Usability gets respect among web teams, but accessibility is still an afterthought. Change your approach to accessibility: Your whole team--designers, developers, content writers, and project managers--can use UX principles to craft accessible, usable experiences that engage your users.
Surprise! It's 2015, and we're still struggling to make our web and digital media projects accessible--despite our laws and requirements, and organizations receiving negative press and lawsuits stemming from inaccessibility. Yet, we can rethink our approach to accessibility and consider how we can provide all users with an experience that meets their needs and engages them.
Often, web teams aren't able to make their works accessible because they don't understand how to prevent or remove barriers to people with disabilities and their specific needs for access. However, if all team members leverage the power of user personas and other usability methods, they can learn how to meet all users' needs, specific principles that address each disability type, and how to create accessible and delightful user experiences (UX).
Rethink accessibility as part of a quality user experience (UX).
Use the power of user personas to teach all web team members to address users' accessibility needs.
Share the right principles to help each team member create an accessible user experience.
Angela Hooker is an accessibility manager at Microsoft, where she manages an accessibility program for Microsoft.com. She's brought her web management, development, accessibility, and editorial and content management expertise to the private sector and government for over 19 years. In addition to accessibility and universal design, Angela advocates for web standards and plain language. She writes articles and trains digital media teams on accessibility, and speaks on various topics including universal design, user experience, accessibility, web standards, and plain language.