Keeping momentum helps with the accessibility maintenance for completed projects and builds on completed work for new projects. Regular reviews of content, organizational processes, and resources will help ensure that accessibility remains a priority and issues are identified. Developing a management reporting process will help ensure that it is clear where activity is required for follow-up work.
Changing content can introduce accessibility issues, and provide
opportunities for improvement. Monitor changes to identify issues and
Coordinate closely with website owners to identify opportunities for improvement. This includes daily content publishing and maintenance activities, as well as broader redesign and development efforts. For example, knowing when website updates are scheduled and their scope can help reprioritize accessibility tasks to minimize effort.
As your website content changes, ensure that regular accessibility reviews are performed. Include accessibility checks within the publishing process to help reduce the risk of issues occurring. Also provide a consistent evaluation process and reporting template. This will help comparison of findings to identify trends across websites or teams and help in management reporting activities.
Reviews should seek to identify issues and also identify why those issues are occurring. Some questions to consider:
- Are issues caused by staff members who have not had sufficient training?
- Are they as a result of a change in the content management system (CMS)?
- Are the requirements of the publishing process unclear?
Take action to correct the issues and also to remedy the reason for the issues occurring.
Engage with stakeholders
Work with stakeholders to continually prioritize accessibility.
Continued engagement with stakeholders will ensure that they are aware of the improvements in accessibility and resulting benefits. Internal stakeholders may be interested in how this is impacting the business and the effects on key performance indicators.
External stakeholders are more likely to be interested in how your organization is progressing towards fulfilling stated accessibility goals. Keep working with external suppliers to improve the services and tools that they deliver.
Work with internal stakeholders to ensure that accessibility remains a priority, particularly when it comes to new projects. Long-term engagement should also consider how accessibility changes are impacting project delivery. Are projects costing more? Is less time needed to ensure that accessibility is covered? Are there less problems at the end of projects?
Changes in organizational structure may also be considered in the long-term and require the strategic view that senior stakeholders have. Examples include:
- Provide subject matter experts within each development team.
- Build accessibility support services within the organization.
- Prioritize accessibility during restructuring.
- Initiate: Gather support
Track standards and legislation
Keep up-to-date with changes to ensure that you are responding to the
Review changes in standards and legislation that form part of your Accessibility Policy and consider any new standards or legislation that might add to your policy. These may have a broad impact on how you manage accessibility and will need to be planned with care.
Create a process to track changes in standards that provides you with sufficient opportunity to respond in good time. Changes in legislation tend to include dates by which compliance must be achieved. This can be helpful if you need to gather support, and will usually require involved planning to ensure that changes are implemented in time.
Standards may change to cover additional areas of accessibility or respond to new technology. This might require new design and coding approaches for existing websites. Also review any existing common libraries, knowledge bases, and training material to ensure that the current standards are correctly reflected.
For more information
- WAI Interest Group – Public group with a mailing list for general discussion on Web accessibility and W3C standards announcements.
Adapt to new technologies
Update resources and websites in response to changes in web
Consider what technologies you aim to support and ensure that you track functionality that changes each version. This will include what baseline browsers and assistive technologies you support and also the authoring tools that you use, such as your content management system.
Baseline support list
Update the list of browsers and assistive technologies that are supported for website development. New versions will bring new features and improved support for existing standards. Consider what additional accessibility support new versions will bring and determine what additional work might be needed to take advantage of them. Any work can then be fed into the next iteration of the site.
Similarly, new versions of your authoring tools may provide additional accessibility features that you can take advantage of. You may need to update training or provide extra training so that content authors are able to use new features. Consider suggesting accessibility improvements back to authoring tool vendors.
Upgrades to hardware are generally less frequent than software changes, but should also be considered. This includes new consumer devices intended to access the Web as well as new assistive technologies. Explore new technology as it becomes commonly available and consider what changes might be necessary to support accessibility. For assistive technologies, consider working with advocacy organizations to identify new technologies and what changes may be necessary to support them.
Incorporate user feedback
Invite user feedback and use it to help guide improvement activities and
identify areas in need of attention.
Ensure that any on-going customer support is able to respond to user accessibility issues. This will include training for first line support and also clear escalation paths for issues that cannot be resolved immediately. Inform the user who raised the issue of any escalation that requires more involved changes and when improvements might be expected.
Communicate accessibility improvements on your website in the Accessibility Statement. Make it easy for website users to submit feedback on accessibility and ensure that any feedback is used when considering future improvements.
For more information
- Contacting Organizations about Inaccessible Websites – Describes how people might seek to contact you, consider how you can make this task easier for your users.