W3C Accessibility Maturity Model

W3C Editor's Draft

More details about this document
This version:
https://w3c.github.io/maturity-model/
Latest published version:
https://www.w3.org/TR/maturity-model/
Latest editor's draft:
https://w3c.github.io/maturity-model/
History:
Commit history
Editors:
Sheri Byrne-Haber (VMWare)
David Fazio (Helix Opportunity)
Janina Sajka (Invited Expert)
Ruoxi Ran (W3C)
Feedback:
GitHub w3c/maturity-model (pull requests, new issue, open issues)

Abstract

The W3C Accessibility Maturity Model is a guide for organizations to evaluate and improve their business processes to produce digital products that are accessible to people with disabilities. Use of the W3C Accessibility Maturity Model will provide organizations informative guidance (guidance that is not normative and does not set requirements) on improving accessibility policies, processes, and outcomes.

This document is designed to work for any size of organization, from small to large corporations or government agencies. Additionally, this is intended to be independent of the requirements set forth in relevant technical accessibility standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Status of This Document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at https://www.w3.org/TR/.

This document was published by the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group as an Editor's Draft.

Publication as an Editor's Draft does not imply endorsement by W3C and its Members.

This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than work in progress.

This document was produced by a group operating under the W3C Patent Policy. W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the group; that page also includes instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) must disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy.

This document is governed by the 2 November 2021 W3C Process Document.

1. Introduction

1.1 About the W3C Accessibility Maturity Model

Incorporating considerations for the accessibility of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Accessibility into an organization’s workflow and quality governance can be a complex process. While some organizations have individuals or departments that support accessibility, many do not recognize the importance of ICT accessibility as a requirement, or the need for accessibility governance systems. This can limit their ability to produce accessible products and services, including training and documentation, which are essential for inclusive digital environments.

This challenge can be solved by encouraging organizations to establish and implement accessibility governance systems within their organizations. These systems integrate ICT accessibility criteria into policies, key business processes, organizational culture, and management structures in a consistent, repeatable, and measurable fashion. Only then can organizations address the complexities related to enabling ICT accessibility.

This proposed W3C Accessibility Maturity Model describes an overall framework for establishing a robust ICT accessibility program and identifying areas for improvement. The W3C Accessibility Maturity Model is a tool that:

Organizations know when they are doing well (or poorly) with product accessibility using audit reports and bug counts. However, these metrics don’t indicate how the organization is doing operationally to continue to produce accessible products without examining some key corporate processes. The W3C Accessibility ​Maturity Model is a big part of a “shift-left” methodology of preventing problems from recurring, not fixing them after they have happened.

​Most maturity models contain a number of levels with increasing levels of maturity. Each level contains a definition, controls, a list of processes, and proof points that can be produced for an organization to legitimately claim that they are at a particular level of maturity.

Accessibility maturity modeling is very different than accessibility conformance testing

1.2 Audience for the W3C Accessibility Maturity Model

This document is intended to guide and evaluate the levels of organizational accessibility maturity that encompasses a public or private sector organization at any scale.

The primary audience for this maturity model is:

1.2.1 Scope

This document may also be used to measure the maturity level of parts of the organization, provided that the limited scope is clearly identified in any reports submitted to third-parties.

1.3 Existing Research and Standards

The W3C maturity model has been developed using research of existing maturity models and standards outside of WCAG. For example,

Editor's note

We intend to add other models the group has researched to this list.

1.4 Key terms

The following terms are used in this document:

accommodation

Modifications or adjustments that enable an individual with a disability to gain access and successfully complete tasks.

Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR)

A document that formally summarizes the extent to which an information and communications technology (ICT) product or service conforms to international accessibility guidelines and standards.

The report's format is based on the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template® (VPAT®). ACRs are used by buyers to understand how accessible a product is, and any potential deficiencies.

contract lifecycle

The steps and processes related to the procurement of an ICT product or service beginning with the initialization of the solicitation process, response evaluations, vendor selection for award, implementation of the contract requirements, monitoring over the life of the contract including renewals until the contract reaches its end date.

customer

External or internal users of an organization’s products or services, including but not limited to students, members of the public, employees, and contractors.

dimension

An aspect on which an organization measures its accessibility maturity.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Information technology and other equipment, systems, technologies, or processes, for which the principal function is the creation, manipulation, storage, display, receipt, or transmission of electronic data and information, as well as any associated content.

