Instigating Organizational Buy-In
to Embrace Accessibility
Shawn Lawton Henry,

This handout for the TechAccessOK 2017 opening session includes:

A Tale of Two Organizations

Imagine an organization...

[slide image: person meditating]

[Agenda] Organizational buy-in

think about accessibility differently

Accessibility is

... not!

[slide image: big red X over the checklist]

Accessibility is not primarily about

Accessibility is about people

[slide images: photos of people]




Activity: percent of disabilities with age...

design for older users

curb cut example of required for accessibility, useful to all in different situations

[slide images: examples of use of curb cuts...]

accessibility is about

all sorts of
in all sorts of

accessibility is about

designing your products
so that more people
can use them effectively
in more situations.

= business case

e.g., older users is key audience/users/market for many organizations

Designing for inclusion

Organizational buy-in [Agenda]

Business Case

Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for Your Organization

embrace the carrots!

caricature of shawn hugging large carrots

[slide image: Carrots]

Your customers required to purchase
ICT (software, hardware, web)
that is accessible to their
employees, customers, public.
Accessibility = competitive advantage.


Reduce risk of legal action for inaccessible ICT

[slide image: legal gavel]

Accessibility is about...

designing your products
so that more people
can use them effectively
in more situations.
= business case

Perspectives Videos (10)

Essential for people with disabilities
and useful for all

person with mobile phone and guide dog

Web accessibility is essential for people with disabilities and useful for all. Learn about the impact of accessibility and the benefits for everyone in a variety of situations.

Demo: Text-to-Speech

Top – Down

Organizational buy-in [Agenda]

Clear up Myths

right thing to do


< pointy brackets are my world />

fundamentally the Web is all about access

"The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect." - Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web.

Accessibility - W3C

The Web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, culture, location, or physical or mental ability. When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive ability.

Thus the impact of disability is radically changed on the Web because the Web removes barriers to communication and interaction that many people face in the physical world. However, when websites, web technologies, or web tools are badly designed, they can create barriers that exclude people from using the Web.

access is what the Wed is fundamentally all about

high quality work

UX, designers, coders, ...

Resume building

"WCAG" = 366 jobs

low hanging fruit = easy wins

[slide image: apples on branch low to ground]

6 key things

  1. Awareness
  2. Understanding
  3. Awareness
  4. Understanding
  5. Awareness
  6. Understanding

Organizational buy-in [Agenda]

A Tale of Two Organizations

When project teams understand the impact of their work on the lives of real people with disabilities, most are highly motivated by a new understanding of accessibility.

Successful awareness-building can make a project team eager and excited to do their best on accessibility for people with disabilities.

buy-in sessions for awareness & motivation

    10 minutes
    10 hours

getting a clue

finding participant(s)

planning demos

getting key people to attend

purse holders, project managers, nitty-gritty designers and developers, ...

conducting the session

0. prep like crazy

1. introductions

2. WOW, cooool !

3. accessible vs. inaccessible


4. q & a

5. conclusion

    10 minutes
$ 100
    10 hours
    cool !

A Tale of Two Organizations

[slide image: pints of drinks]

buy-in sessions for awareness & motivation = SUCCESS!

equipping designers & developers

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

Designers and Developers Naturally think of themselves

[slide image: two people at computers with thought bubbles that have an image of themselves]

Personas for thinking about "real users"

[slide image: thought bubble includes different people]

Broadening "real users"

[slide image: thought bubble includes older person, person in wheelchair, person on a beach - all typing on computers]

How know about people with Disabilities?

[slide image: Disabilities: Auditory, Cognitive, Neurological, Physical, Speech, Visual, (including from aging). Person using headstick to type on laptop. Big question mark.]

To learn more

Involving Users in Web Projects for Better, Easier Accessibility


Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design

Examples of accessibility efforts without understanding how people with disabilities use the web...

Imagine an organization...

Organizational buy-in

think about accessibility differently

accessibility is about people

If you really understand how accessibility...

Accessibility becomes "an act of enlightened self-interest"

[slide image: illuminated lily flower on dark background]

Go instigate organizational buy-in to embrace accessibility!

donkey excitedly biting carrot

(Image credit: )