During today’s study session, I walked away with a lot of new-to-me information and useful steps to apply to my current work.
Things I accomplished
- Enrolled with Deque to begin taking their accessibility courses. Started their Accessibility Fundamentals course.
- Watched Karl Groves Prioritizing Remediation of Accessibility Issues (YouTube).
- Read Prioritizing Web Content for Accessibility Review and Remediation.
- Experimented with the WCAG-EM Report Tool to produce a draft report.
What I learned today
When starting an accessibility remediation project, start with a site’s core functionalities. Determine the issue’s origin (markup, style, functionality), then prioritize accessibility issues by severity of:
- impact on users: does the problem have a user workaround or are they completely inhibited (blocked) from using a core functionality?
- legal risk: related to user impact; is it a legal risk (based on functionality block and type of organization) or just a usability issue? take note of perceivability and repeat offenders
- cost benefit: is the ROI greater than the time invested to remediate or lawsuit that may occur?
e.g. ROI = ((Risk Amount – Investment) / Investment) * 100
- level of effort to remediate (impact on business): how many changes (and where) have to be made?
WCAG conformance levels and success criteria are not the way to determine priority of remediation.
As mentioned in my notes about manual versus automated testing tools, it’s always best to target low-hanging fruit to begin quickly resolving issues.
When receiving an audit to proceed to remediation, people want to know:
- where the problems are
- what the problems are
- how to fix them
- not the specific technical guidelines and success criteria
Remediation is a hard lesson to learn in realizing that if things are made accessible from the start, less time and money is wasted.
Time is money. Just because you save time taking down inaccessible materials, time is added (technical debt shifted) to help desk lines or other resources.
I really liked Michigan State University’s accessibility severity scale:
- Level 4, Blocker: Prevents access to core processes or many secondary processes; causes harm or significant discomfort.
- Level 3, Critical: Prevents access to some secondary processes; makes it difficult to access core processes or many secondary processes.
- Level 2, Major: Makes it inconvenient to access core processes or many secondary processes.
- Level 1, Minor: Makes it inconvenient to access isolated processes.
- Level 0, Lesser: Usability observation.
Remediation procedure levels by Karl Groves:
- simple: prioritization: time versus impact (user-centric)
- advanced prioritization: scoring business and user impact (broken down by user type)
(Impact + Repair Speed + Location + Secondary Benefits) * Volume = Priority
Best quote from today’s Deque course
Accessibility does not happen by accident. It has to be purposefully planned, built, and tested for accessibility.