dedicated solution is designed to address the unique needs of large-scale operations striving to ensure digital inclusivity for individuals with disabilities. While the technical aspects of accessibility may seem straightforward, implementing best practices within enterprise environments presents distinct challenges. This is especially true during the initial adoption phase when enterprises navigate the intricate process of incorporating digital inclusion strategies.
What is TGPi’s ARC Platform?
The ARC Platform offers a comprehensive and user-friendly solution that integrates top-tier accessibility testing, a vast library of solutions, and the expertise of accessibility professionals. It fulfills accessibility needs for organizations of all sizes, providing an affordable and scalable option to meet their accessibility needs. With the ARC Platform, users gain access to a powerful suite of tools and resources to ensure their digital platforms are inclusive and accessible to all.
The Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) offers a range of powerful features to support accessibility efforts:
- ARC Monitoring: This tool provides scanning and monitoring capabilities, allowing you to identify and address accessibility issues on your digital platforms.
- ARC KnowledgeBase: Access a comprehensive library of articles in the KnowledgeBase, offering valuable insights and solutions for various accessibility challenges.
- ARC User Flows: Map and test user flows within your digital interfaces, ensuring a seamless and accessible user experience.
- ARC API: Utilize the ARC API to integrate accessibility functionalities into your existing systems and workflows.
- ARC Tutor: Benefit from individualized training courses that offer code-level techniques and solutions tailored to specific accessibility problems.
- ARC HelpDesk: Get expert assistance and support from the ARC HelpDesk, guiding you through accessibility challenges and providing solutions.
- ARC Workspaces: Collaborate efficiently with team members by utilizing ARC Workspaces, providing a centralized environment for accessibility projects.
- ARC Test Initiatives: Initiate and manage accessibility testing initiatives within the ARC platform, ensuring comprehensive testing coverage.
How does the TPGi ARC Toolkit widget work?
For starters, it isn’t actually a widget. It’s a plugin.
To clear up any confusion between plugins and widgets (accessibility plugins or widgets, or any other kind), the difference is based on visibility and interaction:
Plugins primarily work behind the scenes to ensure the smooth functioning and operation of your page. They handle tasks that keep your website running seamlessly, without direct user visibility or interaction.
Widgets are elements that users can see and interact with directly on the page. These visible components enhance user experience by providing specific functionalities or content that users can engage with.
Although many accessibility providers utilize widget type tools, TGPi’s ARC Toolkit, a component of the Accessibility Resource Center solution set, is a plugin that enables organizations to conduct automated accessibility testing efficiently.
Here’s how it works:
- The toolkit allows you to run scans on individual URLs, focusing on one at a time.
- Once the scan is complete, you can examine the results in detail. The ARC Toolkit organizes accessibility issues based on topics and categorizes them further into WCAG errors, alerts, and best practices within each topic. This segmentation helps testers investigate elements with multiple accessibility issues. The toolkit can also highlight the tab order of a page, providing insights into how end-users would navigate the page and ensuring coherent tab sequencing.
- If you discover errors during testing, copying them into bug tracking software is straightforward. The ARC Toolkit employs the same rules engine as ARC Monitoring, which is part of the broader Accessibility Resource Center.
By leveraging the expertise, analytics, and solutions provided by TPGi, you can effectively achieve your digital accessibility conformance goals. Their comprehensive approach and resources empower organizations to make their digital platforms accessible to all users.
TPGi ARC Platform Interface and Usability
With the TPGi ARC Platform interface, you can easily monitor the accessibility of your website with user-friendly dashboards that provide clear guidance on addressing accessibility issues. You can access flexible training courses whenever you need them, keeping you up to date on the knowledge and skills you need to rectify accessibility failures effectively. You can also use it to identify bottlenecks in user flows, enabling you to optimize customer journeys and increase conversions on your site.
Installation and integration
How to Install TPGi ARC services
Since ARC is entirely cloud-based, there is no need for a traditional install, and the following benefits are built in:
Scalability: ARC is designed to accommodate businesses of all sizes. Whether you have a single domain or multiple properties, ARC scales to meet your needs. Start small and have confidence that ARC can grow alongside your organization.
