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U.S. General Services Administration 
Role-Based Accessibility in 
Government: 
Everyone’s Responsibility 
#RoleBasedA11y 
Angela M. Hooker 
DigitalGov University, November 2012
Hi! I’m Angela, your 
accessibility consultant. 
2
You don’t need me … 
3
You don’t need me … as 
much as you think. 
4
We accessibility consultants 
are tasked with all the work 
to make sure projects are 
accessible. 
5
Often, people think we only 
use a checklist, after a 
project is fully developed, 
to test for accessibility. 
6
We’ve treated accessibility as 
an issue only relevant to 
development. 
7
Or, sometimes people think 
that if we “test with JAWS” 
… 
8
Or, some think if I run a 
project through WAVE, or 
the Web Accessibility 
Toolbar, or FireEyes, or 
aChecker, or … 
9
But … 
10
But … it’s not working. 
11
One person can’t do it all … 
12
One person can’t do it all … 
you need an accessibility 
team … 
13
One person can’t do it all … 
you need an accessibility 
team … that you already 
have. 
14
The key is your current staff 
can work together to create 
accessible projects. 
15
It doesn’t matter if you’re … 
in upper management. 
16
It doesn’t matter if you’re … 
a developer. 
17
It doesn’t matter if you’re … 
a project manager. 
18
It doesn’t matter if you’re … 
a usability specialist. 
19
It doesn’t matter if you’re … 
an accessibility specialist. 
20
If we’re to produce accessible 
projects … 
21
We must change our 
process! 
22
We must change our 
process! But, how? 
23
… by using “P-O-U-R” 
principles from the Web 
Content Accessibility 
Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) 
24
What is POUR? 
WCAG 2.0 
principles 
of 
accessibility: 
Perceivable 
Operable 
Understandable 
Robust 
25
Accessibility responsibilities 
• Accessibility Responsibility Breakdown 
• Based on WCAG 2.0 
• Canadian 
Government 
• Coopérative 
AccessibilitéWeb 
26
Accessibility responsibilities 
• Project management 
• Analysis 
• Information architecture 
• Interaction design 
• Graphic design, including mockups 
• Prototype 
• Editing (content development) 
27
Accessibility responsibilities 
• Development 
• Quality assurance—testing 
• Upper management 
28
Tasks 
29
Project management 
• Integrate and plan accessibility 
• Oversee tasks and responsibilities 
• Choose technical and functional 
criteria 
• Distinguish between accessibility and 
conformance with the law/guidelines 
• Know the limitations of the tools 
• Assess technology platforms’ impact 
30
Project management 
• Responsibilities from WCAG 2.0 
–Overseer: all guidelines 
–Successful results 
–Degree of accessibility 
–Documentation 
31
Analysis 
• Analysis of platforms, interfaces, 
etc. 
• Solve problems/consider user 
interaction and behaviors 
–Prevent errors 
–Determine what happens upon error 
–When items receive focus/context 
–Timing, re-authentication 
–Contextual help 
32
Information architecture 
• Structure of pages and content 
–Relationships among info types 
–Page titles 
–How to navigate to each page 
–Headings and labels (including forms) 
33
Interaction design 
• Scripting, content changes, 
interactivity: 
–Design conveys content relationships— 
headings, spacing, lists 
–Content is perceivable without regard 
to location, size, shape, color 
–Keyboard navigation 
–Flashing content—3 times per second 
–Minimize errors 
34
Graphic design 
• The overall look and feel of every 
interface—including navigation, 
content 
– Consistent behavior throughout 
– Logical design/reading order 
– Color contrast 
– Real text instead of graphics of text 
– Font size 
35
Prototyping 
• Building HTML and CSS templates 
–Separation of style from content 
–Page language 
–Alt text for all non-text items 
–Pages parse properly (compatibility) 
–Keyboard navigation 
36
Content/editing 
• Authoring the site’s written 
content, alternative text, and other 
content 
–Content structure 
–Plain language 
–Consistent behavior 
–Prevent errors/error text 
–Captions and audio descriptions 
37
Development 
• Integrating HTML and CSS; 
programming scripts and 
applications 
–Building from the prototype 
–Progressive enhancement/behavior 
–Captioning multimedia 
–Widgets 
–APIs 
38
Quality assurance 
• Verifying that the team followed 
the guidelines properly 
–Test with accessibility tools 
–Manual review/read code 
–Test with assistive technologies 
–Review content for readability 
39
Quality assurance 
• Checklists versus usability and 
access: 
–Use a checklist when testing, so you 
don’t forget anything 
–You can satisfy every requirements 
and still have accessibility problems 
–Don’t lose sight of your users’ ability 
to access your info and complete 
tasks 
40
Upper management: You set 
the tone in your 
organization. 
