How can websites comply with accessibility legislation and win more users?


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Presentation by Jonathan Hassell to tilgjengelighetsdagen 2013 (Universal Design Day 2013), Oslo, Norway

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How can websites comply with accessibility legislation and win more users?

  1. 1. How can websites comply with accessibility legislation and win more users? Prof Jonathan Hassell, Director of Hassell Inclusion & Lead-author of BS 8878 (@jonhassell) tilgjengelighetsdagen 2013 24th October 2013
  2. 2. The current pain… • Most organisations are terrified about accessibility. • They don‟t understand people who are disabled… who always seem to ask for the impossible… at crunch times in a website‟s time-constrained development. • They feel whatever they do is probably not enough, but don‟t know how far they need to go, especially when it comes to mobile app accessibility. • And they don‟t know if there‟s anything in it for them other than risk mitigation. • Worse, if they get anything right, it‟s usually only for one product, or one version of a product… • Or it‟s because of one committed, passionate individual whose eventual departure leaves them needing to start all over again.
  3. 3. Where they want to be… „what I want is to strategically embed inclusion into [my organisation’s] culture and business-as-usual processes, rather than just doing another inclusion project‟ Most common request from Heads of Diversity & Inclusion Vanguard Network 2011
  4. 4. I help get them there… • • • >10 years experience in accessibility and inclusion lead author of British Accessibility Standard BS 8878 former Head of Usability & Accessibility, BBC Future Media • • • Product Manager of innovative, award-winning products: • • • • led work to embed accessibility across BBC web, mobile and IPTV production teams won BIMA 2008 & Access-IT@Home awards for the accessibility features of BBC iPlayer won IMS Global Learning Impact Award 2010 for MyDisplay won „Best Usability & Accessibility‟ BIMA 2006 for My Web, My Way 3 x Bafta-nominated for rich-media eLearning projects using breakthrough accessibility technologies for disabled children Advisor to:
  5. 5. 1 Current situation in Norway?
  6. 6. Your regulations now require you to do this… So accessibility is now a legal risk
  7. 7. But, without thinking of the people you‟re helping, it‟s not exactly exciting…
  8. 8. It‟s rather like this…
  9. 9. Reframe the accessibility conversation… find the up-side…
  10. 10. If the only people to benefit are those with disabilities, it‟s not going to work…
  11. 11. It‟s definitely going to benefit accessibility service providers
  12. 12. It needs to benefit digital agencies and IT providers
  13. 13. It needs to benefit digital tool providers
  14. 14. It needs to benefit website owners
  15. 15. It needs to benefit Norway
  16. 16. 2 Benefits to agencies
  17. 17. Your regulations clarify the value of accessibility to website owners in Norway
  18. 18. As accessibility is not a competence of all agencies, it could become your Unique Selling Point
  19. 19. And accessibility, when thought of in the right way, builds on top of your existing UCD competencies
  20. 20. 3 Benefits to tool owners
  21. 21. As most sites are made with tools, your regulations clarify the value of accessibility to procurers of CMSes etc.
  22. 22. Other web tool‟s lack of accessibility could become a procurement barrier in Europe and the USA
  23. 23. ✔ “the current 508 has a pretty large loophole for commercial nonavailability. If the vendors are not supporting accessibility in a robust way, there is nothing else that can be asked for under 508.” Bruce Bailey, FCC working on 508 refresh… As accessibility is not a competence of all tools, it could become your USP ?
  24. 24. Opportunity: fulfilling client requirements – USP • positively differentiating your product from others when selling into organisations, esp. public-service ones withDisability Equality Schemes “Arts Council England’s approach is to continue to involve disabled people in our work to highlight the barriers experienced by a diverse range of disabled people, and for disabled people to assist us in identifying how to effectively remove those barriers.”