Examples of ICT include, but are not limited to: computers and peripheral equipment; information kiosks and transaction machines; telecommunications equipment; customer premises equipment; multifunction office machines; software; applications; websites; videos; and electronic documents.

maturity stage

Granular stages used to signify the attainment or lack thereof of a specific maturity model dimension.

organization

Include, but are not limited to:

  • A government agency (Federal, state/province, county/city, municipality, etc.)
  • Any type of business entity (including a sole proprietorship, corporation, or LLC)
  • Learning institutions (university, college, district school system)
  • A nongovernmental organization (NGO) or non-profit
proof point

Written or tangible evidence specific to each dimension that can be used to measure the maturity for that specific dimension.

Voluntary Product Accessibility Template® (VPAT®)

A document template established by the Information Technology Industry (ITI) Council used by vendors to evaluate how well each accessibility requirement is met by a particular product.

Vendors use this template to respond to a potential customer’s Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR), which details how the product supports each criteria at one of four levels: Section 508, WCAG, EN 301 549 or international. VPATs, based on ACRs, are used by buyers to understand how accessible a product is, and any potential deficiencies.

2. Maturity Model Structure

The W3C Accessibility Maturity Model is organized around seven important aspects, or dimensions, of an organization where accessibility maturity can improve conformance with accessibility standards and regulations.

Dimensions have a unique descriptive name with a high-level, plain-language summary of what the dimension covers. Each dimension has two sub-sections:

2.1 Dimensions

The seven dimensions of organizational accessibility maturity are:

2.2 Proof Points

Each dimensional outcome has a range of suggested proof points, which includes any evidence or necessary measures that can be used to determine the maturity of each dimension. Progress towards achieving maturity is attained by creating the proof points described for each dimension.

For example, if a dimension requires a plan to identify ICT accessibility related skill levels and gaps, then the corresponding proof point would be a document containing the evaluation of ICT accessibility related skill levels and gaps.

2.3 Maturity Stages

Each stage is attained by meeting the defined outcomes for that specific dimension. The completed proof points demonstrate the efforts to achieve the outcomes for a maturity stage.

All relevant outcomes should be addressed but not all outcomes will apply to all organizations and situations. When an outcome does not apply, it is marked N/A (Not applicable). For example, an accessibility policy does not need to reference native applications if the organization has none.

Stages are cumulative, so stage advancement is achieved by first meeting the specific criteria of a lower level.

Note: The terms for the stages were adopted for consistency with the Policy Driven Adoption Maturity Model, currently being used by some U.S. government agencies.

Stages loosely correspond to the following criteria:

Stages Criteria
Inactive No awareness and recognition of need.
Launch Recognized need organization-wide. Planning initiated, but activities not well organized.
Integrate Roadmap in place, overall organizational approach defined and well organized.
Optimize Incorporated into the whole organization, consistently evaluated, and actions taken on assessment outcomes.

2.4 Assessment Template

Organizational ICT Accessibility Maturity is assessed using the W3C Accessibility Maturity Model assessment template. The template contains worksheet tabs specific to each dimension. The dimension tabs are organized with the dimension definitions and outcomes for each of the four maturity stages and provides a list of the dimension’s proof points.

The blank cells below each maturity stage are to be completed by the organization and provide space to document evidence that the organization has reached that stage. The evidence can include progress on proof point completion, or other relevant information that can be used to claim that the outcomes for that stage have been met.

Proof points can span across multiple stages, work being initiated in one stage and completed in a more advanced stage.

Make a copy of the assessment template worksheet to get started.

Editor's note

The Maturity Model assessment worksheet is intended as a high-fidelity prototype to measure organizational maturity and was developed in an Excel format. The final published format is to be determined, but is envisioned as HTML. It may also be made available in other downloadable, accessible formats.