41
Upper management’s role 
• Support accessibility 
• Require accessibility 
• Encourage teamwork 
• Make your environment conducive 
to teamwork 
• Trust your team—let them do their 
jobs and empower them 
42
What about vendors? 
43
Projects by vendors 
• Make sure your contract requires 
accessible products built to your 
specifications and subject to your 
interpretation of accessibility 
• Ask to see their process for building in 
accessibility, and require documentation 
for your project 
• Schedule checkpoints where you verify 
their work 
44
Pitfalls to avoid and 
lessons to learn 
45
It doesn’t work 
• Not training team members in 
accessibility 
• Having the accessibility champ do all 
the testing at every interval 
• Putting the work before relationships 
• Forgetting that guidelines overlap 
• Not involving upper management 
• Thinking the process won’t evolve 
46
It doesn’t work 
• Focusing only on “checklist accessibility” 
rather than “functional accessibility” 
• Allowing the accessibility program to be 
personality driven—it must outlive you 
and me 
47
Cooperating with your 
colleagues 
48
You and your colleagues 
• What can you do to bridge the gap 
between people, departments, and 
philosophies? 
–Sometimes an accessibility consultant 
has to be a counselor, evangelist, 
educator, and/or a maverick (among 
other roles) 
–Make sure you’re not being a nag 
49
You and your colleagues 
–Stand against any existing “us versus 
them” vibe 
–Create a “no shame; no blame” 
atmosphere 
–Take every opportunity to educate 
your colleagues 
50
You and your colleagues 
• Negotiate with your team and 
management 
–Come armed with research, statistics, 
analytics—whatever they’ll respond to 
–Think of it as finding the best outcome 
for users—it’s not about winning 
–Be forthright, but be careful 
–See Carol Smith’s “ 
Empower Yourself: Negotiate for the User 
” 
51
You and your colleagues 
• You know these principles, but we 
assume management does, too— 
they might not 
–Save time: It takes time to 
implement accessibility, but it’s faster 
than remediating 
–Save money: It takes money to 
implement accessibility, but it’s 
cheaper than remediating 
52
You and your colleagues 
–It’s the law 
–It’s the right thing 
–You might need it 
53
Final words 
54
In a nutshell … 
• Start small 
• One person may have many roles 
• Adapt this process to your organization 
and its culture—keep it evolving 
• Build rapport within and among teams— 
talk 
• Negotiate—don’t be afraid 
• It’s about what’s best for users 
55
Resources 
56
P-O-U-R 
• WCAG 2.0 Principles of Accessibility 
, World Wide Web Consortium 
• Constructing a POUR Website, 
WebAIM 
57
Project management 
• Integrating Accessibility in the Organization’s , Denis Boudreau 
• Accessibility for Project Managers, 
Henny Swan 
• Managing Accessibility Compliance in the Enterprise 
, Karl Groves 
• Plan for Accessibility, Option Keys 
58
Project management 
• Planning Accessibility, Government of 
Canada 
• Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout , Shawn Lawton Henry 
• Disability types/issues 
–Visually, cognitively, motor, and hearing 
impaired; neurological/seizure disorders; 
elderly and aging 
59
Writing content 
• Accessibility for Web Writers, 4 
Syllables 
• Content and Usability: Web Writing 
, WebCredible 
• Clear Helper – resources to 
produce accessible content for 
people with cognitive disabilities 
• Readability Test, Juicy Studio 
60
Design 
• Web Accessibility for Designers, 
WebAIM 
• Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout , Shawn Lawton Henry 
• Design Considerations, WebAIM 
61
Design 
• Color Contrast Checker, WebAIM 
• Accessibility Color Wheel 
• Vischeck Color Contrast Photoshop Plug-• Trace Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool 
(PEAT) – tests flashing content 
62
Prototyping/development 
• Build a library of accessible code! 
