Accessibility –                     that’s just for                  blind people, right?Dealing withdifferent attitudesto...
Who are we?       Kim                                        RuthPassionate | Working in the UX & Accessibility space for ...
Does this sound familiar?WCAG 2.0 guidelines are finally implemented in yourorganisation….                                ...
But…Don’t know that it existsAccessibility checks done right at the endLittle consideration of the overall user experience...
Awareness of accessibility          E
Culture & attitudes
The 7 attitudesIgnorance     Apathetic   Denial     BargainingEducated &  aware      Commitment   Champion
Ignorancelack of knowledge orinformation about accessibility                                  It can’t be accessible      ...
Ignorance:strategies
Apathetic                      I know what                               you’re saying, butnot interested or concerned    ...
Apathetic:strategies
Denial                              We don’t have any blindan assertion that something         people using our sitesaid, ...
Denial:strategies
Bargaining                        You can’t make                                     our stuffnegotiating on what each par...
Watch out for…Gimme something     first   No.             The Troll
Watch out for…It’s all ornothing                               Because it’s the lawYou’re doing it    wrong               ...
Bargaining:strategies
Educated & awareconscious of the importance                  Oh crap – there’s lots of work                               ...
Watch out for…It’s all ornothingYou’re doing it    wrong                  The Zealot
Educated & aware:strategies
Commitment                We need todedication, application   secure funding...                               Let’s get ou...
Watch out for….Move out ofmy way              The Cowboy
Commitment:strategies
Championa person who fights foror defends accessibility   *facepalm*
Champion:strategies
If all else fails……
In summary…Requires time, commitment, planning & proper executionNeed to educate, assist and support transition of attitud...
“Never doubt that asmall group ofthoughtful, committed, citizens can changethe world.”Margaret Mead
A BIG thank you ...                                         for her wonderful illustrationsOther credits:Speech bubbles - ...
THANK YOUCHAMPIONS!:)                                 @KimChatterjeewww.stamfordinteractive.com.au      @RuthEllison
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Dealing with the 7 Attitudes to Accessibility - OzeWAI 2011

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Whilst knowledge of, experience with and an understanding of accessibility guidelines are key skills for an accessibility practitioner, one of our hardest challenges isn’t just the technical aspects of accessibility – it’s dealing with organisations, their people, their misconceptions and their attitudes towards accessibility. How often have we heard the phases, “oh, we don’t have any disabled people using our site” or “accessibility – that’s just for blind people, right?”

Changing an organisations culture to the extent that accessibility becomes embedded into the day-to-day operations of the business is often a very difficult process. Identifying and dealing with these attitudes is an important part of this cultural change.

In this presentation, we’ll take a fun look at the seven attitudes to accessibility. We’ll look at identifying the trolls and ninjas of accessibility, how to deal with the seven attitudes and why it’s important to focus on the human experience of accessibility.

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  • This is fantastic! great way to reach any audience!
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  • Good job at presenting a focused topic.
    Supriya Perera, your illustrations made the content memorable.
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  • Welcome to “Dealing with different attitudes to accessibility”.
  • We are Kim and Ruth. Kim is the illustration of a girl on the left, Ruth is the illustration of a robot waving her arm.We work for Stamford Interactive, a user experience company in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. We’re both very passionate about accessibility and inclusive design. We’ve been working in the user experience and accessibility space for a combined 18 years.
  • Does this sound familiar? “WCAG 2.0 guidelines are finally implemented in your organisation.... Yay!”
  • But... People don’t know that it exists Accessibility checks are done right at the end rather than throughout the entire design process. There’s very little consideration of the overall user experience and accessibility is not embedded into the day-to-day operations of the businessProviding a strong focus on checklist only testing, with occasional verification with users of assistive technologies, can result in a blinked view of accessibility. We’re often seen accessibility audits undertaken where individual success criteria are passed, but the overall user experience is still poo-ey. One of the key problems is that there is a lot of expectation that magic happens and culture change happens overnight.
  • The good news is that awareness of accessibility within the Australian Government has increased over the past few years, particularly with the announcement of the National Transition Strategy. The National Transition Strategy, created by AGIMO, is a strategy and work plan for Government websites to transition to and implement the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 over a four year period.There are many organisations where the implementation of accessibility is still a challenge for a number of reasons, including:Misconceptions about what accessibility isUnderstanding of how it fits within their organisation, andStaff’s roles, attitudes and commitment to accessibility.
