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Tips on Advocating for Web Accessibility

These tips will help you understand and promote web accessibility.

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Many factors may impact accessibility implementation. Consider general awareness, cultural acceptance, availability of experts and tools, and policy implications. Key stakeholders play an important role in ensuring an awareness of the issues and their relevance. Consider roles such as designers, developers, project managers, senior management and policy makers.

People with disabilities are often unaware of accessibility features, so that they are being infrequently demanded. Involving them in awareness-raising campaigns and discussion is equally important to ensure backing and a societal contract. @@@

People with disabilities will help build understanding of the barriers faced and what accommodations can help in removing them. Stories of how people with disabilities use the web can also help develop understanding of the principles of and need for web accessibility. Use these stories as cases studies when building awareness and seeking backing.

Individual project staff might want to increase accessibility efforts but lack the resources to do so. Backing from senior stakeholders and decision makers will help stimulate change and ensure resources are available for accessibility activities. Target these people with awareness-raising campaigns and discussion to provide an appreciation for the value and importance of accessibility. This will impact on broad change and progress.

Build a business case for web accessibility that is most relevant to the organization. Seek to align the rationale for adopting accessibility with core business objectives and motivations. For example, if providing employment opportunities is important then focus on social factors, or if risk and compliance are important then legal factors may be relevant.

Encourage awareness of the value and need for accessibility among all stakeholders, such as designers, developers, managers, and decision makers . Ensure that further information is available for those interested, and that there is a framework for them to communicate and exchange knowledge. Providing sustained information can be more helpful at maintaining activite.

Organizations may have many departments working on web implementation projects. Seek them out and bring them together. Provide shared training opportunities and look for opportunities to develop shared resources. Strengthening the networks and alliances of people working on web projects interested in accessibility will help increase knowledge and drive for change.

These tips are important points to consider when promoting website accessibility, but there is always more to learn. The following resources will help you find out more about accessibility, why it is important, and what guidelines exist to help support people with disabilities accessing the web.