Accessibility Responsibility Breakdown

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@@Editor's note: This document is a work in progress meant to be built collaboratively and commented by the WAI-Engage community. Every member of this community is welcomed to either send comments directly to the editor through email at dboudreau [at] accessibiliteweb [dot] com or by editing the content below using the wiki. In order to keep track of all modifications, please provide a summary of all the changes brought to the document within the wiki interface and check if this is a minor edit or not. Thank you. (dboudreau, 2012/04/13)

Abstract

Web accessibility, taken into consideration at the end of the production chain, leads to processing too late, issues that should have been dealt with before, without the appropriate means or resources to do so. Understanding how critical this is is a crucial part of the web accessibility process. Who, then, gets to be responsible for which accessibility requirements, and when in a web production? This project looks at WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria by roles (e.g., graphics designer, interaction designer, back-end developer, etc.) so web accessibility becomes all about being able to plan the right intervention, by the right person, at the right time within the web development lifecycle.

Introduction

Accessibility is not simply an extra requirement that can be added to the web development lifecycle. In order to show significant conformance results, accessibility must be incorporated in each existing link of the web production chain. The only way to successfully accomplish accessibility is to be able to plan it from the very start, and that means assigning responsibility to the various stakeholders and share the tasks in order to produce accessible content.

Accessibility standards for people with disabilities, aging populations and mobile web users require changing many habits within the organizations who are seeking to incorporate them into their web development practices. The recommendations found in WCAG 2.0 often challenge practices that are usually considered appropriate, proven and optimal by the organization that has put them into place.

The willingness to integrate web accessibility requirements within a production team’s roadmap often results in sudden habit changes, which may seriously jeopardize the profitability of any web site production. How then, can an organization achieve web accessibility while on a budget?

Although the principles applied in web accessibility practice are not difficult to implement for the most part, the risk of making certain costly mistakes is very high. The purpose of this project is to break down the 61 Success Criteria found in WCAG 2.0 into different smaller checklists, so each stakeholder in a web development lifecycle could then take integrate into his or her daily practice.

For the purpose of this project, we are proposing a typical web production chain consisting of the following stakeholders:


Web Development Role WCAG 2.0 Total Success Criteria
Level A Level AA Level AAA
Project Management N/A N/A N/A N/A
Analysis 2 2 5 9
Architecture 2 3 4 9
Interaction Design/Usability 15 7 14 36
Graphics Design 12 9 11 32
Content Strategy 11 3 7 21
Search Engine Optimization 13 6 9 28
HTML/CSS Prototyping 12 7 6 25
Front-end Development 25 13 22 60
Back-end Development 15 7 10 32
Quality Control 25 13 23 61

Obviously, not every web production chain has access to all those resources and some times, the same people will cumulate more than one responsibility. In some cases, there are even more stakeholders taking part in the project. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. Rather, this is meant as customizable guidelines intended to help organization develop checklists that will fit nicely with their own reality.

Web accessibility by roles

General Overview

@@dboudreau (2012/05/07): Add in a page for each SC, presenting who is impacted by it. Use those 61 table to summarize what the general idea of the SC is linking to techniques)

@@dboudreau (2012/05/07): At some point, specify which role is the actual owner of each SC.

