Building LERA – A Story Worth Telling

Building-LERA-A-Story-Worth-Telling

Hello there! 

I am here to talk about LERA – a web accessibility reporting tool we recently launched. Before that, let me share who I am, what prompted me to launch LERA, and what to expect from this tool. 

My journey as an entrepreneur

Graduating from Cleveland State University, I double-majored in Accounting and Real-Estate Finance. As a mortgage broker and accountant, my dream was to work on Wall Street, but life had other plans. The Economic Crash of 2008 forced me to pivot towards the global IT industry, and that’s how my journey with technology began. 

I did a brief stint in the corporate world, which shed some new perspective on approaching problem-solving. Climbing the ladder wasn’t satisfying anymore, and the entrepreneurial dream never faded.  

Entrepreneurship has always been something I have looked forward to. Being a third-generation entrepreneur, I grew up around businesses, even having filled in as a proxy for a board member at ten. Since college, I have worked with multiple companies as a third-generation entrepreneur. 

My passion for accessibility has taken me to places. I spoke about Authoring the Next Generation of Accessible Content in Stockholm, Sweden. I am also an active contributor to the W3C Cognitive Accessibility Community Group. This group supports the Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility (COGA) Task Force in researching methodologies for the usability of the web for people with cognitive disabilities.

What prompted my interest in web accessibility? 

I grew up with an undiagnosed learning disability, having somehow managed high school with average grades. During college, the inattentiveness and issues with reading comprehension became evident as they caused anxiety during timed tests.

In my early 30s, I was diagnosed with Dyslexia and ADHD. It was a blessing as it gave me validation and relief as to why I was struggling to learn. This diagnosis propelled me to identify alternative learning methodologies. I realized that technology is powerful enough to solve significant challenges that I struggled with daily. 

Since my diagnosis, I couldn’t stop thinking about how such learning tools and methods would have helped me during high school. This very thought has driven me to take into account all things accessibility. That’s why I dedicated my career to building integrated adaptive technologies that can help people with similar situations. 

This deep personal mission has driven me to start AdvancedBytez. My vision is to build functional digital tools and products that make the web inclusive for people with disabilities.

What is LERA?

I have always believed that digital tools and products will help me solve my struggles. And honestly, my journey with LERA also originated from a personal experience. 

When I started AdvancedBytez, an accessibility agency, I was determined to run it as a traditional business and not seek external funding. Bootstrapping it with savings, we couldn’t scale as I did in other companies until we started breaking even. That meant an increased dependency on automation and tools. 

As an accessibility agency, we run audits on websites and provide recommendations on fixing them to meet WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) compliance. 

We discovered that the reporting aspect was tedious and took up almost as much time as testing. The primary challenge was identifying an accessibility auditing tool that met all our needs. 

The problem: We needed an efficient way to write reports. Above all, something that was budget-friendly. 

Market research: We started talking to professionals in the industry to validate the problem. Was this a problem we faced as a small business, or was it widespread? 

We interviewed 113 accessibility professionals, freelancers, and small agencies as our target research audience. 

Validation: 73% of the respondents claimed they were facing a similar problem and would like to see a solution to it. 

57% of the respondents voted for Excel as a deliverable.

29% of the respondents wanted the result in CSV.

14% of the respondents requested JSON files.

Solution: LERA, an automated accessibility reporting tool. 

LERA is a browser extension tool that identifies automated accessibility bugs in websites and generates a pre-formatted Excel report. 

𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐒𝐬 𝐒𝐭 𝐝𝐒𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐭𝐑𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐨𝐨π₯𝐬?

Other tools either allow a single page download or crawl the whole website, with the report (if available) either in JSON or CSV format. A Javascript is further needed to convert the JSON or CSV into Excel. 

LERA solves this problem by directly providing an Excel report with a client-ready pre-formatted template. 

No additional conversions, scripts, or formatting are needed, saving valuable time. 

There is no other tool in the market that has this workflow. 

And that’s how LERA – an automated accessibility auditing and reporting tool was born. 

Who should use LERA?

There are roles for developers, testers, designers, content writers, and marketing professionals in accessibility testing. LERA was founded on the belief that Accessibility testing and reporting should be made available to diverse stakeholders in business units.

Top features of LERA, and why it should be your go-to accessibility reporting tool in the market 

LERA is an automated web accessibility reporting Chrome extension that scans multi-page websites, generates downloadable reports, and is free to install. 

Here is why LERA should be your go-to web accessibility reporting tool: 

  • LERA comes with a single click install, available as a Chrome browser extension. 
  • Multiple URLs can be scanned and added to one report. 
  • Generate custom reports by selecting which issue to include.
  • Allows a download for free in Excel that doesn’t need any formatting
  • A repository that enables saving and archive of reports
  • An interactive dynamic dashboard with 360-degree visibility

And here comes the bonus! 

LERA is entirely FREE for all the accessibility avengers out there! So, what are you waiting for? Try LERA today! 

Final Words 

Diversity and inclusion are not just corporate terminologies for me. It has been my vision to introduce inclusion in whatever I do, and that very thought has brought me where I am today. I hope LERA can bridge the gap between accessibility providers and people with disabilities and build a future that embraces accessibility with open arms.

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