  • One of the hardest things about accessibility is dealing with the culture and attitudes of the organisation and its individuals. On one hand, it’s easier to focus on the technical aspects of accessibility, such as a checklist approach to accessibility. Changing an organisation’s culture to the extent that accessibility becomes embedded into the day-to-day operations is a long and difficult process. As accessibility practitioners, we have to help people unlearn old values, assumptions and behaviours before they start learning new attitudes.One of the things we need to look at is a cultural shift from “accessibility is the web or IT teams’ problem”, to “accessibility is everyone’s business”-from senior executives, to content writers, the web and technical teams as well as the business owners. By having everyone care about accessibility throughout the organisation, it helps to bring about a cultural shift.At the end of the day, we’re aiming for a pragmatic, holistic and inclusive approach to accessibility. This helps to bring about a truly useful and accessible user experience that helps a person accomplish their task, rather than just focussing on whether you met X number of guidelines.So how do we do this….?
  • The core of why we’re doing this talk is because culture change is HARD. It takes a long time and is not immediate or easy. Sometimes it’s not even permanent – it sometimes feels like 1 step forward, 2 steps back. How many times have we heard stories of organisations who are doing some fantastic stuff, but then their key champion left, and the entire organisation backslid. Being able to identify the range of attitudes to accessibility is an important part of helping an organisation change its culture. It helps you to take a step back and think about the bigger picture. When you’re confronted with a wall of opposition, it sometimes becomes hard to remember to take that step back and assess what the actual opposition is. Here are 7 common attitudes that we have come across in our work:Ignorance, Apathetic, Denial, Bargaining, Educated & aware, Commitment and Champion.These attitudes are not linear in nature – people might naturally be Educated and Aware, or backslide from Bargaining to Apathetic. In our favourite cases they jump from Ignorant to Champions! By being able to identify these attitudes, you can then identify appropriate strategies to deal with these attitudes. These strategies take the form of the Attitude Adjusters cards. One of the reasons we came up with these Attitude Adjusters is because we have found ourselves and our clients in various stages at different times. We drew inspiration from games, as games involve various levels of strategies. Plus it’s always useful to have cards up your sleeves to pull out and draw inspiration from whenever you need it (pun intended).
  • People or organisations with this attitude are usually in that blissful state of ignorance – the state defined by a lack of knowledge or information about accessibility. The key thing to remember is that we have ALL started with this attitude at one stage or another.You’ll know this attitude by the things you’ll hear:“Accessibility – that’s just for blind people, right?”“So can we just not hire blind people?”“All that effort for just a few!”“It can’t be accessible AND usable!”These are all real quotes we have heard – not out of malice, but from a genuine lack of awareness of what the nature of the problem is.
  • Depending on your audience and the type of message they would best absorb, there are a number of strategies you can use.CARD: Room for Improvement -Gentle expansion of the audience's awareness of the world of access requirements, through examples that they can relate to and the benefits of improved access.Use as first choice on audiences who are likely to get overwhelmed and block out any negative messages.CARD: Hammer of Reality -Hard-hitting reality checks can quickly build awareness, by highlighting the problems and real-world implications. Use carefully and only if audience is the type that can handle the shock. Give immediate actions they can take.CARD: Level up the Newbies -New starters have a chance at changing culture before the culture changes them. Build their awareness and empathy and get them while they’re fresh - target the induction and training programs, and even go to the source, the schools that teach the skills.
  • Apathetic is another attitude where the audience is simply not interested or concerned. They may be far-removed from or not know any individuals who have experienced access requirements, and don’t see how it affects them or why they need to bother.Do these quotes sound familiar?“I know what you’re saying, but I don’t really care”“Whatevs...”“It doesn’t affect me”
  • The way to deal with people who don’t care – is to make them care.CARD: Elixir of Empathy +10 Bonus -Make them care by emphasising the human experience of accessibility. Focus on the impact on the individual, rather than just on the disability.  Use to demonstrate the inclusive nature of accessibility. If applied well, will lead to education, commitment and championing.CARD: Bag Of Shiny Things - Attract attention and engagement with incentives such as skills enhancement or make it part of their performance metrics, to answer that unasked question ‘What’s in it for me?’ Use to spark interest, when confronted with looks of boredom or indifference. CARD: Cloak of Visibility - Find ways to identify the individuals who are apathetic, deniers and bargainers, rather than not know who they are. Use to reveal people’s attitudes in order to pick the right strategy for them.The danger of not knowing who these people are is that you can have someone working against you without you knowing. The danger lies in addressing the loud “visible” opinions but not being able to address the concerns of the silent opposition…as you don’t know that it even exists!
