CSUN 2011: How to Eat an Elephant: Tackling Web Accessibility in a Large Corporation


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Wednesday, March 16, 2011, San Diego

Humana's Accessibility team relays the challenges they faced instituting web accessibility across a Fortune 100 company. The team will share successes and lessons learned.

Lisa Barnett

Wes Dillon
Deque Systems

Preety Kumar
Deque Systems, Inc

Sharron Rush
Knowbility, Inc.

Elle Waters

Published in: Technology
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  • And based on our experience . . . Communicating your case and plans widely can be just as powerful as gaining top-level support A committee may be helpful, but too many involved people can slow you down and create confusion The clearer and more testable your standards are, the more easily they will be accepted It’s important to learn your company’s budget process and be prepared to provide a budget request at the right time
  • CSUN 2011: How to Eat an Elephant: Tackling Web Accessibility in a Large Corporation

    1. 1. How to Eat an Elephant: Tackling Web Accessibility in a Large Corporation Elle Waters & Lisa Barnett Humana Inc. 03/16/2011
    2. 2. Our corporate context Accessibility program case study: Humana Inc.
    3. 3. Humana background <ul><li>Fortune 100 Company (and moving up!) </li></ul><ul><li>29,000 employees </li></ul><ul><li>Over 11 million customers in U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>140+ web properties </li></ul><ul><li>Fast, organic growth of company, and evolving business model </li></ul><ul><li>Decentralized, cost-center structure </li></ul><ul><li>Questions about “who owns the web” and who “owns user experience” and what those mean </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer focus and aggressive initiatives to improve user experience and engagement </li></ul>
    4. 4. Our initial questions <ul><li>Who? </li></ul><ul><li>What? </li></ul><ul><li>When? </li></ul><ul><li>Where? </li></ul><ul><li>How? </li></ul>
    5. 5. Challenges and Benefits <ul><li>Lack of Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Unscalable process </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Large Medicare customer base </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer focus </li></ul><ul><li>Progressive attitude </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible roles </li></ul>Challenges we face Benefits we enjoy
    6. 6. Our experience standing up a new program Accessibility program case study: Humana Inc.
    7. 7. Our approach and business case <ul><li>Motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Positioning </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Elements of our business case </li></ul><ul><li>Risk analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Improved senior usability </li></ul><ul><li>Standardized coding </li></ul><ul><li>Additional benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Planning for change </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul>
    8. 8. We looked internally for something similar : <ul><li>Information Security as a model </li></ul><ul><li>Neither &quot;Business&quot; nor IT </li></ul><ul><li>Perceived as specialists and experts </li></ul><ul><li>Represent and protect the whole enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>Has non-negotiable success criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Acts as consultants throughout the project lifecycle </li></ul><ul><li>Assessed risk to the enterprise and impacts to other areas </li></ul>
    9. 9. How we assessed risk <ul><li>Visibility </li></ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Customer expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Regulatory oversight </li></ul>V I S I B I L I T Y O V E R S I G H T Highest Risk Lowest Risk
    10. 10. How we prioritized and scheduled effort <ul><li>Risk level – defined internally </li></ul><ul><li>Effort required to remediate </li></ul><ul><li>Alignment with other initiatives and projects, including complete redesigns </li></ul><ul><li>Level of training required for development staff </li></ul><ul><li>Available budget for work </li></ul><ul><li>Input from business units </li></ul><ul><li>The changing legal landscape </li></ul><ul><li>Results of automated testing </li></ul><ul><li>How “broken” is it? Is critical path executable? </li></ul>
    11. 11. Our integration into Humana’s SDLC <ul><li>Found an advocate! </li></ul><ul><li>Focused on quantitative – testing requirements </li></ul><ul><li>High visibility </li></ul><ul><li>Leveraged IT’s Process Tailoring Assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Identify projects and business partners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Helped with prioritization, planning, funding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reciprocation with Marketing visibility for SDLC </li></ul><ul><li>IT team contact, good for training invite list </li></ul><ul><li>Workflows and processes we could use </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstration of collaborative spirit </li></ul>
    12. 12. We needed a business testing tool <ul><li>Alignment with SDLC - use same criteria to monitor projects after launch </li></ul><ul><li>Extends &quot;life cycle&quot; to sunsetting, practically </li></ul><ul><li>Status reports to leadership and compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Supports standardization of code </li></ul><ul><li>Provides defensible documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Can test for some brand standards </li></ul><ul><li>Alignment between accessibility and usability may be possible, integrating our site metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Saves money on automated testing </li></ul>