3. Accessibility Maturity Per Dimension

3.1 Communications

Communications should be accessible to the widest audience possible and meet the requirements in the accessibility standards. This dimension applies to all electronic communications:

Accessible communications is an umbrella term for communications that are clear, direct, easy to understand and that can be rendered in multiple formats so that all users have equivalent access. It takes into consideration the various barriers to accessing information, and removes these or provides alternative formats for the communication. Also, accessibility information about the communications may be communicated so that users are aware of the extent to which they can interact with content.

3.1.1 Proof Points

Communications proof points may include but are not limited to:

3.1.1.1 Preconditions for accessible communication
  • Accessible corporate document templates (word, ppt, etc.)
  • Documented HTML or PDF conversion procedures that prevent the loss of available accessibility features.
  • Processes and procedures for creating communications are documented, and infrastructure is in place to ensure accessibility.
  • Accessible collaboration tools are available, as appropriate (e.g. e-meeting, webinar, conferencing, chat)
3.1.1.2 Accessible Direct Communications
  • Consistent use of accessible templates for:
    • Marketing and sales materials delivered in electronic formats
    • Technical documents or position papers
    • Product Accessibility Conformance Reports (ACRs)
    • Other accessibility documentation
    • Presentations
  • Internal and external websites:
    • are accessible per regional regulatory requirements (e.g. conforms to WCAG)
    • may have an accessibility statement (legal requirement for websites for public sector bodies in the European Union)
    • may contain a statement of commitment to accessibility
  • Products and services: accessibility compliance documentation is available and delivered in an accessible format (on the website, by request, or through procurement process)
  • Multimedia, including captions and described audio, if needed
  • Social media and blog content
  • Customer and vendor training
  • Information on customer support
  • Feedback mechanism for handling questions and accessibility complaints
  • Legal documents, payment and billing
3.1.1.3 Accessible Communications Training
  • Accessible Communications Training in place to build and maintain relevant skills in support of this dimension’s proof points

3.1.2 Ratings for Evaluation

Use the quick link to the Maturity assessment prototype Communications ratings worksheet to see how the evaluation for this dimension could be documented.

Maturity stages Criteria
Inactive Definition: No effort towards making internal or external communications accessible.

Outcomes:

  • None; no accessibility effort at all around communications.
Launch Definition: Recognized need for accessibility of internal and external communications. Plans begun or in place to identify communications where accessibility criteria should be integrated.

Outcomes:

  • Plans in place for making all internal / external communications accessible (and compliant with accessibility regulations, where applicable).
Integrate Definition: Communications roadmap in place, integration of accessibility criteria into most internal and external communications is being implemented. Non-accessible tools replaced, or procurement of accessible tools in process.

Outcomes:

  • Internal and external delivery of accessible communications across most media and platforms.
  • An accessibility policy that includes requirements for a feedback mechanism for users, including a formalized process for handling accessibility complaints.
Optimize

Definition: Full accessibility processes and tools implemented across all internal and external media resulting in fully accessible communications.

Outcomes:

  • All processes, procedures, and tools are in place, used consistently, and are regularly reviewed and refined to ensure that all internal and external communications are fully accessible.

3.2 Knowledge and Skills

Internal and external personnel at all levels of an organization should have accessibility knowledge and skills relevant to their organizational role. Accessibility knowledge and skills relevant to each individual’s position helps employees understand their part in achieving the organization's accessibility goals.

While this dimension includes proof points to be implemented at the organization level, knowledge and skills specific to each of the other dimensions should be included within their respective proof points, as appropriate.

3.2.1 Proof Points

Knowledge and skills proof points may include but are not limited to:

3.2.1.1 Assessing Current Skills to Identify and Address Gaps
  • Organizational surveys that identify current skill levels and gaps
  • Internal database(s) to track employee training for ICT accessibility skills
  • Certification or competency reviews and programs
  • Keeping skills up-to-date with current requirements
  • Accessibility criteria integration into individual (employee and management) performance measurements
3.2.1.2 Building and Maintaining Organizational Capacity
  • Implementation of role based training plans and curriculums
  • Procured external training resources, as needed
  • Incorporation of digital accessibility training curricula into organization learning management, tracking, and auditing systems
  • Accessibility training when onboarding all new employees
  • Accessibility requirements included in position descriptions
  • Subject matter experts (SMEs) positioned within the organization to provide training and support
  • Organizing or attending digital accessibility events to increase awareness and knowledge
  • Awareness campaigns (also pertinent to the Cultural dimension)
3.2.1.3 Dimension Integration
  • Training and learning programs should be integrated into proof points for each dimension

3.2.2 Ratings for Evaluation

Use the quick link to the Maturity assessment prototype Knowledge and Skills worksheet to see how the evaluation for this dimension could be documented.