Security: ARC prioritizes the security and privacy of your data. With robust policies, controls, procedures, and technologies in place, ARC ensures a secure environment for clients with stringent security requirements.
Metered Usage: Take full control of your testing activities and costs. With ARC, you only pay for what you use. Choose between scheduled testing for consistent measurements or on-demand testing for flexibility and control. Add or remove properties and adjust the testing frequency according to your requirements.
The ARC Cloud Service architecture provides the convenience, scalability, security, and cost control you need to effectively manage your accessibility testing and ensure the ongoing accessibility of your digital properties.
What are TPGi ARC Integration Options?
ARC Monitoring, a part of the ARC platform, is more than a simple scanning solution. It transforms accessibility data into valuable, actionable insights. These insights are organized for your Domains, Pages, User Flows, and Components, providing a comprehensive view of your accessibility performance. You can access these insights through trend monitoring dashboards, allowing you to track progress and identify areas for improvement.
For seamless integration into your development processes, ARC Monitoring offers an API that can be easily incorporated into CI/CD pipelines. This enables continuous monitoring of accessibility throughout your software development lifecycle, ensuring accessibility remains a priority at every stage.
Prerequisites for the TPGi ARC Platform
For optimal performance of the TPGi platform, it is simply necessary to have a modern and up-to-date computer system along with a current web browser. Beyond these requirements, the platform is designed to be self-sufficient, leveraging the power of cloud-based systems to deliver its functionality effectively. With its intelligent technology, the TPGi platform offers a seamless user experience and the necessary tools to meet your accessibility needs.
Maintaining TPGi Platform Effectiveness
Leverage the Knowledge Base and Tutor: In addressing accessibility challenges, having the know-how to resolve issues is crucial. ARC provides a robust library of knowledge base articles and training courses seamlessly integrated into our dashboards. Access these resources to equip yourself with the expertise needed to effectively tackle accessibility concerns.
Tap into the HelpDesk: Certain accessibility issues can be intricate and require expert guidance. ARC is supported by a team of highly experienced accessibility professionals who are readily available on-demand to provide answers and advice for your most challenging accessibility problems. Choose from a range of HelpDesk plans offered by ARC to align with your budget and specific requirements.
Judgment Time: Are TPGi and its ARC Platform & Toolkit Beneficial?
For Users with Disabilities
Having conducted a comprehensive review of TPGi’s accessibility tools, we found that the ARC Platform and Toolkit offered by TPGi greatly enhance the online experience for users with disabilities. These tools effectively assist administrators and developers in resolving accessibility issues, resulting in improved independence and inclusion for end users.
For Business Owners
The TPGi ARC Platform offers businesses a cost-effective solution to ensure their websites are accessible and compliant with legal requirements. By leveraging this platform, businesses can expand their customer base and establish themselves as an inclusive brand, thereby enhancing their reputation in the market.
TPGi ARC Platform Summary
In summary, the TPGi ARC Platform excels as a robust web accessibility tool set. Its intuitive interface and innovative capabilities position it as a leader in the field. Though there are minor areas that could be improved, the advantages outweigh any drawbacks in our estimation, making it a valuable investment for businesses. Its cloud-based architecture requiring no installation, extensive testing options, and automated scanning make it a smart choice for enhancing website accessibility and meeting legal requirements. With continuing development, TPGi has the potential to create a more inclusive internet environment for all users.
Automated accessibility testing is performed using a program that applies a set of accessibility rules to the user interface of a website, web application, and key user journeys. The program generates an evaluation report.
An accessibility rules engine is a set of automated accessibility rules used in the testing process. It serves as the logic behind automated accessibility testing.
WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and is the prevailing standard for testing web accessibility. The most recent version, WCAG 2.2 with Levels A through AAA, consists of 78 accessibility guidelines, also known as Success Criteria. While WCAG 2.0 and WCAG 2.1 remain W3C Recommendations, the W3C advises the use of WCAG 2.2 to maximize future applicability of accessibility efforts.
Rules engines, along with their authors, make decisions about identifying WCAG violations and bringing them to the attention of testers and engineers. These decisions have a profound impact on organizations by influencing their approach to accessibility testing and expanding their accessibility knowledge. Ultimately, they shape the user experience provided to people with disabilities.