• Use code generators (see the 
tools at Accessify) 
• W3C Mobile Web Best Practices 
• Web Accessibility Gone Wild, 
WebAIM 
63
Prototyping/development 
• Accessibility testing tools 
–Juicy Studio Accessibility Toolbar 
(Firefox)—reviews ARIA, data tables, 
and color contrast 
–FireEyes, Deque 
–WAVE, WebAIM 
–Web Accessibility Toolbar (WAT; IE 
and Opera), The Paciello Group 
64
Quality assurance 
• Accessibility Evaluation Resources, 
W3C-Web Accessibility Initiative 
• Evaluation, Testing, and Tools, 
WebAIM 
• WCAG 2.0 Checklist, WebAIM 
• Wickline Color Blind Web Page 
Filter 
65
Quality assurance 
• Favelets for Checking Web 
Accessibility, Jim Thatcher 
• Trace Photosensitive Epilepsy 
Analysis Tool (PEAT) – tests 
flashing content 
• Evaluating Websites for 
Accessibility, Web Accessibility 
Initiative (WAI) 
66
Quality assurance 
• Central Office of Information, 
Delivering Inclusive Websites 
• Establishing a Screen Reader Test 
Plan, Henny Swan 
• Web Accessibility Gone Wild, 
WebAIM 
• Template for Accessibility 
Evaluation Reports, W3C-WAI 
67
Thank you! 
Angela Hooker 
angela.hooker@gsa.gov 
@AccessForAll 
68

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Role-Based Accessibility in Government

  • 1. U.S. General Services Administration Role-Based Accessibility in Government: Everyone’s Responsibility #RoleBasedA11y Angela M. Hooker DigitalGov University, November 2012
  • 2. Hi! I’m Angela, your accessibility consultant. 2
  • 3. You don’t need me … 3
  • 4. You don’t need me … as much as you think. 4
  • 5. We accessibility consultants are tasked with all the work to make sure projects are accessible. 5
  • 6. Often, people think we only use a checklist, after a project is fully developed, to test for accessibility. 6
  • 7. We’ve treated accessibility as an issue only relevant to development. 7
  • 8. Or, sometimes people think that if we “test with JAWS” … 8
  • 9. Or, some think if I run a project through WAVE, or the Web Accessibility Toolbar, or FireEyes, or aChecker, or … 9
  • 11. But … it’s not working. 11
  • 12. One person can’t do it all … 12
  • 13. One person can’t do it all … you need an accessibility team … 13
  • 14. One person can’t do it all … you need an accessibility team … that you already have. 14
  • 15. The key is your current staff can work together to create accessible projects. 15
  • 16. It doesn’t matter if you’re … in upper management. 16
  • 17. It doesn’t matter if you’re … a developer. 17
  • 18. It doesn’t matter if you’re … a project manager. 18
  • 19. It doesn’t matter if you’re … a usability specialist. 19
  • 20. It doesn’t matter if you’re … an accessibility specialist. 20
  • 21. If we’re to produce accessible projects … 21
  • 22. We must change our process! 22
  • 23. We must change our process! But, how? 23
  • 24. … by using “P-O-U-R” principles from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) 24
  • 25. What is POUR? WCAG 2.0 principles of accessibility: Perceivable Operable Understandable Robust 25
  • 26. Accessibility responsibilities • Accessibility Responsibility Breakdown • Based on WCAG 2.0 • Canadian Government • Coopérative AccessibilitéWeb 26
  • 27. Accessibility responsibilities • Project management • Analysis • Information architecture • Interaction design • Graphic design, including mockups • Prototype • Editing (content development) 27
  • 28. Accessibility responsibilities • Development • Quality assurance—testing • Upper management 28
  • 30. Project management • Integrate and plan accessibility • Oversee tasks and responsibilities • Choose technical and functional criteria • Distinguish between accessibility and conformance with the law/guidelines • Know the limitations of the tools • Assess technology platforms’ impact 30
  • 31. Project management • Responsibilities from WCAG 2.0 –Overseer: all guidelines –Successful results –Degree of accessibility –Documentation 31