Maturity stages Criteria
Inactive Definition: No efforts to develop W3C accessibility knowledge or skills.

Outcomes:

  • None; no accessibility effort at all around developing accessible technology, disability inclusion, or improving accessibility knowledge and skills.
Launch Definition: Recognized need for organization-wide accessibility and disability inclusion, as well as accessibility expertise. Planning initiated, but activities not well organized.

Outcomes:

  • Skill areas identified, plans for organization wide surveys to identify gaps initiated, but not implemented.
  • Mostly Ad hoc training (professional development is not required or monitored.)
  • Requirements defined for 3rd party learning tools and systems. Work initiated on role based training plans.
  • Some training courses established.
Integrate Definition: Workforce ICT accessibility skills and training roadmap in place with an overall organizational approach to disability inclusion with required role-based accessibility expertise defined. Integration of process to assess and increase accessibility knowledge and skills is in progress, but not consistently implemented across the organization.

Outcomes:

  • Workforce skills and training roadmap that includes accessibility objectives for:
    • Knowledge and skills assessments
    • Available training for their role
    • Current information on new technologies, platforms, and tools
  • Training is available to enhance knowledge and skills around ICT accessibility, and disability inclusion
  • Training metrics are established
Optimize Definition: Full organization ICT accessibility maturity. Organization-wide, role-based expertise in accessibility and disability inclusion is well-defined, evaluated, remediated, and continuously enhanced. Accessibility knowledge and skills are consistently implemented across the organization.

Outcomes:

  • Required and preferred knowledge and skills are consistently communicated to all personnel
    • Position descriptions
    • Hiring announcements
    • Project management
  • Workforce is periodically evaluated to ensure knowledge and skills are current with the most up to date standards and accessibility practices.
    • Periodic analysis used to identify gaps in knowledge as well as training materials.
  • Annual training (conferences, events, online, etc.) is provided to maintain skills current with ICT accessibility requirements and industry best practices. Workforce inclusion training incorporates accessibility for persons with disabilities.
    • Certification programs are available
  • Tracking systems in place and consistently used to maintain training inventory, measure skills, and track completion

3.3 Support

This dimension includes support for both internal employees and external customers with disabilities. This includes reasonable accommodations for employees and customer support that is specific to users' accessibility needs.

3.3.1 Proof Points

Support proof points may include but are not limited to:

  • Written policy on requesting and providing employee accommodations
  • Publicly available (and accessible) web accessibility statement with pointers to support mechanisms
  • Support mechanisms are accessible
  • Help topics or FAQs specific to accessibility
  • Training for customer support agents (or internal ICT support staff) in accessibility, assistive technology and disability etiquette and awareness
  • Existence of a disability-focused employee resource group (ERG) with executive sponsorship
  • Validation process in place to manage accessibility feedback
  • Accessibility feedback is incorporated to facilitate continuous improvement of identified ICT
3.3.1.1 Support Staff Training

Training is in place for support staff to build and maintain relevant skills in support of this dimension’s proof points.

3.3.2 Ratings for Evaluation

Use the quick link to the Maturity assessment prototype Support worksheet to see how the evaluation for this dimension could be documented.

Maturity stages Criteria
Inactive Definition: No accessibility effort at all around support for employees or customers.
Launch Definition: Plans in place to provide basic information about accessibility to customers and to employees.

Outcomes:

  • For employees: Written reasonable accommodation policy and process in place to provide accommodations. Employees are made aware of availability of accommodations.
  • For customers: Pertinent support information available to all customers (could be a policy statement link on site).
  • No external support for K&S
Integrate Definition: Customers: Dedicated section on Accessibility in the Help section of customer-facing website. FAQ or Help topics include common accessibility questions and answers.

Outcomes:

  • Employees: Tools and process in place to facilitate requests for accommodations. Hiring managers have access to disability awareness training.
Optimize Definition: Customers: Fully trained customer support staff able to support users' accessibility questions. Multiple ways to communicate with technical support are provided that meet the needs of customers with disabilities.

