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You don't have to lead the pack, just find your stride

2 minutes read

There are organisations that are extremely accessibility-conscious. They incorporate accessibility at all levels of the organisation. Their products are thought, designed and developed with accessibility at the forefront. Product design specs include accessibility guidance, the development team ships accessible user interfaces, and each release goes through both manual and automated accessibility testing. They deliberately seek out and evaluate input from users with disabilities. They fight the good fight and encourage everyone else to do so as well.

And then there are organisations that are very vocal about not caring about accessibility. They don't have users who are disabled so they don't see why they should consider them at all in their SDLC. (whether a lack of accessibility comes before the lack of users with disabilities or the other way around is the subject of another email)

Most organisations aren't either.

They sit somewhere in the middle, along a spectrum. Their teams are either not aware of accessibility or aren't making it a priority. The thinking is "it is what it is."

They're not against accessibility. They're just skeptical it's something that should have priority over releasing new features. After all, it takes time to consider people with disabilities when planning and time to design and annotate the designs for a proper handoff to development. It takes time to write accessible code and then to test it and maintain it.

So they figure they need proper training for all this. That takes more time and more money. Everyone at all levels needs to be involved. They need to write policies, put processes in place, make sure they are used consistently, and are regularly reviewed.

That starts to sound like a major change in the organisation, no longer a small fix here and there. It all sounds too much for where they are right now.

And it is.

And it's ok. No one expects them to jump ahead on that spectrum and do it all at once. It's fine to do some fixes this sprint and postpone some for next sprint. It's fine to not think about the long term plan right now. It's fine to say I'm not there yet, but I'd like to be and here's what I'm doing to get there soon.

Not every organisation needs to be a leader in accessibility, shaping the future and spearheading the industry. Where you are right now is fine! Prepare the next step and take it.

Did you enjoy this bite-sized message?

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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