A roadmap for accessibility, and directions for getting there

I think about accessibility a lot. Many people do :) It’s hugely important, but often ignored or put aside as a “nice to have”. And it’s a neglected part of far too many diversity and inclusion initiatives.

It seems that many people find accessibility (a11y) a bit, well, inaccessible. They’re not quite sure what it’s all about, or why people get so passionate about it, or how / where to start.

So I was thrilled to see this wonderful list by Julianna Rowsell, which I’m reproducing here with her permission.

Roadmap for accessibility

  • Be pragmatic: move forward with accessibility.
  • Build capacity in inclusion.
  • Prioritize change.
  • Assign budget.
  • Include people with disabilities throughout the process.
  • Tap into expertise across sectors.
  • a11y services are less $$.
  • Plan for continued improvement.
  • It seems immense: just start.

Goal: Aim to be better than yesterday.

Starting your own journey

For many of us, a key part of understanding why accessibility is so important, is up to us, and is our responsibility. We need to educate ourselves, and engage our empathy. Thankfully, starting out is relatively simple, and the community’s a lovely one.

Mike Gifford’s assembled a great list of accessibility training / education / etc materials (and he’s keen on help to add to and maintain it, btw!).

If you work in NZ’s government — there are web accessibility standards with which websites are required to comply.

If you hang out on GCCollab, there’s an a11y channel, and you can dive into the detailed Changing attitudes and raising awareness: Federal accessibility legislation — technical analysis report too :)

Doing better ito accessibility doesn’t just help those who need it — it improves things for _all_ of us. There really is no good reason we shouldn’t all lift our game.