Outcomes:

  • Employees/Talent Acquisition: Candidates are offered accommodations for their interviews. Disability Employee Resource Group(s) provide social and professional support to employees with disabilities.

3.4 ICT Development Lifecycle

Accessible Information and communication technologies (ICT) serves as a critical enabler that allow persons with disabilities to realize full and effective opportunities to participate, on the basis of equality, in all aspects of society and development that involve technology. Accessibility should be considered throughout the entire ICT development lifecycle: from idea conception, to design, development, testing, production of an ACR based on the VPAT, user research, maintenance, and obsolescence. Training programs must be established and ongoing to have necessary skills for the ICT Development Lifecycle dimension.

3.4.1 Proof Points for ICT Development Lifecycle Dimension

ICT development lifecycle proof points may include but are not limited to:

3.4.1.1 Design
  • Accessible design review process with templates, checklists, and output
  • Design style guides include accessibility considerations
  • Design work products delivered to developers include accessibility information that at least meets relevant accessibility standards
  • Consistent approach to designing accessibility features across products
3.4.1.2 Development
  • Accessible developer implementation resources
    • Team channels to discuss accessibility - direct messaging, office hours, email
    • Information pages
  • Developer's accessibility checklists
  • Consistent approach to implementing accessibility features across products
  • Documented way to triage and prioritize fixing accessibility issues and address customer-reported feedback on accessibility
3.4.1.3 User Experience
  • User research includes disabilities
    • All research asks participants to anonymously identify whether or not they have a disability, and if so, what type of disability/ies
  • User research focusing only on disabilities is performed
3.4.1.4 Quality Review Through Release
  • Consistent approach to testing and releasing products
  • Testing process documents steps for manual accessibility testing, utilizing assistive technology
  • Testing process includes automated accessibility testing
  • Schedule includes stakeholder activities focused on accessibility
  • Bug tracking system includes an accessibility category
  • Prioritization and grooming system for accessibility defects
  • Accessibility identified as product release gate
  • Documented testing steps and cadence for agile delivery of changes that do not go through a full release cycle. Some examples are:
    • Content review for website updates
    • Content review for social media posts
  • ACR/VPAT authoring guide for commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products
3.4.1.5 ICT Development Training
  • Accessibility in the ICT lifecycle training is in place to build and maintain relevant role-based skills in support of this dimension’s proof points

3.4.2 Ratings for Evaluation

Use the quick link to the Maturity assessment prototype Development Lifecycle worksheet to see how the evaluation for this dimension could be documented.

Maturity stages Criteria
Inactive Definition: No accessibility effort at all around ICT development.

Outcomes:

  • If ACRs are required, they are not being produced.
Launch Definition: Some awareness and recognition of the need for accessible ICT development, inconsistently approached, decentralized.

Outcomes:

  • Accessibility efforts may be limited in scope to new products, applications, and websites.
Integrate Definition: Organizational effort and approach for improving accessibility in ICT development per role or discipline.

Outcomes:

  • Accessibility requirements are considered and practiced during ICT design, development, and testing, but are not consistently applied across the ICT portfolio.
  • Some attempt is made to remediate existing products, applications, and websites.
Optimize Definition: Thought leader in Accessibility on ICT development with strong ICT development knowledge and skills, structural, standardized and reported approach.

Outcomes:

  • Design specifications include accessibility guidance, developers consistently create accessible User Interface (UI), both manual and automated accessibility testing is performed during development, and automated accessibility testing is incorporated into Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) build pipelines
  • Release management includes gates for accessibility quality.
  • Maintenance releases are re-inspected for accessibility.
  • ACRs are kept up to date and made available, as needed, for procurable ICT.
  • Research deliberately seeks out and evaluates input from users with disabilities.

3.5 Personnel

Persons with disabilities should be utilized throughout an organization’s hierarchy (all job types, all authority levels) where their unique insights and lived experiences can better inform decision making. This requires accessible and inclusive hiring practices covering applications, interviews, evaluations, onboarding and retention.

