Make Progress on Your Digital Accessibility Goals
To create accessible websites or not, that is the question many teams ponder when faced with pending deadlines, mixed priorities or a lack of support. They need to choose between creating inclusive experiences for all customers or just some.
Now if you find yourself in a similar situation without a plan, support, or resources, you are in the right place. This article dives into the three B’s of accessibility: Buy-in, Building a team, and Budget.
Go beyond the accessibility standards for real progress. The success of an accessibility program is directly tied to the buy-in of your leadership team.
Suppose you are the accessibility champion at your organization. That means you’re committed to creating inclusive experiences, and you need to secure commitment from your leadership team if you want your program to have a chance of succeeding.
When pitching the idea of digital accessibility to your coworkers and, most importantly, to the C-suite, you can talk about the benefits of creating accessible experiences: equal access, economics, and customer retention.
When leadership commits to the mission, accessibility efforts are endorsed throughout the organization.
For example, Microsoft has serious buy-in at the C-suite level. The CEO, Satya Nadella, had a son who had cerebral palsy, and Nadella’s family connection has deepened his commitment to inclusivity. The most recent examples of that commitment are opening the Microsoft Inclusive Tech Lab and leading the Neurodiversity Career Center.
Building a Team
Almost no individual can achieve their organization’s accessibility goals alone. What may start as a small project on a small website can evolve to include more digital content, like creating accessible PDFs and Word files, mobile applications, and more.
We recommend internally recruiting a developer, designer, product manager, and C-suite talent to support your accessibility efforts. At a certain point, you may be ready to hire a dedicated accessibility role to evolve your accessibility program as your program matures.
If there are not enough resources at your company, it may make sense to work with an accessibility consultant like TPGi.
Even if your organization is aware of how critical accessibility is and you have received a commitment from your leadership team, your organization may not have the budget required to conduct a manual accessibility review of your website or application.
Manual accessibility reviews are conducted by a human and are a critical aspect in creating your accessibility strategy. From this review, you can prioritize your team’s efforts around the most severe accessibility issues on your website.
That’s why, no matter the size of your budget, we recommend starting small and leveraging technology. You would be amazed at what your team can accomplish with the right tools and a small budget.
Accessibility Software Tools and Services to Support Your Team
If you are beginning your accessibility journey, TPGi provides a few free and low-cost tools to get your team started:
Free Accessibility Testing Tools and Resources
Since they’re free, they fit into every budget and can serve as a foundation for your future goals and initiatives.
- ARC Toolkit: Start small and scan one page on your website to get an idea of the accessibility issues on a single page.
- ARC Monitoring: Free monthly 5-page web accessibility scan available.
- Colour Contrast Analyser: Shift your accessibility testing left, and check for color contrast issues early in your design process.
- TPGi webinars: Take advantage of our vast library of webinar sessions and learn from the experts about achieving your accessibility goals.
Affordable Accessibility Solutions
If you are ready to expand your accessibility program but don’t have a large budget, there are several ways you can mature your accessibility program.
- ARC Essentials allows your team to expand their efforts through multi-user support, receiving full access to TPGi’s premium KnowledgeBase modules and on-demand accessibility training content via ARC Tutor.
- Collect JAWS screen reader user feedback at the point they are experiencing an accessibility issue by using JAWS Connect. JAWS Connect is available with a Free Tier or an Essentials account.
- JAWS Inspect simplifies accessibility and JAWS® compatibility testing, so your team can create accessible screen reader experiences for the world’s most popular screen reader software, JAWS.
- Accessibility Trainings are flexible and relevant to help educate your team and minimize future usability issues.
Advanced Accessibility Services
As you advance the maturity of your accessibility program, you will likely need to hire more internal resources to continue maintaining the accessibility of your growing digital assets.
Another solution is to work with an accessibility consultant like TPGi to support your manual accessibility audit efforts, help prepare VPATs and even develop an accessibility strategy to align your growing team and focus efforts.
The Accessible Future
Now that you know the three B’s of accessibility —buy-in, building a team, and budget—we hope we’ve provided a path forward for your organization to create more inclusive experiences for people with disabilities regardless of resources.
TPGi has been helping companies of all sizes create inclusive digital experiences for people with disabilities for over 20 years! Working with passionate teams, both small and large, fuels us to continue on our mission of making digital experiences usable by everyone. Speak with us about your accessibility roadblocks today!