Accessibility Best Practice Results
- boost business by increasing your share of the market.
- enhance your brand reputation.
- drive innovation.
- prevent possible litigation.
- set you apart as a leader in your industry.
At the organizational level, building an inclusive culture means establishing leadership, developing internal accessibility policies and practices throughout the organization, and equipping your teams for success. To build a culture of accessibility, you need leadership in all the key divisions and departments of your organization. Your accessibility leaders do not have to be accessibility experts, but they do have to be aware of the work involved and what they are accountable for. An accessibility strategy driven by fear of lawsuits or compliance reviews may deliver short term results. But accessibility is about people (disabled people who you want to participate in your organization as employees and customers, and the entire organization full of people who you want to encourage to contribute to) and benefit from an inclusive environment. Accessibility is more than just training, as it also needs to be a necessary business decision. While it is fine to start with some training and invite key business stakeholders to attend, once those stakeholders have enough of a sense of what accessibility is all about, it is time to talk about how accessibility can be incorporated into business processes.
- Appoint senior leaders as Accessibility and Diversity champions to Demonstrate leadership and authority. Most people have no issue with the concept of supporting disabled staff and customers. However many have issues making changes to organisational processes and standards without being clear about what the organisation itself wants.
- Sustainable growth requires a strategy of investment and commitment of resources, both time and money.
- Create a clear public statement that expresses the organization commitment to accessibility and community partnerships. Influence from the highest level directly conveys the message to all, and gives staff the impetus to proactively find out more and take action.
- Establish a methodology to evaluate genuine progress and measurements.
- Start by defining the purpose of the product and its target audiences.
- Research the ways different people use web technologies and summarise them in personas.
- Work out the things people will use the product for, and separate them into core and non-core goals, so you can prioritise the work.
- Decide what level of accessibility conformance (WCAG A, AA, or AAA) is desirable.
- Ensure the technology tools chosen (for both employees and customers) will deliver to the desired level of accessibility.
- Use a defined product accessibility policy as a brief for internal teams, or when contracting external suppliers, so it is known what is expected.
- Help designers and developers use the best accessibility guidelines to create the product, and use a range of tests during the creation to check that it is usable by its target audiences.
- Let users know of any product deficiencies via the web site accessibility statement and provide some way for user feedback.