  • Deniershave actively taken a stance against action for accessibility. It’s difficult to move away from this attitude, because they have discounted the argument already. Accessibility is often seen as too hard, or “just not a problem”. It’s about culture and belief systems, rather than just facts.They say things like:“We don’t have any blind people using our site”“Accessible sites can’t be beautiful”“We only have 2 people using that internal system and they don’t have any disabilities”
  • The primary methods of dealing with deniers is to get them first with the head, then with the heart.CARD: Weapon of Mass Instruction -Statistics, case studies & user stories. Use when combating He Who Needs More Proof and when it is necessary to show ROI. Warning: information overload may backfire.CARD:Boots of Encouragement -Forceful encouragement for when individuals or teams need an extra ‘push’ to get moving. Use with individuals and teams to get them going in accessibility. Best applied to rear ends, not on toes.CARD: Shield of Face Saving -Help turn opposition into allies by letting blockers change their stance if they are not made to look like they were wrong. Use techniques to redirect attention from the opinions to the agreed achievable tasks.
  • Bargainers generally understand that accessibility needs to be addressed but their goal is usually to do the bare minimum required without affecting their scope, requirements and resources.Successful negotiation is where both parties come out with something beneficial. Things you’ll hear at this point are:“You can’t make our stuff accessible as it’s legal text”“What’s the minimum that we need to do?”“Who’s paying for this?”“We don’t have time to fix this.”While it’s important to be pragmatic, be careful that you don’t compromise to the point where you’re left with a terrible user experience. Recognise that there will always be some level of give and take at this stage, but ensure that you come back to build upon the agreed solution, towards a more accessible experience.
  • Danger point... Beware the Trolls.Trolls are individuals who actively work against achieving a win-win situation for all. But remember that knowing who your trolls are is much better than not being able to identify the trolls.
  • Danger point... Beware the Zealots.The zealots can damage the bargaining process by demanding everything, potentially receiving nothing.
  • The bargainer’s mindset is often that they’re coming to the table and they’re doing YOU a favour. Be gracious, and help them achieve the outcomes they agree to.CARD: Catcher of Small Wins -Aim for a series of small wins to raise confidence and trust. Helps build strong foundations for further work. Useful in short timeframes or in hostile environments. CARD: Badges of Recognition -Recognise and celebrate achievements, both big and small. Use to help build win-win situations for all.CARD: Hand of Helpfulness -Many hands make lighter work, and a helping hand encourages deeper engagement through targeted checklists, 1-on-1 sessions & other helpful materials. Use to help lighten load on others and offer it with a friendly (and genuine!) smile
  • We love the Educated & Aware attitude. People with these attitudes are aware of accessibility, know it’s important and want to do something about it. Levels of accessibility knowledge may vary but they’re at that “oh crap, this stuff is important and we should totally do something about it” stage.Things you’d hear are:“Oh crap – there’s lots of work to do!”“This accessibility stuff is totally important! What do we do first?”“Can’t you just tell me if my site is accessible or not?”
  • Danger point... once again, beware the Zealots.The zealots can damage the good will and they can negatively affect the culture that’s slowly being changed. People are learning along the way but might get unintentionally discouraged by the zealot’s inflexible nature and quest for accessibility perfection.It’s important to recognise that the end goal for zealots is the same for everyone – i.e. an accessible world, but the difference lies in the approach. Culture change is a slow difficult process. It cannot happen over night, or after a single education or training session.
  • Nurture the Educated and Aware, and keep them growing so that they soon become Champions.CARD: Group Hugs -Gain strength and knowledge from support groups such as accessibility breakfasts, conferences and forums. Develop networks to help each other learn and acquire skills. Tap into what others have already done.Use for providing resistance to fatigue and increasing willpower.CARD: Ninjas -Find guerrilla advocates who can sneak accessible solutions into the workplace and make it look like it was always that way.Use when it is more effective just to get things done and avert battles.CARD: Direct Line to The Boss -Support right from the top provides the Power of Authority. Use when you need to Get Things Done.
  • Commitment is the attitude where people or an organisation make a pledge or promise; people recognise and affirm their obligation.What you’ll hear are things like:“We need to secure funding...”“Let’s get our people trained up”“Yes, let’s do it!”
  • Danger point... Beware the Cowboys.Cowboys can undermine your organisation’s accessibility efforts by bypassing quality checks and controls. These are not to be confused with the Ninjas, who are after all, on your side. The Cowboys may have good intentions, but they may think they know better and are above the law. They’re likely to shoot you down if you get in the way. “We’re fixing it, and you’re just slowing us down”, they would say.They are dangerous because they can undermine a concerted effort to introduce and enforce quality checks and process; if thwarted they can become opposition. At this stage we need a concentrated & cohesive approach to accessibility.
  • When people are committed, it’s important to help them gain momentum. CARD: Oil of Efficiency -Grease the wheels. Set plans in motion to secure funding and get accessibility embedded into governance and systems development processes. Use to update the machinery of a committed organisation.CARD: A Very Big Stick -Sometimes hard heads need to get softened a bit. Remind them of the consequences of getting it wrong.Use when all other strategies have failed. In case of emergency, also use Direct Line to the Boss.