    13. 13. Our biggest “wins” <ul><li>Collaboration with IT </li></ul><ul><li>Integration into our SDLC </li></ul><ul><li>Finding a great accessibility partner </li></ul><ul><li>Leveraging existing model (IT Security) </li></ul><ul><li>Our partnership and combined strengths </li></ul>
    14. 14. Initial learnings <ul><li>Plant seeds and cultivate what grows! </li></ul><ul><li>A single vendor for both software and consulting streamlines process AND communication </li></ul><ul><li>Effective relationships with the right people dramatically sped our progress </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes, the right people aren’t interested </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility can further other people’s goals </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation is a good first-year focus; position usability as an innate benefit of accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive benchmarking is helpful to show opportunity in the marketplace </li></ul>
    15. 15. Human Resources <ul><li>Diversity & Inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>ADA Coordinator </li></ul><ul><li>Associate Intranet </li></ul><ul><li>Workspace Solutions </li></ul>IT <ul><li>IT (different business units) </li></ul><ul><li>Enterprise architecture </li></ul><ul><li>SDLC </li></ul><ul><li>ITLS </li></ul><ul><li>IT Security </li></ul><ul><li>CSS </li></ul>Marketing <ul><li>Support for each business unit </li></ul><ul><li>Social networking </li></ul><ul><li>SEO </li></ul>Misc/other <ul><li>Procurement </li></ul><ul><li>Humana Military </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic & Corporate Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Agent/Broker support </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Care </li></ul>Legal <ul><li>Legal </li></ul><ul><li>Compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Vendor contracts and management </li></ul>Humana Web Accessibility & Usability Program Humana’s Decentralized Business Model
    16. 16. Why a Marketing/IT partnership works for us <ul><li>Maintains user-centered design approach, and addresses needs of implementation teams </li></ul><ul><li>Better acceptance and comprehension of requirements by business units </li></ul><ul><li>Greater consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Shared costs </li></ul><ul><li>Better integration and collaboration between design and development </li></ul><ul><li>More visibility across the company </li></ul><ul><li>Shared credit for success is highly motivating </li></ul>
    17. 17. Recommendations Accessibility program case study: Humana Inc.
    18. 18. What we wish we’d known when we started <ul><li>People looked to us for leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Enterprise-level, accessibility management software acquisition should happen early </li></ul><ul><li>Regulatory Compliance could have helped get the right people in the room together </li></ul><ul><li>People want, and can understand accessibility standards with testable criteria </li></ul><ul><li>We would need to be familiar with the budgeting process </li></ul><ul><li>IT could be our champion </li></ul>
    19. 19. Questions? Deque, the experts, are here!
    20. 20. Additional notes
    21. 21. Top ten things to get started <ul><li>Start with just 2 or 3 people from different parts of the company: Marketing, Compliance and IT are great candidates </li></ul><ul><li>Get a high-level audit to show the severity of the problem and to support the business case </li></ul><ul><li>Find a great consulting partner and engage them early in the process to make recommendations and strategize with you </li></ul><ul><li>Put together a good business case and present it strategically to people who can help you </li></ul><ul><li>Get a pilot project started and train a core team of developers </li></ul>
    22. 22. Top ten things to get started <ul><li>Partner with IT leadership and meet regularly </li></ul><ul><li>Leverage existing processes, documentation and models </li></ul><ul><li>Look for a model within your company that you can leverage </li></ul><ul><li>Define realistic goals for the first year, estimate the cost and present it to leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Build accessibility requirements into all RFPs for contract development </li></ul>
    23. 23. <ul><li>Prioritization established for years 1 and 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Foundation to support accessibility across the enterprise in place </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility policy, standards and guidelines developed and socialized (usability standards still in development) </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability and enforcement protocol established </li></ul><ul><li>Tools to monitor progress in place (in progress) </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to generate defensible documentation (in progress) </li></ul><ul><li>Basic training in place to support Year 1 goals (in progress) </li></ul><ul><li>Training planned to support year 2 goals </li></ul><ul><li>Process in place to review, assess and plan remediation for proposed acquisitions and procurements </li></ul><ul><li>System in place to respond to customer complaints </li></ul><ul><li>Plans in place to manage change (in progress) </li></ul>Our progress to date
    24. 24. Deque’s Accessibility Roadmap
    25. 25. 8-Step Implementation Model From WebAIM.org: 1: Gather Baseline Information 2: Gain Top Level Support 3: Organize a Web Accessibility Committee 4: Define a Standard 5: Create an Implementation Plan 6: Provide Training and Technical Support 7: Monitor Conformance 8: Remain Flexible Through the Changes