Success Criteria (Level) Production chain phases
Analysis Architecture Interaction Design / Usability Graphics Design Content Strategy Search Engine Optimization HTML/CSS Prototyping Front-End Development Back-End Development Quality control
1.1.1 (A)         X X X X X X
1.2.1 (A)         X X   X   X
1.2.2 (A)         X X   X   X
1.2.3 (A)         X X   X   X
1.2.4 (AA)           X   X   X
1.2.5 (AA)         X X   X   X
1.2.6 (AAA)           X   X   X
1.2.7 (AAA)         X X   X   X
1.2.8 (AAA)         X X   X   X
1.2.9 (AAA)           X   X   X
1.3.1 (A)   X X X X X X X X X
1.3.2 (A)             X X X X
1.3.3 (A)     X X X     X   X
1.4.1 (A)     X X       X   X
1.4.2 (A)     X X       X   X
1.4.3 (AA)       X     X X   X
1.4.4 (AA)     X X     X X   X
1.4.5 (AA)       X   X X X   X
1.4.6 (AAA)       X     X X   X
1.4.7 (AAA)     X X       X   X
1.4.8 (AAA)     X X       X   X
1.4.9 (AAA)       X       X   X
2.1.1 (A)     X X X X X X X X
2.1.2 (A)     X X X X X X X X
2.1.3 (AAA)     X     X X X X X
2.2.1 (A)     X     X   X X X
2.2.2 (A)     X X   X   X X X
2.2.3 (AAA) X   X X   X   X X X
2.2.4 (AAA) X   X X       X X X
2.2.5 (AAA) X   X         X X X
2.3.1 (A)     X X       X   X
2.3.2 (AAA)     X X       X   X
2.4.1 (A)       X   X X X   X
2.4.2 (A)   X     X X X X   X
2.4.3 (A)           X X X X X
2.4.4 (A)     X   X X   X X X
2.4.5 (AA)   X X X   X X X X X
2.4.6 (AA)   X X X X X X X X X
2.4.7 (AA)       X   X X X X X
2.4.8 (AAA)   X X X   X X X   X
2.4.9 (AAA)     X   X X   X X X
2.4.10 (AAA)   X       X X X X X
3.1.1 (A)             X X   X
3.1.2 (AA)   X     X     X X X
3.1.3 (AAA)   X X   X   X X X X
3.1.4 (AAA)   X     X     X X X
3.1.5 (AAA)     X   X         X
3.1.6 (AAA)         X     X   X
3.2.1 (A) X   X X       X X X
3.2.2 (A)     X         X X X
3.2.3 (AA)     X X       X   X
3.2.4 (AA)     X X     X X X X
3.2.5 (AAA)     X X     X X X X
3.3.1 (A) X   X X X     X X X
3.3.2 (A)     X X     X X X X
3.3.3 (AA) X   X X       X X X
3.3.4 (AA) X   X         X X X
3.3.5 (AAA) X   X X       X   X
3.3.6 (AAA) X   X X       X X X
4.1.1 (A)             X X X X
4.1.2 (A)     X       X X X X
61 9 9 36 32 21 28 25 60 32 61


Project management

For the purposes of this project, the project management role includes the tasks normally associated with production planning and the various related monitoring activities. While the project manager (PM) does not really have any implication when it comes to implementing the different Success Criteria from WCG 2.0, he or she plays a vital role in making sure every stakeholder understands what their role is when it comes to web accessibility.

More specifically, in a web accessibility context, the project manager’s responsibilities consist of ensuring optimization of the production chain by:

  • Integrating the concept of transversality, which is inherent in web accessibility
  • Planning accessibility at each step of the web development lifecycle
  • Allocating the relevant web accessibility responsibilities to every stakeholders
  • Ensuring the technical and functional criteria are being met at every milestone
  • Understanding the difference between accessible content and conforming content
  • Being aware of the tools’ accessibility limitations and working around them
  • Assessing the impact of technology platforms on the overall project


Analysis

The analysis function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with analysis of the project’s strategic orientations, analysis of the options for technology platforms, or functional analysis of Web interfaces.

Principles Applicable Success Criteria
A AA AAA
Perceivable -- -- --
Operable -- -- 2.2.3, 2.2.4, 2.2.5
Understandable 3.2.1, 3.3.1 3.3.3, 3.3.4 3.3.5, 3.3.6
Robust -- -- --
Total (9) 2 2 5


Architecture

The architecture function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with the architecture of the information (Web content) and the architecture of the data.

Principles Applicable Success Criteria
A AA AAA
Perceivable 1.3.1 -- --
Operable 2.4.2 2.4.5, 2.4.6 2.4.8, 2.4.10
Understandable -- 3.1.2 3.1.3, 3.1.4
Robust -- -- --
Total (9) 2 3 4


Interaction Design / Usability

The interaction design / usability function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with the planning of web interfaces, content changes, interactivity and other interface-related contents of the pages.

Principles Applicable Success Criteria
A AA AAA
Perceivable 1.3.1, 1.3.3, 1.4.1, 1.4.2 1.4.4 1.4.7, 1.4.8
Operable 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.3.1, 2.4.4 2.4.5, 2.4.6 2.1.3, 2.2.3, 2.2.4, 2.2.5, 2.3.2, 2.4.8, 2.4.9
Understandable 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.3.1, 3.3.2 3.2.3, 3.2.4, 3.3.3, 3.3.4 3.1.3, 3.1.5, 3.2.5, 3.3.5, 3.3.6
Robust 4.1.2 -- --
Total (36) 15 7 14


Graphic Design

The graphics design function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with the graphic design of interfaces, the related graphic declinations, the specific design of navigation elements, context changes and other general design of the main content of the pages.

Principles Applicable Success Criteria
A AA AAA
Perceivable 1.3.1, 1.3.3, 1.4.1, 1.4.2 1.4.3, 1.4.4, 1.4.5 1.4.6, 1.4.7, 1.4.8, 1.4.9
Operable 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.2.2, 2.3.1, 2.4.1 2.4.5, 2.4.6, 2.4.7 2.2.3, 2.2.4, 2.3.2, 2.4.8
Understandable 3.2.1, 3.3.1, 3.3.2 3.2.3, 3.2.4, 3.3.3 3.2.5, 3.3.5, 3.3.6
Robust -- -- --
Total (32) 12 9 11


Content Strategy

The content strategy function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with producing the site’s textual contents, equivalent alternative for non-text content and other general text elements presented in the pages.