  25. 25. 4 Benefits to website owners
  26. 26. Yes, you may get better SEO (see Agnete Tøien Pedersen)
  27. 27. Yes, accessibility may have „created‟ responsive design (see Andrew Clarke)
  28. 28. Yes, accessibility may help promote user-centred design & user-testing (see Anita Fjeldås)
  29. 29. But there‟s much more to win…
  30. 30. The ethical business case… • • achieving best-practice for ensuring disabled people are not excluded from the benefits of modern digital technologies whole world is rapidly aligning with this • via adoption of UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People • 153 international signatories currently UN Convention:
  31. 31. Opportunity: brand value • making sure your sites and services are inclusive can benefit: • • your brand values & corporate social responsibility your ability to hire diverse range of staff
  32. 32. Opportunity: the commercial business case – maximising reach 20% of Norwegians aged 16+ had a limiting long-standing illness or disability 12.3% of Norwegian adults attain only Level 1 or below in literacy Sources:,
  33. 33. In the future “they” are “we”
  34. 34. And our numbers are growing rapidly
  35. 35. OXO Good Grips – the market for inclusive design • Well-known pioneer of Inclusive Design in the USA • Sam Farber‟s wife, a keen cook, suffered from arthritis “Why do ordinary kitchen tools hurt your hands?” • First 15 products launched in 1990 • Sales growth over 35% per year from 1991 to 2002 • The line has now grown to over 500 products • Over 100 design awards received Centre for Business Innovation “Connected Communities, helping you Do more with Less” - 35 © 2011 Centre for Business Innovation Ltd Engineering Design Centre
  36. 36. Opportunity: the commercial business case – minimising complaints
  37. 37. Opportunity: the commercial business case – audience diversity => creativity
  38. 38. 5 Benefits to Norway… if you continue on your universal design journey
  39. 39. WCAG 2.0 AA is a good start… but it won‟t win you the race
  40. 40. WCAG 2.0‟s convenient to measure & monitor…
  41. 41. But for some sites it‟s impossible to achieve…
  42. 42. It doesn‟t cover mobile (browser or apps) well at all…
  43. 43. And it doesn‟t guarantee to deliver accessibility or universal design
  44. 44. 6 So what do you need to secure the benefits of universal design?
  45. 45. You need solutions that are strategic, not piecemeal and tactical
  46. 46. Or you‟ll still do how most do accessibility: ignore it… then all hands to the pump on remediation…
  47. 47. But to fix it, you don‟t just need to do this… You also need to do this…
  48. 48. And you need to fix the problem in the process, not the product, to prevent it re-occurring
  49. 49. Snr Mgrs Finance Legal Project Mgrs Developers Designers Marketing Strategy Product Mgrs Writers Research & Testers You need to make everyone involved in making your products engaged and responsible, not just the „accessibility superhero‟
  50. 50. We were having all these problems in the UK…
  51. 51. Something else was needed… "The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2 (WCAG 2.0) try to address some of these emerging accessibility issues but their complex nature makes it difficult for web designers and programmers to implement. Guidance on implementing WCAG 2.0 should be introduced to make clearer to website designers exactly how these guidelines apply to them, and how the decisions that web designers take to address accessibility issues actually affects disabled people using the website". Consumer Expert Group report into the use of the Internet by disabled people: barriers and solutions October 2009 Source:
  52. 52. All of these people worked hard to come up with… Created by accessibility experts Reviewed publicly worldwide by: from: • 328 accessibility experts worldwide • incl: experts in personalisation, aging, mobile accessibility, IPTV, inclusive design, usability, userresearch and testing, disability evangelism Training already delivered to:
  53. 53. + = + BS 8878: embedding motivation – competence – process
  54. 54. The accessibility of your products is in all these people‟s hands… Snr Mgrs Finance Legal Project Mgrs Developers Designers Marketing Strategy Product Mgrs Writers Testers
  55. 55. Embedding responsibility • • • Work out whose responsibility accessibility should ultimately be… Make sure they delegate (and monitor results) well Make sure those delegated to are trained in their Finance responsibilities Snr Mgrs Legal Project Mgrs Developers Designers Marketing Strategy Product Mgrs Writers Testers
