Rob LubowNews
April 24, 2023

Accessibility For All: How Google Public Sector & Botcopy help US government agencies serve citizens better.

Finally, something we can all agree on: Digital exclusion sucks. That’s why Google and Botcopy prioritize WCAG 2.1 AA standards to meet ADA compliance.

It can be tedious for government agencies to stay up-to-date to ensure ADA compliance. It’s a near-endless undertaking that demands research, code checking, and testing.

It’s no wonder that time passes, and little gets done. It’s not for lack of trying. On the contrary, governments want their citizens very much — regardless of ability — to have access to necessary info. But, unfortunately, there hasn’t been a straightforward way to achieve this.

Until now. Google Public Sector and Botcopy combined solve the accessibility pain point – and government agencies are loving it!

Excitement’s in the air. The past few months have been busy for government agencies on the hunt for digital transformation: Several US agencies asked Botcopy and Google Public Sector for bids on Contact Center AI solutions that meet ADA compliance.

The roundup includes some of the US’s largest public sector utilities. The top ten most innovative states lead the pack — no surprises there — but some of the late-adopter states seem eager to display some AI prowess and enhance their digital inclusion, which is inspiring, and sorely needed.

(What’s with all the red, white, and blue above? Botcopy is North America-based, and the American Disabilities Act is our focus. But remember that we boost accessibility on five continents: our WCAG 2.1 AA designation aligns with international accessibility guidelines. Grab a Botcopy free trial.)

The need for change and Google’s role explained.

First, many government contact systems are outdated and not ADA compliant, which is, um, (whispers)…not allowed, I think?

There may be some gray area, but either way, outdated systems are a problem waiting to happen. Public sector leaders don’t want a UX that excludes a whole swath of the citizenry. Instead, they want to embrace the rise of AI and serve citizens better.

So, the smart ones have been increasingly seeking out Google Public Sector and exploring Google Cloud’s future-proof AI and analytics framework. Why? Maybe because among the leading cloud companies, Google Cloud is the fastest-growing and offers the best balance of innovation and caution. Government agencies find this blend appealing.

Furthermore, Google CCAI is omnichannel — works with telephony and messaging apps and features Dialogflow, the most potent conversational AI flow builder, NLU engine, dialog management system, integrated fulfillment system, and ties in with the best analytics services and databases. It offers everything your government agency will need today and tomorrow.

(For a deeper dive, check out our free eBook, The Ultimate Contact Center AI Setup. We cover the best way to integrate cloud products like Dialogflow, BigQuery, Insights, Cloud Functions, Looker, and more, with Botcopy Messenger and Botcopy Live Chat, to meet best practices and ensure success.)

Botcopy’s role as a Google partner and our ADA compliance explained.

Suddenly, when you pair Google CCAI with Botcopy, all that personalized depth and brilliance in your Google AI project can be hosted on your website as a rich, custom web chat UI. This web presence matters! Because whereas IVR phone systems are okay for some, a rich content web chat like Botcopy meets a vast amount of accessibility requirements. (See the complete list below.)

And since government agency websites have millions of visitors looking for info and transactions, it makes sense to embed the best contact center AI into these sites to field common queries, authenticate users, eliminate backlogs, and save time and money. If the bot can’t handle a request, it escalates to a live chat agent, and the conversation and the no-match query are analyzed to improve the bot’s future capabilities.

Botcopy’s AI-first website “channel” is a heavy-hitter in solving the ADA compliance dilemma. But, aside from blending voice and visual elements and being navigable with a keyboard, the Botcopy messenger has a slew of ADA-compliant features that come standard.

Before providing the actual list of these features, I want to provide more of the lay of the land around ADA and glimpse how Botcopy solves these challenges for you in one fell swoop.

ADA-compliant website chatbots

Botcopy’s official designation of WCAG 2.1 AA exceeds many public sector requirements, offering government agencies a shelf-life for meeting accessibility well into the future. But to put a finer point on it, Botcopy meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG 2.1 AA. “ADA” is the broader criteria about the accommodations required for all people, and “WCAG” deals with accessible content specifically for website visitors.

So who needs to worry about WCAG standards and ADA compliance? We all do, but some more than others. The main ones are:

  • Government agencies
  • Federally-funded non-profits
  • Public higher education institutions
  • Public K-12 schools

The public accommodations below also need to be thinking about WCAG compliance (partial list):

  • Inns, hotels, motels
  • Restaurants, bars
  • Bakeries, groceries
  • Banks
  • Accountants, law offices
  • Healthcare providers
  • Public transportation
  • Schools
  • Social service centers
  • Gyms

What are the WCAG standard features? 🤔

Okay, let’s get into the nitty-gritty! Here’s a list of the accessibility features that come standard with your Botcopy web chat UI layer. Click the feature to learn more about it.

Botcopy’s Level A features:

Botcopy’s Level AA features:

Botcopy’s Level AA 2.1 features ❤️

All Botcopy subscriptions support all 26 guidelines above. To learn more and download our third-party WCAG 2.1 AA audit report, visit Botcopy’s Accessibility and Compliance page.

A Salute to the Heroes of Innovation.

Laws aside, let me say: I have family members who need this web accessibility — seeing them struggling with their computers and smartphones while trying to deal with companies and organizations breaks my heart. Consider that we’ll probably all need accessibility features, eventually. 😯

The Google Public Sector subsidiary, launched in July 2022, is making life better for everyone. I never tire of mentioning our name in the same breath as theirs. But the real heroes are the public sector employees who choose innovation over complacency. On top of all your day-to-day work, you’re pushing the envelope, proving that American ingenuity isn’t only for the private sector. We salute you and have your back.

Grab your free trial today or set up a call so we can learn more about your needs and how we can help.

To learn how Google and Botcopy help the public sector outside of ADA compliance, check out our recent post: Uniting the States with AI: How Google Public Sector and Botcopy are leading the charge, coast to coast.