Steps to Advance Your Digital Accessibility Agenda 

April 29th 2024

Category(s):

  • Accessibility

Why do we need a digital accessibility agenda?

We revolve around digital environments for our day-to-day tasks, work, and well-being. Digital accessibility is a precondition for social engagement. With a digital accessibility agenda in place, organizations can define the specifics of their accessibility plan or policy. This empowers the organization’s employees, expands its services to people with disabilities (PwD), and includes everyone in its digital space.

Steps to implement the accessibility agenda:

1. Awareness

Every consumer is important in a highly competitive field. Diversity, equality, and inclusion in hiring are common topics in nondiscrimination policies but digital inclusivity is often not included. A 2023 WebAIM report analyzed one million home pages and detected 49 million distinct accessibility errors, averaging a whopping 50 errors per page. Implementing accessibility starts with awareness. From grassroots employees to CEOs and directors, everybody should be aware of the needs, processes, and benefits. Fostering an inclusive culture sets the pace for accessibility across the whole organization.

2. Set goals and responsibilities

Set clear-cut goals, priorities, and milestones to achieve. Choose a standard or guidelines to align your digital spaces with WCAG 2.2, ATAG, and UAAG. Inquire legal requisites: ADA, EAA, and Section 508. Define your conformance expectations. People who deal with technology, UX, development, and HR must commit to these digital accessibility goals.

3. Maintain a vital approach

Ensure that accessibility is baked into your protocols and processes. Allocate funds for replacing and purchasing tools, software, and resources. Engage all departments in setting up a step-by-step plan. Assign or hire staff for specific responsibilities. Train creators, designers, developers, and managers. Communicate your goals to your external supply chains. Incorporate changes with the help of accessibility professionals.

4. Involve the stakeholders

Only when the decision-makers incorporate digital accessibility into the organization’s goals and allot funds for its implementation can the organization achieve better results and a profitable return on its investment. Appointing a senior-level manager specifically for accessibility will drive the process efficiently.

5. Reap benefits

The commercial incentives for implementing digital accessibility are plenty: increased market reach, enhanced social reputation, better SEO search ranking, and customer loyalty. According to a recent survey by Forbes, it was identified that 65 percent of consumers with disability felt their purchasing choices were limited daily by barriers and 43 percent reported abandoning an online or in-person purchase task early due to a paucity of information on design and how it is related to accessibility. In certain countries, digital accessibility is mandated by law, in which case, it saves you from litigation and financial penalties due to noncompliance.

6. Review and enhance

Digital accessibility is not a one-time task; it requires constant improvement. Measuring and tracking progress would minimize accessibility issues. Update your knowledge about accessibility, and assess your content regularly. Display an accessibility statement, and provide space for feedback. Conduct regular audits for error remediation, and schedule staff training for updates and discussions. Tweak the process based on external and internal feedback.

Digital accessibility is a long-term investment that proves to be cost effective in the long run. An accessibility agenda allows you to implement accessibility throughout your organization’s digital assets and also guides timely updates. Kick off your accessibility journey with Amnet’s Digita11y. As your accessibility partner, we help you clarify your needs and develop a strategy that best suits your goals

Sources

https://minutehack.com/opinions/why-digital-accessibility-needs-to-be-top-of-the-board-agenda-in-2024-five-actions-to-take 

https://www.testpros.com/articles/step-by-step-accessibility-plan-for-your-business/ 

https://equidox.co/blog/5-steps-to-creating-a-digital-accessibility-plan/ 

https://www.tpgi.com/a-guide-to-creating-a-successful-digital-accessibility-program/. 

https://blog.hubspot.com/website/accessibility-statistics.