  • 32. Analysis • Analysis of platforms, interfaces, etc. • Solve problems/consider user interaction and behaviors –Prevent errors –Determine what happens upon error –When items receive focus/context –Timing, re-authentication –Contextual help 32
  • 33. Information architecture • Structure of pages and content –Relationships among info types –Page titles –How to navigate to each page –Headings and labels (including forms) 33
  • 34. Interaction design • Scripting, content changes, interactivity: –Design conveys content relationships— headings, spacing, lists –Content is perceivable without regard to location, size, shape, color –Keyboard navigation –Flashing content—3 times per second –Minimize errors 34
  • 35. Graphic design • The overall look and feel of every interface—including navigation, content – Consistent behavior throughout – Logical design/reading order – Color contrast – Real text instead of graphics of text – Font size 35
  • 36. Prototyping • Building HTML and CSS templates –Separation of style from content –Page language –Alt text for all non-text items –Pages parse properly (compatibility) –Keyboard navigation 36
  • 37. Content/editing • Authoring the site’s written content, alternative text, and other content –Content structure –Plain language –Consistent behavior –Prevent errors/error text –Captions and audio descriptions 37
  • 38. Development • Integrating HTML and CSS; programming scripts and applications –Building from the prototype –Progressive enhancement/behavior –Captioning multimedia –Widgets –APIs 38
  • 39. Quality assurance • Verifying that the team followed the guidelines properly –Test with accessibility tools –Manual review/read code –Test with assistive technologies –Review content for readability 39
  • 40. Quality assurance • Checklists versus usability and access: –Use a checklist when testing, so you don’t forget anything –You can satisfy every requirements and still have accessibility problems –Don’t lose sight of your users’ ability to access your info and complete tasks 40
  • 41. Upper management: You set the tone in your organization. 41
  • 42. Upper management’s role • Support accessibility • Require accessibility • Encourage teamwork • Make your environment conducive to teamwork • Trust your team—let them do their jobs and empower them 42
  • 44. Projects by vendors • Make sure your contract requires accessible products built to your specifications and subject to your interpretation of accessibility • Ask to see their process for building in accessibility, and require documentation for your project • Schedule checkpoints where you verify their work 44
  • 45. Pitfalls to avoid and lessons to learn 45
  • 46. It doesn’t work • Not training team members in accessibility • Having the accessibility champ do all the testing at every interval • Putting the work before relationships • Forgetting that guidelines overlap • Not involving upper management • Thinking the process won’t evolve 46
  • 47. It doesn’t work • Focusing only on “checklist accessibility” rather than “functional accessibility” • Allowing the accessibility program to be personality driven—it must outlive you and me 47
  • 48. Cooperating with your colleagues 48
  • 49. You and your colleagues • What can you do to bridge the gap between people, departments, and philosophies? –Sometimes an accessibility consultant has to be a counselor, evangelist, educator, and/or a maverick (among other roles) –Make sure you’re not being a nag 49
  • 50. You and your colleagues –Stand against any existing “us versus them” vibe –Create a “no shame; no blame” atmosphere –Take every opportunity to educate your colleagues 50
  • 51. You and your colleagues • Negotiate with your team and management –Come armed with research, statistics, analytics—whatever they’ll respond to –Think of it as finding the best outcome for users—it’s not about winning –Be forthright, but be careful –See Carol Smith’s “ Empower Yourself: Negotiate for the User ” 51
