Chapter 11. The Process

Most of the web accessibility success stories are attributable to evangelists within an organization. It is one thing to have a corporate policy that dictates accessibility as a requirement and another thing to execute it. Often, sites are made accessible not as a result of an order from the top but by people who are “just doing their job” within the web team—especially folks who understand that even the best automated tools are no replacement for good design.

Universal by Design

All too often, organizations begin to think about accessibility near the end of a project. Unfortunately, that’s usually too late. Universal design is not just a checkbox—it is a discipline that should be included in the original specifications of a product, site, or application; and revisited throughout the development, refining, and launch of an application. If UD is left to chance, the time and cost involved in reworking what you’ve already done increases dramatically.

We have made frequent mention of guidelines such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and the Mobile Web Best Practices. It’s necessary for any stakeholder group to state their needs as clearly as possible and how to satisfy them. And because the audience for these documents is both international and made up of people with differing skill levels, the guidance they provide is as simple as they can make it. In the case of WCAG, it’s even transformed in various ways to speak to managers, developers, ...

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