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How to guarantee success

2 minutes read

From time to time, I read books that honestly tend to go over my head. They are somewhat dense and I get a bit tired after reading a chapter or two. And just when I think to myself that I should just stop and pick another one, I find a little nugget of wisdom that makes something click. Yesterday was one of those moments.

The chapter I was reading analysed the former Soviet Union's attempt to rapidly industrialise agriculture in the late 1920s. Despite vast resources, labor and technology, the program failed catastrophically. Why? The government lacked crucial relationships with farmers, proper education programs and effective processes that considered local conditions.

This made me think of a common trap organisations looking to implement an accessibility program often fall into.

They assume that if they have money, labour and technology, this is enough to guarantee success. When tackling complex challenges like web accessibility, this misconception can lead to wasted resources and failed initiatives.

These resources are necessary, yes. But they're only part of the story. The truth is, if you're missing the right relationships, the education and the right processes for people to rely on, even well-funded accessibility projects can fail.

The kicker is that the inverse is also true. You can't succeed with the right process, but none of the resources.

So success in web accessibility requires:

  1. Relationships: Engaging with disability communities and accessibility experts.
  2. Education: Training teams on accessibility principles and best practices.
  3. Processes: Implementing accessibility throughout the development lifecycle.

Having resources like money, labour and technology doesn't guarantee the success of an accessibility program. While these are important, they're only part of the story. The right relationships, education and processes are equally crucial. Without these, an organization can't effectively use its resources to implement a successful accessibility program.

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I send out short emails like this every day to help you gain a fresh perspective on accessibility and understand it without the jargon, so you can build more robust products that everyone can use, including people with disabilities.

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