3.5.1 Proof Points

Personnel proof points may include but are not limited to:

3.5.1.1 Targeted Recruiting
  • Established goals for recruiting employees with disabilities
  • Hiring announcements with diversity statements encouraging applications from people with disabilities
  • Recruiting needs assessment/gap analysis
  • Preferential hiring initiatives to recruit employees with disabilities
  • Hiring announcements with targeted diversity statements narrowing eligibility to applicants with disabilities
3.5.1.2 Accessible Job Application Platform
  • Hiring tools, job boards, etc. meet a specified level of accessibility
  • Recruiting communications meet a specified level of accessibility
  • Accessibility audit of Jobs' website
  • Accessibility audit of application process
3.5.1.3 Strategic Engagement
  • Established Employee Resource Group, with executive sponsor, for employees with disabilities to directly contribute first hand knowledge, and lived experience, to accessibility efforts
  • Product, and project focus groups of employees with disabilities
  • Mentoring program for employees with disabilities

3.5.2 Ratings for Evaluation

Use the quick link to the Maturity assessment prototype Personnel worksheet to see how the evaluation for this dimension could be documented.

Maturity stages Criteria
Inactive Definition: No staffing effort towards achieving organization-wide ICT accessibility maturity by including people with disabilities in the workforce. Possibly some informal activities.

Outcomes:

  • None; No effort at all around recruiting, retaining, or engaging employees with disabilities.
Launch Definition: Recognized need to include employees with disabilities in the workforce to contribute to organization-wide ICT accessibility maturity. Planning initiated, but recruitment, retention, and engagement, activities around disability inclusion are not well organized.

Outcomes:

  • Hiring announcements encourage applications from the disability community.
  • Disability inclusion is specifically articulated in companies diversity and inclusion policy, and statement.
  • Champion has been designated to facilitate, and mature disability inclusion.
Integrate Definition: Disability inclusion roadmap, to drive ICT accessibility, in place. Overall organizational approach to evaluating recruitment, retention, and engagement is defined. Process integration for maturing disability inclusion efforts for ICT accessibility in progress. Not consistently implemented across the organization.

Outcomes:

  • Strategic positions are identified for employees with disabilities to be placed in that will help audit, and drive, the development of accessible products, services.
  • Targeted recruiting of employees with disabilities
  • Accessible recruiting process
Optimize Definition: Employees with disabilities are leveraged throughout the organization to achieve full ICT accessibility maturity. Organization-wide, disability inclusion staffing efforts are well-defined, evaluated, remediated, and integrated with ICT accessibility efforts, and goals, across the organization. Employees with disabilities hold key decision making positions, and are spread out across all areas of the organization to drive accessibility in every facet of the business.

Outcomes:

  • Disability Employee Resource Group is leveraged to inform accessibility decision making.
  • Employees with disabilities leveraged to audit accessibility.
  • Employees with disabilities leveraged for product development.
  • Employees with disabilities leveraged for development of accessible services.

3.6 Procurement

Procurement is a strategic process focused on finding and acquiring cost-effective products needed by an organization. Activities in procurement include sourcing, negotiation, and selection of goods and services.

The majority of ICT assets used in an organization are the result of procurement transactions and contracts.When accessibility criteria are integrated into processes and contract language for procuring ICT, an organization can be more capable of providing accessible products, services and workplaces.

3.6.1 Proof Points

Procurement proof points may include but are not limited to:

3.6.1.1 Policy Documentation
  • Published ICT accessibility policy
  • Accessibility requirements and other information communicated to vendors
3.6.1.2 Consistent Use of Standardized Procurement Language
  • ICT accessibility solicitation language
  • ICT accessibility contract language
  • Accessibility specific solicitation forms and templates
3.6.1.3 Consistent Evaluation Process and Methods
  • Proof of accessibility evaluations
  • Documented evaluation methodology
  • Submission scoring methodologies
3.6.1.4 Accessibility Contract Language
  • Proof of Vendor testing (automated and manual)
  • Development life cycle accessibility criteria integration and development reviews (for development services)
  • Warranties and remedies section includes accessibility
  • Vendor corrective actions and remediation plans pre and post deployment
  • Executed contract examples with accessibility language
3.6.1.5 Accessibility in Procurement Program Management
  • Accessibility audits
  • Contract lifecycle management
  • Dashboard of procurement related accessibility metrics
  • Issue management process (for complaints)
3.6.1.6 Procurement Training
  • Accessibility related procurement training is in place for staff to build and maintain relevant skills in support of this dimension’s proof points

3.6.2 Ratings for Evaluation

Use the quick link to the Maturity assessment prototype Procurement worksheet to see how the evaluation for this dimension could be documented.

