Executive Summary

Teisha Wegner needed the ability to effectively and efficiently review Nelnet’s marketing sites for accessibility on an ongoing basis. Copywriters were continually adding new content that had not been tested for accessibility, and she had no way of understanding the impact this had on the site’s accessibility. Moreover, manual auditing took too long to be helpful.

To help Teisha, Nelnet decided to explore options that would make it easier to identify errors and glean the information needed for the developers to take action and remediate the issues. Now Teisha relies on ARC Monitoring to identify machine-detectable accessibility failures and streamline her workflow. ARC Monitoring’s dashboards also enable her to track progress and demonstrate it to stakeholders. She is also able to pinpoint trends that could indicate deeper accessibility issues or the need for process changes, thanks to the concrete proof provided by ARC Monitoring.

About Nelnet

nelnet

Far more than a student loan servicing company, Nelnet is also a professional services company, consumer loan originator and servicer, payment processor, telecommunications innovator, and K-12 and higher education expert.

The Challenge

Nelnet’s sprawling marketing websites are continually growing and changing. Copywriters add new blog posts, developers update pages, and entire new components are added as the company evolves.

Teisha Wegner, a programmer at Nelnet, is in charge of accessibility testing. She typically only conducted accessibility testing on an as-needed basis, such as when the company was updating a page, adding a new component, or launching a new site. However, she was testing manually for every review she conducted and had no easy way to continually measure or monitor Nelnet’s site accessibility overall.

It was clear manually testing the entire site on an ongoing basis was not efficient; it would take several hours each time testing was needed. Furthermore, Teisha lacked a way to track changes in accessibility (both good and bad). She was spending significant time remediating the website as new content was added, yet had no objective data proving her hard work had any positive effects.

Even worse, as just one person, there was no way she could manually check every single change made to the site, which meant that accessibility errors could quickly spiral out of control.

The Solution

Nelnet’s internal accessibility team was familiar with TPGi and contacted us to help them with a strategy that would address Teisha’s concerns, improve the process, and reduce the risk of accessibility issues on the site. It quickly became clear that implementing ARC Monitoring (ARC Platform’s accessibility testing and monitoring solution) was the first step and would have a significant positive impact on all the challenges she was encountering.

With ARC Monitoring, you can schedule scans of a site to monitor for accessibility on a regular basis. (They can also be initiated on demand.) The analytics surface machine-detectable accessibility errors, track progress, and identify trends that help expose the root of accessibility failures.

Thanks to Nelnet’s adoption of ARC Monitoring, Teisha now has access to:

  • Dashboards that track the site’s accessibility progress
  • Instantly obtained and prioritized accessibility errors with remediation guidance that can be quickly addressed (reducing the effort and time of manual testing)
  • Confirmation that changes from the previous month were successful

Teisha uses ARC Monitoring to track the number of accessibility changes happening month-over-month (data not available to her previously). This data is now critical for her time management and to demonstrate success.

Results

Now Teisha confidently shows Nelnet’s managers how her work has impacted the accessibility of Nelnet’s site. Furthermore, she can now identify trends that enable her to stop problems from reoccurring.

“A great example of how I’ve been successful with ARC Monitoring comes from one of the first sites we set up the service for (https://nelnetinc.com). It had an ARC density of 0.04 when the site was launched in June, but in our October scan, it jumped up to 12.2! Without ARC I wouldn’t have known there were issues, and they would’ve likely not gotten resolved.” Teisha Wegner, programmer at Nelnet

She has concrete proof of accessibility (or inaccessibility)—and what gets measured gets improved.