  56. 56. Embedding through strategic policies Snr Mgrs Finance • • Legal Marketing Strategy create an Organizational Web Accessibility Policy to strategically embed accessibility into the organization’s business as usual Project Mgrs Product Mgrs including where accessibility is embedded in: • • • web procurement policy web technology policy web production standards (e.g. compliance with WCAG, browser support, AT support) Designers Developers Writers Testers
  57. 57. 1st stage: The right research & thought before you start 1. Purpose 2. Target audiences 3. Audience needs 4. Preferences & restrictions 5. Relationship 6. User goals 2nd stage: Making strategic choices based on that research 7. Degree of UX 8. Inclusive cf. personalised 9. Delivery platforms 10. Target browsers, OSes, ATs 11. Create/procure, in-house/contract 12. Web technologies 3rd stage: Production, launch, update cycle 13. Web guidelines 14. Assuring accessibility 15. Launch information 16. Post-launch plans Embedding through a process: BS 8878‟s process in 88 seconds
  58. 58. BS 8878 has given us a framework to help reduce costs and improve our quality when delivering accessible web products for our customers. Rob Wemyss Head of Accessibility Royal Mail Group
  59. 59. Web Products (internet, intranet, mobile apps, IPTV Not just web sites widgets, SaaS etc. etc.)
  60. 60. Choosing the right guidelines for your product & audience… Not making your product contort itself to fit one set of guidelines…
  61. 61. guidelines/Mobile-accessibility-guidelines/ For example: the best current mobile accessibility guidelines aren‟t WCAG 2.0
  62. 62. Using WCAG 2.0 for what it‟s good at Not what it isn‟t (how to get there) (have we arrived?)
  63. 63. • • every decision taken will affect whether the product will include or exclude disabled and elderly people so every decision should be: – – – – • Replacing ticking boxes… recognised as a decision have all options and implications considered made based on justifiable reasoning noted in the Web Product’s Accessibility Policy for transparency at every step of the process With an informed way of making good decisions throughout your dev process
  64. 64. Enriching universal/inclusive design with user-personalized approaches…
  65. 65. OXO Good Grips – the market for inclusive design • Well-known pioneer of Inclusive Design in the USA • Sam Farber‟s wife, a keen cook, suffered from arthritis “Why do ordinary kitchen tools hurt your hands?” • First 15 products launched in 1990 • Sales growth over 35% per year from 1991 to 2002 • The line has now grown to over 500 products • Over 100 design awards received Building afor Business Innovation Centre better product… “Connected Communities, helping you Do more with Less” not just a compliant one Centre Engineering Design - 65 - © 2011 Centre for Business Innovation Ltd
  66. 66. May help to bring back measures of accessibility ROI that we haven‟t been able to measure since web 1.0…
  67. 67. Norway: Regulations on universal design of ICT vs. UK: Equality Act 2010 Could it help here? What differs… What stays the same…
  68. 68. So… why linger on the surface when the riches are beneath?
  69. 69. Make your organisation feel like this… • you‟ll have decided why accessibility is important for your company, set your goals, benchmarked your competence and planned your journey • your company policies will include all you need to ensure accessibility is just „the way we do things around here‟ • everyone involved in creating your websites and apps will know what accessibility expects of them and have competence in applying guidelines to their job-role • they‟ll follow a user-centred design process to make products that work for everyone • they‟ll be empowered to make product decisions re accessibility, as long as they can justify them against real-world user-research about your product and audience • they‟ll have the freedom to create product variations where users‟ needs diverge • they‟ll test products for accessibility, alongside usability, to the level the budget will allow (and they‟ll be aware of the limited benefits of cheap options) • you‟ll be freed from the impossibility of doing everything you could possibly do for v1.0, as long as you tell your audience why and when they‟ll get what they need
  70. 70. Get slides on all 16 BS 8878 steps
  71. 71. Book available from BSI Press February 2014 email:
  72. 72. I‟ve training to help you with the heavy lifting…
  73. 73. Innovation Training & support for BS8878 Standards Strategy & research
  74. 74. If I can help you Please get in touch… e: t: @jonhassell w: