Global brand: what could we gain from accessibility, where are we at the moment, and what should we do next?

The brief

The UX team from a world-leading product brand had some experience of accessibility from previous projects and wanted to enable their whole digital team to better understand the opportunities and challenges in making their products and websites accessible for people with disabilities.

Our approach

Early discussions indicated that a Benefits of Digital Accessibility workshop would be a great way of enabling them to gain the understanding they desired. This contained a bespoke ‘lunch and learn’ presentation on the benefits of accessibility for a broad audience of digital and product makers, alongside the results of a mini audit of their site, identifying immediate accessibility risks.

The presentation was followed by a more detailed workshop with representatives of each role in the digital team, looking at key aspects of how each job-role impacts accessibility, and discussing current working practices and opportunities for embedding accessibility within these practices.

We’re always eager to learn from organisations that inspire us. So we were excited about Jonathan bringing us his experience from the BBC. The lunch & learn and workshop were extremely useful and insightful in opening our eyes to what we had to gain from accessibility. It was a great start to helping us incorporate accessibility within our ways of working.

The outcomes

The mini-audit, presentation and workshop provided sufficient motivation for stakeholders and budget to be assigned to better assess, progress, and upskill the digital teams to ensure their website was more accessible to all users. This kicked off a second phase of work.

The second phase started with a more detailed WCAG audit, and user-testing of the website with people with disabilities. From this we gleaned a more comprehensive view of how accessible their site was, and how users with a variety of access needs felt when they used it. The results of this testing were used as examples in a tailored set of accessibility training courses to upskill their designers, developers, and project managers.

We then ran multiple strands of work to help them embed accessibility into the business:

  • Framework: We provided an accessibility framework for the company to share with their suppliers to better communicate their accessibility expectations.
  • Training: We trained them in how to embed accessibility in their design, development and content practices, and to audit their site themselves so they could check the accessibility of work delivered by their staff and suppliers.
  • Accessibility Statement: We helped them create a best-practice accessibility statement in 30 languages, to enable people with disabilities to understand how to get the best experience from their sites, and how to contact them if they had any difficulties using the sites.

 

 

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