Maturity stages Criteria
Inactive No accessibility criteria, process, or requirements in ICT procurements
Launch Definition: Recognized need for accessibility criteria in procurement processes.

Outcomes:

Work initiated to identify and integrate accessibility into procurement processes and language of all ICT related solicitation documents, vendor responses, and contracts.

Integrate Definition: Accessibility criteria, language, and evaluation methods integrated into most applicable ICT solicitations and contracts.

Outcomes:

Solicitation and contract language complete. Responses analyzed by accessibility or trained procurement professionals. Scoring model has been developed and its use has begun. Communications mechanism in place to inform vendors of accessibility requirements.

Optimize Definition: Full and consistent use of accessibility processes, criteria, contract language and decision making to procure accessible ICT.

Outcomes:

Processes are in place and used consistently, and are regularly reviewed and refined, as needed.

3.7 Culture

Organizational culture consists of shared beliefs, values, policies, and processes established by leaders that ultimately shape employee perceptions, behaviors, and understanding.

To demonstrate cultural maturity in accessibility, all aspects of the organization’s operation, processes, and skills should include considerations for disability inclusion. Every member of the organization should understand and be sensitive to the importance of ICT accessibility, including their personal role and responsibilities in meeting the organization’s accessibility goals. Accessibility should be an integral part of diversity and inclusion within the organization with clear recognition of the benefits of disability inclusion and the impact of ICT accessibility on people with disabilities to facilitate access to jobs, services, and other aspects of life.

3.7.1 Proof Points

Culture proof points may include but are not limited to:

3.7.1.1 Organizational Culture of Disability Inclusion
  • Executive sponsor in place for digital accessibility
  • Executive-level digital accessibility program leadership
  • Executive statement of commitment to digital accessibility
  • IT accessibility policy in place and implemented
  • Business strategy includes proactive approach to digital accessibility
  • Business strategy includes digital accessibility as market differentiator
  • Digital accessibility for disability inclusion incorporated into core values
  • Digital accessibility included in code of conduct
  • Disability focus in diversity, equity, and inclusion activities
  • Digital accessibility focus in communities of practice
  • Integration of ICT accessibility criteria into employee / officer performance plans, as relevant
  • Employee support for digital accessibility and disability inclusion is mandated and monitored
  • Digital accessibility program effectiveness is monitored and improved
3.7.1.2 General Training
  • Accessibility related training is in place to build and maintain relevant skills in support of this dimension’s proof points

3.7.2 Ratings for Evaluation

Use the quick link to the Maturity assessment prototype Culture worksheet to see how the evaluation for this dimension could be documented.

Maturity stages Criteria
Inactive Diversity and inclusion culture does not specifically mention or include disability
Launch Definition: Recognized need for organization-wide cultural programs on accessibility and disability inclusion, planning initiated with limited activity

Outcomes:

Work initiated but not yet implemented to:

  • integrate ICT accessibility into organizational processes and governance, including policies and practices that impact employees and external audiences
  • identify leadership for the initiative
  • formulate cultural programs
Integrate Definition: Cultural programs created and initially deployed

Outcomes:

  • metrics established and hiring practices implemented
  • policies in place with partial execution
  • diversity and inclusion is promoted but no action plan has been developed
  • communities of practice established
Optimize Definition: Strong cultural awareness, appreciation, sensitivity, and support for all aspects of ICT accessibility and people with disabilities.

Outcomes:

Policies, processes, and practices are in place, used consistently, and are regularly reviewed and refined, as needed. All employees have understanding and sensitivity to the importance of ICT accessibility, how it fits within their roles and responsibilities. They also have an appreciation for the value of a diverse population both within and outside of the organization.

4. Acknowledgements

4.1 Key contributors, section editors and participants active in the Maturity Model Subgroup at the time of publication