  • 52. You and your colleagues • You know these principles, but we assume management does, too— they might not –Save time: It takes time to implement accessibility, but it’s faster than remediating –Save money: It takes money to implement accessibility, but it’s cheaper than remediating 52
  • 53. You and your colleagues –It’s the law –It’s the right thing –You might need it 53
  • 55. In a nutshell … • Start small • One person may have many roles • Adapt this process to your organization and its culture—keep it evolving • Build rapport within and among teams— talk • Negotiate—don’t be afraid • It’s about what’s best for users 55
  • 57. P-O-U-R • WCAG 2.0 Principles of Accessibility , World Wide Web Consortium • Constructing a POUR Website, WebAIM 57
  • 58. Project management • Integrating Accessibility in the Organization’s , Denis Boudreau • Accessibility for Project Managers, Henny Swan • Managing Accessibility Compliance in the Enterprise , Karl Groves • Plan for Accessibility, Option Keys 58
  • 59. Project management • Planning Accessibility, Government of Canada • Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout , Shawn Lawton Henry • Disability types/issues –Visually, cognitively, motor, and hearing impaired; neurological/seizure disorders; elderly and aging 59
  • 60. Writing content • Accessibility for Web Writers, 4 Syllables • Content and Usability: Web Writing , WebCredible • Clear Helper – resources to produce accessible content for people with cognitive disabilities • Readability Test, Juicy Studio 60
  • 61. Design • Web Accessibility for Designers, WebAIM • Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout , Shawn Lawton Henry • Design Considerations, WebAIM 61
  • 62. Design • Color Contrast Checker, WebAIM • Accessibility Color Wheel • Vischeck Color Contrast Photoshop Plug-• Trace Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool (PEAT) – tests flashing content 62
  • 63. Prototyping/development • Build a library of accessible code! • Use code generators (see the tools at Accessify) • W3C Mobile Web Best Practices • Web Accessibility Gone Wild, WebAIM 63
  • 64. Prototyping/development • Accessibility testing tools –Juicy Studio Accessibility Toolbar (Firefox)—reviews ARIA, data tables, and color contrast –FireEyes, Deque –WAVE, WebAIM –Web Accessibility Toolbar (WAT; IE and Opera), The Paciello Group 64
  • 65. Quality assurance • Accessibility Evaluation Resources, W3C-Web Accessibility Initiative • Evaluation, Testing, and Tools, WebAIM • WCAG 2.0 Checklist, WebAIM • Wickline Color Blind Web Page Filter 65
  • 66. Quality assurance • Favelets for Checking Web Accessibility, Jim Thatcher • Trace Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool (PEAT) – tests flashing content • Evaluating Websites for Accessibility, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) 66
  • 67. Quality assurance • Central Office of Information, Delivering Inclusive Websites • Establishing a Screen Reader Test Plan, Henny Swan • Web Accessibility Gone Wild, WebAIM • Template for Accessibility Evaluation Reports, W3C-WAI 67
  • 68. Thank you! Angela Hooker angela.hooker@gsa.gov @AccessForAll 68

Editor's Notes

  1. Some think if I’ve ticked all the boxes that the project is accessible. Done. “Why do more?”
  2. Instead of realizing that accessibility belongs in every step of a project
  3. Some people forget to consider all disability types.
  4. Automated accessibility testing tools such as … Tools can’t completely determine if a project is accessible—they only point to flags to check
  5. Your projects might suffer because one person is the accessibility champion. The recurring theme I hear throughout government is that one person is responsible for accessibility.
