Breaking the Cycle: Building Accessibility into the Content Development Process

Handouts Media

Presented at 9:15am in Virtual Room 1 on Friday, November 19, 2021.



  • Jeff Singleton, Principal, Converge Accessibility
  • Natalie Hadley, Vice President, Outlook Business Solutions

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: General Conference


Addressing accessibility after an audit won’t stem the flow of inaccessible content your institution creates every day. We’ll introduce a methodology for building accessibility into the content development process from concept to consumption. We’ll also look at the value of involving disabled users during development.


The volume of information created by universities can make systematic accessibility seem unattainable. Audits identify accessibility issues with completed content, often after information already has been published. Building accessibility concepts into the development process reduces the need for rework and remediation. This session will cover: 1. Breaking down WCAG into core concepts. 2. Further dividing these by role. 3. Leveraging non-disabled and disabled QA testers in the most effective way possible. This model offers the best of both worlds because it lets existing QA teams test content in a cost-effective manner to business requirements and the majority of web accessibility compliance requirements while also incorporating key insights that only disabled tester testing can offer. Also, it offers a means of ensuring that through which the entire lifecycle can be changed towards accessibility, starting with the early design stages.


  1. Understand how to divide the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines into actionable core concepts.
  2. Understand the five accessibility roles in content development and WCAG requirements specific to each role
  3. Understand how balance disabled user testing and regular QA testing in the most cost-effective manner

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Jeff Singleton

Jeff Singleton is one of the nation's leading authorities on web accessibility and testing. He is a former member of Microsoft's Accessible Technology Group (ATG) and led the quality assurance team for Windows Narrator. An expert user of most assistive technologies, Jeff has a keen understanding of accessibility standards (such as WCAG and Section 508) as well as the practical impact of accessibility issues on people with disabilities.

Jeff has led important projects with leading companies such as HP and Microsoft. And he has helped government agencies like the Veteran's Health Administration make their technology accessible. For the last several years, NASA has also trusted Jeff to perform accessibility reviews of the technologies (including web sites) used by its grantees.

One of Jeff's strongest talents and passions is educating others about accessibility. For the last twelve years, he has led training sessions at important international accessibility conferences, such as the California State University, Northridge Center on Disabilities CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, and the National ADA Symposium. Jeff also holds an ADA Coordinator Title III Business Certificate and is a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE).

Natalie Hadley

A funny thing happened on Natalie’s way to becoming a journalist/author: she stumbled into marketing and entrepreneurship. (Her high school friends are still awaiting a best seller 35+ years later.) She loves using storytelling, analogies, concise wording and a dash of persuasion to guide customers, users and buyers toward their goal. She has a sixth-sense for assembling talented professionals into creative teams motivated to get stuff done (GSD).

After 25 years in financial services, Natalie brought those skills to Outlook Business Solutions. She considers this her dream job: finding projects and tasks small business owners need to outsource and finding professionals with those skills who happen to be visually impaired. Natalie is aware of the challenges disabled Americans face in finding employment. Her son Ranier (aka “Rain”) suffered a traumatic brain injury at the age of 3 months, leaving him partially paralyzed, developmentally delayed and cognitively impaired. So applying her marketing skills and entrepreneurial tendencies to a social enterprise focused on helping the visually impaired keeps Natalie challenged and fills her heart.

Natalie has a bachelor’s in communications arts from Wayne State College and a master’s in communications from the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Outside her role at Outlook, Natalie is a partner in a technology start-up as well as a vintage clothing boutique. Her family includes daughter Georgia, son-in-law Taylor (founder of Omaha tech company Appsky) and granddaughter Rowan; son Rain, who lives at Hands of Heartland in Bellevue, Nebraska; and son Noah, a senior at Gretna High School. When not starting and running businesses, Natalie likes home improvement projects, reading, board games and antiquing. (Fun fact: she doesn’t own a TV.) You might see her around town at live blues music shows. She’s the one with the blue-green hair. If you see her, say hello!