  • The Champion - that’s you! The person who fights for or defends accessibility.The common plight of the champion is simply exhaustion – they have to deal with all the other attitudes!
  • So take care of your champions, and arm them well.CARD: A11ies -Go from strength to strength by building up a force of allies and friends within the organisation to help champion accessibility within their teams.Use for strength in numbers; makes for safer walks through code and car parks. (Note: A11y is the shorthand version of the word ‘accessibility’, to denote the number of letters between A and Y).CARD: Knuckles of Knowledge -Be an Authority based on detailed and balanced knowledge of the subject matter.Use when combating belligerent arguments or ignorant claims. Can be made more potent when combined with either Elixir of Empathy or Boots of Encouragement. CARD: Charm of Influence -Developthe ability to identify current attitudes, potential blocks and which strategy to use when trying to effect change.Use any time. Adding actual charm is highly recommended.CARD: Health Potion -Give positive reinforcement and sustenance to the battle-weary champion, by keeping them up to date with events, updates and latest information in the accessibility community. Use to reenergise champions when their batteries are starting to run flat.
  • And if all else fails...Try cupcakes. They can’t stay grumpy at you WHILE eating your cupcakes.
  • The challenge of getting accessibility into mainstream thinking will take time. It’s about people, expanding awareness, and helping shape or change attitudes.We’ve designed the Attitude Adjusters for you to use as handy reminders for what strategies you can use. Not all strategies are appropriate for all audiences all the time. Pick the right one for the right time, and the right audience. Pick the ones that suit you and the situation.
  • As this presentation wraps up, we would like to thank our good friend Supriya Perera for her beautifulillustrations of the Attitude Adjusters.
  • Thank you, champions. Keep doing great things.
  • Dealing with the 7 Attitudes to Accessibility - OzeWAI 2011

    1. Accessibility – that’s just for blind people, right?Dealing withdifferent attitudesto accessibilityOZEWAI1 DECEMBER 2011@KimChatterjee @StamfordUX@RuthEllison
    2. Who are we? Kim RuthPassionate | Working in the UX & Accessibility space for a combined 18 years
    3. Does this sound familiar?WCAG 2.0 guidelines are finally implemented in yourorganisation…. Yay! E
    4. But…Don’t know that it existsAccessibility checks done right at the endLittle consideration of the overall user experience Magic happens! n
    5. Awareness of accessibility E
    6. Culture & attitudes
    7. The 7 attitudesIgnorance Apathetic Denial BargainingEducated & aware Commitment Champion
    8. Ignorancelack of knowledge orinformation about accessibility It can’t be accessible AND usable
    9. Ignorance:strategies
    10. Apathetic I know what you’re saying, butnot interested or concerned I don’t really care Whatevs... It doesn’t affect me
    11. Apathetic:strategies
    12. Denial We don’t have any blindan assertion that something people using our sitesaid, believed, alleged, etc., isfalse We only have 2 people using that internal system and they don’t have any disabilities
    13. Denial:strategies
    14. Bargaining You can’t make our stuffnegotiating on what each party accessible as it’sshall give and perform legal text What’s the minimum that we need to do? Who’s paying for this? We don’t have time to fix this
    15. Watch out for…Gimme something first No. The Troll
    16. Watch out for…It’s all ornothing Because it’s the lawYou’re doing it wrong The Zealot
    17. Bargaining:strategies
    18. Educated & awareconscious of the importance Oh crap – there’s lots of work to do!of getting it right This accessibility stuff is totally important! What do we do first? Can’t you just tell me if my site is accessible or not?
    19. Watch out for…It’s all ornothingYou’re doing it wrong The Zealot
    20. Educated & aware:strategies
    21. Commitment We need todedication, application secure funding... Let’s get our people trained up Yes, let’s do it!
    22. Watch out for….Move out ofmy way The Cowboy
    23. Commitment:strategies
    24. Championa person who fights foror defends accessibility *facepalm*
    25. Champion:strategies
    26. If all else fails……
    27. In summary…Requires time, commitment, planning & proper executionNeed to educate, assist and support transition of attitudesfrom ignorance to championsFocus on the human experience of accessibilityEngage, acknowledge and share the successes
    28. “Never doubt that asmall group ofthoughtful, committed, citizens can changethe world.”Margaret Mead
    29. A BIG thank you ... for her wonderful illustrationsOther credits:Speech bubbles - http://mediamilitia.com/thought-and-speech-bubbles-pack-104-free-vectors-and-images/Some fonts & images by Tom Murphy- http://fonts.tom7.com/
    30. THANK YOUCHAMPIONS!:) @KimChatterjeewww.stamfordinteractive.com.au @RuthEllison

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