  6. Since many accessibility specialists get the work at the end of the project, it’s a never-ending cycle—one person can’t do it all at the end
  7. Don’t panic because I said that you need a team, because …
  8. You already have a team!
  9. The Section 508 refresh (see http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/refresh/draft-rule.htm) uses WCAG 2.0 guidelines
  10. Denis Boudreau of Coopérative AccessibilitéWeb presents on and promotes this topic Developed a tool based on WCAG 2.0; separates responsibilities into manageable blocks
  11. Upper management: I propose that there’s one other part that the tool doesn’t mention, simply because of the scope of the standard
  12. Tasks overview of each role or point in the process; note that some tasks overlap Some of this is technical Each role has a number of guidelines; they’re not evenly divided—it depends on the requirement Also, while it might seem that some roles have a large number of guidelines, some guidelines merely expand upon the depth of accessibility of an item—more work
  13. Conformance and accessibility: You can check the boxes, but still have an inaccessible, unusable product Assess the impact that the platforms, APIs, frameworks, etc. will have on accessibility, and choose appropriate ones
  14. Oversee the entire process As with any project, accessibility success falls on your shoulders Determine the degree of accessibility Document EVERYTHING: with lawsuits, you need to cover yourself and your organization
  15. 9 guidelines Developers, designers, content managers, usability specialists
  16. 9 guidelines Can be a content manager, librarian, and/or usability specialist to serve as info architect(s)
  17. 36 guidelines Designers, developers, usability specialists, content managers
  18. 32 guidelines Designers, developers—discuss
  19. Usually people wait for the quality assurance stage to use automated accessibility tools, but it’s helpful to do it now I recommend using some of the free accessibility toolbars for this purpose
  20. 21 guidelines “Other” content: text labels, error messages, player controls Be sure to have your content reviewed by someone well versed in plain language AND familiar with the needs of people with cognitive impairments
  21. 59 guidelines—don’t panic; you’ve dealt with many of these in the prototyping phase, so not much is new Also appropriate to use the accessibility toolbars for checking potential problems Validate code
  22. ALL 61 guidelines belong to the QA process At this point, the testing should be minimal—if the content is well written, the design is clear, the development done properly, then the testing at this point should be manual review, accessibility tools, assistive technology Cross-browser, cross-platform—what is accessible in one browser isn’t necessarily accessible in all or on other platforms Plain language specialist—not the person who wrote the content (editors need editors); someone with a development and/or design background to test
  23. Your stance is key for a successful accessibility program. If you react positively to accessibility, then we will, too. If you are negative toward accessibility, then we’ll spend too much figuring out how to get your buy-in. OR, we won’t do anything for accessibility.
  24. Requires a change in culture If there’s tension among your team members, do something about it Don’t be wimpy; manage the situation (but don’t micromanage)! Empower them to make the best decisions for your project’s users—not decisions that bow to the politics of your organization
  25. What if you have an outside vendor building a project for you—what do you do?
  26. You’ll need knowledge of the standards and ensuring functional accessibility If the vendor is responsible for delivering an accessible project (including testing) without any help from an accessibility specialist in your agency… They may not understand accessibility; they might think (as many people do) that using an automated accessibility tool will solve all accessibility issues
  27. Cooperating and negotiating I like to teach people not only how to cope, but encourage them to build relationships with other team members or departments so they can effect change in the organization's approach to accessibility, simply because this is radical and you’ll need management approval.
  28. It’s not going to be easy: people don’t always want to change—they’re comfortable; they might feel threatened; they don’t like being told that they’ve done something wrong; they might oppose you Be open about what you’re trying to do; let people know that these changes will benefit everyone Separate yourself from the process—it’s not about winning
  29. Show your colleagues that without accessibility, they can’t do their job if they had a temporary injury or developed a disability—empathy Curb cuts in sidewalks—everyone uses them; it’s the same with IT accessibility