Principles Applicable Success Criteria
A AA AAA
Perceivable 1.1.1, 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.3.1, 1.3.3 1.2.5 1.2.7, 1.2.8
Operable 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.4.2, 2.4.4 2.4.6 2.4.9
Understandable 3.3.1 3.1.2 3.1.3, 3.1.4, 3.1.5, 3.1.6
Robust -- -- --
Total (21) 11 3 7


Search Engine Optimization

The search engine optimization function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with providing text equivalents for non-text contents and making contents on a web page more easily indexable by search engines.

Principles Applicable Success Criteria
A AA AAA
Perceivable 1.1.1, 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.3.1 1.2.4, 1.2.5, 1.4.5 1.2.6, 1.2.7, 1.2.8, 1.2.9
Operable 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.4.1, 2.4.2, 2.4.3, 2.4.4 2.4.5, 2.4.6, 2.4.7 2.1.3, 2.2.3, 2.4.8, 2.4.9, 2.4.10
Understandable -- -- --
Robust -- -- --
Total (28) 13 6 9


HTML/CSS Prototyping

The HTML/CSS prototyping function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with the production of all web site master templates (HTML and CSS).

Principles Applicable Success Criteria
A AA AAA
Perceivable 1.1.1, 1.3.1, 1.3.2 1.4.3, 1.4.4, 1.4.5 1.4.6
Operable 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.4.1, 2.4.2, 2.4.3 2.4.5, 2.4.6, 2.4.7 2.1.3, 2.4.8, 2.4.10
Understandable 3.1.1, 3.3.2 3.2.4 3.1.3, 3.2.5
Robust 4.1.1, 4.1.2 -- --
Total (25) 12 7 6


Front-end Development

The front-end development function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with the development of contribution tools, HTML and CSS integration, and the programming of proposed scripts and applications on the Web site.

Principles Applicable Success Criteria
A AA AAA
Perceivable 1.1.1, 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.3.1, 1.3.2, 1.3.3, 1.4.1, 1.4.2 1.2.4, 1.2.5, 1.4.3, 1.4.4, 1.4.5 1.2.6, 1.2.7, 1.2.8, 1.2.9, 1.4.6, 1.4.7, 1.4.8, 1.4.9
Operable 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.3.1, 2.4.1, 2.4.2, 2.4.3, 2.4.4 2.4.5, 2.4.6, 2.4.7 2.1.3, 2.2.3, 2.2.4, 2.2.5, 2.3.2, 2.4.8, 2.4.9, 2.4.10
Understandable 3.1.1, 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.3.1, 3.3.2 3.1.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.4, 3.3.3, 3.3.4 3.1.3, 3.1.4, 3.1.6, 3.2.5, 3.3.5, 3.3.6
Robust 4.1.1, 4.1.2 -- --
Total (60) 25 13 22


Back-end Development

The back-end development function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with the development of server side programing and database management.

Principles Applicable Success Criteria
A AA AAA
Perceivable 1.1.1, 1.3.1, 1.3.2 -- --
Operable 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.4.3, 2.4.4 2.4.5, 2.4.6, 2.4.7 2.1.3, 2.2.3, 2.2.4, 2.2.5, 2.4.9, 2.4.10
Understandable 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.3.1, 3.3.2 3.1.2, 3.2.4, 3.3.3, 3.3.4 3.1.3, 3.1.4, 3.2.5, 3.3.6
Robust 4.1.1, 4.1.2 -- --
Total (32) 15 7 10


Quality Control

The quality control function covers tasks normally associated with general validations at the very end of the project, before launching.

Principles Applicable Success Criteria
A AA AAA
Perceivable 1.1.1, 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.3.1, 1.3.2, 1.3.3, 1.4.1, 1.4.2 1.2.4, 1.2.5, 1.4.3, 1.4.4, 1.4.5 1.2.6, 1.2.7, 1.2.8, 1.2.9, 1.4.6, 1.4.7, 1.4.8, 1.4.9
Operable 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.3.1, 2.4.1, 2.4.2, 2.4.3, 2.4.4 2.4.5, 2.4.6, 2.4.7 2.1.3, 2.2.3, 2.2.4, 2.2.5, 2.3.2, 2.4.8, 2.4.9, 2.4.10
Understandable 3.1.1, 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.3.1, 3.3.2 3.1.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.4, 3.3.3, 3.3.4 3.1.3, 3.1.4, 3.1.5, 3.1.6, 3.2.5, 3.3.5, 3.3.6
Robust 4.1.1, 4.1.2 -- --
Total (61) 25 13 23