Accessibility is an important consideration when creating digital products, but it can be challenging to ensure that all team members understand the needs of users with disabilities and are able to create products that are accessible to everyone. To address this challenge, enterprise teams can create a communication and training plan that helps key team members gain skills needed to understand standards, identify issues, and implement fixes.
Build a Communication Plan for the Enterprise
Having a formal communication plan for accessibility is crucial for several reasons. It helps to raise awareness of accessibility issues and promotes a culture of inclusivity and empathy among team members. It ensures that all team members understand their roles and responsibilities in creating accessible products and provides a framework for accountability. A formal communication plan can also help to reduce the risk of non-compliance with accessibility laws and regulations and avoid costly legal battles.
When creating an accessibility communication plan for a large organization, it is important to target key audiences who will be responsible for implementing and maintaining accessibility standards. These audiences may include executives, managers, product owners, UX designers, developers, testers, and other team members involved in the creation of digital products.
For each audience, the communication plan should cover topics that are relevant to their roles and responsibilities. For example, executives and managers may need to understand the business case for accessibility and the potential legal risks of non-compliance, while product owners may need to learn about accessibility standards and best practices for product development. UX designers may need training on designing for accessibility, while developers and testers may need to learn how to test for accessibility issues and implement fixes.
Determine Format and Method of Delivery
The format and method of delivery for the communication plan will depend on the organization’s culture, size, and distribution of team members. It could be a combination of in-person training sessions, online training modules, newsletters, emails, and other forms of digital communication. Additionally, it’s essential to make the information easily accessible and available on the company intranet or other communication channels that are used regularly by team members.
The frequency of communication should be determined by the needs of the organization and the level of urgency related to accessibility. Ideally, the communication plan should be ongoing and regularly updated to reflect changes in accessibility guidelines, best practices, and emerging issues.
Training Plan for Product Managers and Site Owners
Product managers and site owners are responsible for making strategic decisions about the products and services offered by an organization. They need to understand the importance of accessibility and how it can impact the success of their products and services. They also need to be aware of their legal and ethical responsibilities when it comes to accessibility. By providing product managers and site owners with the knowledge and skills they need to prioritize accessibility, organizations can ensure that their products and services are accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities.
To build an effective accessibility training plan for these key stakeholders, consider the following.
Define topics to be covered
The training should cover the basics of accessibility, including relevant laws and regulations, accessibility standards and guidelines, the impact of accessibility on users, and common accessibility issues and solutions. It should also include information specific to the organization, such as its accessibility policy, process for addressing accessibility issues, and the roles and responsibilities of different team members
Define format or method of delivery
The training can be delivered in various formats, such as in-person workshops, online courses, or webinars. It should include interactive components, such as case studies, exercises, and quizzes, to ensure that learners engage with the material and retain the information. The training should also be customized to the specific needs of the organization and the learners.
Define frequency of communication
Regular communication is important to reinforce the importance of accessibility and to ensure that learners are up to date with any changes or updates. The training should be delivered on a regular basis, such as annually, and there should be ongoing communication through email, newsletters, or other channels.
- Outcomes of the training plan: The training plan should aim to achieve the following outcomes:
- Improved understanding of accessibility laws, guidelines, and best practices
- Increased awareness of the impact of accessibility on users and the organization
- Improved ability to identify accessibility issues and implement fixes
- Increased commitment to accessibility and the willingness to prioritize it in decision-making
- Improved collaboration and communication among team members to ensure that accessibility is considered throughout the product development process.
Build a Training Plan for UX Designers and Researchers
UX designers and researchers play a critical role in ensuring that digital products are accessible to users with disabilities. They are responsible for creating designs that are easy to use and understand for everyone, including those with different abilities. By providing them with accessibility training, they can learn how to design and conduct research that is inclusive of all users.
Here are some details on building an accessibility training plan for UX Designers and Researchers.
Define topics to Cover
The training plan for UX designers and researchers should cover a variety of topics, such as:
- Understanding the different types of disabilities and how they can affect users’ interactions with digital products
- Designing for accessibility and inclusive design principles
- Conducting usability testing with users with disabilities
- Understanding assistive technology and how it can impact the user experience
- Evaluating accessibility using automated and manual testing tools
- Creating accessible documentation and training materials
Define Format/Method of Delivery
The training should be delivered in a way that is engaging and interactive, such as hands-on workshops, online courses, or live webinars. It should also be tailored to the specific needs and skill levels of the participants. For example, if the team already has a good understanding of accessibility basics, the training can focus on more advanced topics.
Define Communication Frequency
It is recommended to conduct training sessions on a regular basis to ensure that the team stays up-to-date with the latest accessibility guidelines and best practices. The frequency of training sessions can vary depending on the size of the team and the level of expertise.
Define Outcomes of the Training Plan
The goal of the training plan is to equip UX designers and researchers with the knowledge and skills needed to create accessible digital products that can be used by everyone, regardless of their abilities. The outcome of the training should be a team that is aware of accessibility challenges, and is capable of designing and testing products that are accessible and inclusive to all users. This can result in increased user satisfaction, higher product adoption rates, and a more positive reputation for the organization as a whole.
Build a Training Plan for Developers & Testers
Developers and testers play a crucial role in ensuring that digital products and services are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. They are responsible for implementing accessibility features and testing for accessibility issues throughout the development process. By providing developers and testers with the necessary knowledge and skills, the training plan can help ensure that accessible digital products.
Here are some details on building an accessibility training plan for Developers & Testers.
Define topics to cover
The training plan for developers and testers should cover the following topics:
- Overview of accessibility and disability types
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 standards
- Assistive technologies and how they interact with digital products
- Techniques for making code accessible, such as semantic HTML, ARIA, and keyboard navigation
- Accessibility testing tools and methodologies
- How to fix accessibility issues and make improvements
Define format or method of delivery
The training can be delivered through a combination of methods, including online courses, instructor-led workshops, interactive exercises, and real-world examples. The format should be designed to cater to different learning styles and be accessible to all participants.
Define frequency of communication
The training plan should be delivered on an ongoing basis, especially as new accessibility standards and best practices emerge. Refresher courses and updates should be provided regularly to ensure that developers and testers are up to date with the latest accessibility guidelines and techniques.
Define outcomes of the training plan
The main outcomes of the accessibility training plan for developers and testers should be:
- Improved understanding of accessibility standards and best practices
- Ability to implement accessibility features and make code accessible
- Increased proficiency in using accessibility testing tools and methodologies
- Ability to identify and fix accessibility issues
- Improved collaboration with other team members on accessibility initiatives