Accessibility: the responsibility of the whole team!
The more people in an organisation who are aware of the importance of information and services reaching all users no matter of ability, the more probable is the success. That is why we always offer unlimited number of participants in our trainings.
In too many projects, only parts of the teams are involved in accessibility discussions and/or training. This almost always lead to trouble, since the people who are left out do not share the sense of ownership and commitment. We recommend to include as many as possible in the initial set up, when requirements and objectives are agreed on.
In an average web development project, developers, UX-designers, graphical designers and web authors are included. But what about the management level, legal experts, quality managers, search engine experts, security people and all the other roles that will sooner or later have a say about the website? If they are not aware about the idea that accessibility is important to you, they may unintentionally make decisions that affect the level of accessibility in a negative way.
Training is the key
We have been in the business for more than 20 years and seen interfaces ranging from fantastic to lousy. But we have never ever met people who deliberately develop or design inaccessible stuff. It is always a question of lack of competence. Sometimes, time and money play a role too, but if the professionals know the topic, many of these challenges can be handled in a constructive way. This is why training, as many as possible, is extremely important.
There are many ways to include a broad spectrum of competences in accessibility training. For example, testing assistive technology, virtual reality simulations and empathy training are usually efficient even when the participants have varying levels of previous knowledge and different backgrounds and areas of expertise.
When we deliver specialised content, or in depth practical sessions, we always recommend to combine it with a more general introduction open to ”anyone”. We also offer very short (and if needed, provocative) demos and presentations specifically tailored to management level and decision makers.