Defining Website Accessibility Requirements Throughout the Web Development Lifecycle

Presented at 3:00pm in Virtual A on Thursday, January 1, 2020.



  • Ken Nakata, Principal, Converge Accessibility
  • Jeff Singleton, Principal, Converge Accessibility

Session Details

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


A common problem with website design is that too many requirements get back-loaded to developers in a massive remediation effort. This causes frustration and unnecessary cost for organizations. We have found that a single list of requirements that builds on the WCAG 2.0 makes more sense. This presentation explains this process.


Organizations generally recognize that addressing web accessibility at all stages of the web development lifecycle builds a culture of accessibility, reduces cost and frustration, and improves accessibility for users with disabilities. We will review a checklist of universal requirements and role-specific requirements that target pre-production, production, and QA teams. This set of requirements has been refined with dozens of customers and we have found that it works well with different web development lifecycles (waterfall and agile). It gives teams accountability by understanding how their work affects others—and may be rejected by others if they do not fulfill their end of the process.


  1. Understand how WCAG can be extended to a set of specific requirements
  2. Learn how to apply these requirements in any web development environment
  3. Understand how to quickly create a culture of accessibility

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Institutional/Campus Change, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Ken Nakata

Ken Nakata is a technology-focused civil rights attorney. His work focuses on web accessibility from both a legal and technical perspective. He also helps organizations manage the change towards accessibility in all aspects-including crafting policies, developing stakeholder ownership, and forging awareness and commitment to the legal and business case supporting accessibility. Ken worked for twelve years as a Senior Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. He has argued on behalf of the United States government many times before the federal courts and has helped shape the government’s policies for the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. In addition to litigation, he also helped developed many of the Department’s policies, including Accessibility of State and Local Government Websites to People with Disabilities and which reflects the Department’s current view towards ADA compliance for state and local government websites. Ken is a frequent speaker on both law and technology and is equally adept at conducting one-on-one workshops with programmers and developers as well as explaining law and policy to large audiences. He is a Founding and former Board Member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). Ken is admitted to the bars of New York, Washington, and the District of Columbia and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He also received his undergraduate degree in mathematics from the Johns Hopkins University. He is also certified as a privacy professional with the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Principals (CPACP) with the IAAP, and a Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform.

Jeff Singleton

Jeff Singleton has worked in the technology field for over 25 years and has been solely focused on accessible Information and Communication Technology (ICT) since 2008. He started his accessibility journey while working for Microsoft in the early 2000’s which included being a part of Microsoft’s Accessible Technology Group (ATG). Since he has worked with several organizations as an accessibility subject matter expert (SME) which has included supporting Federal groups, State and Local Governments efforts, large e-commerce organizations, as well as smaller businesses throughout the United States. He has been a regular speaker for the last 12 years at national and international accessibility conferences. Additionally, he has been involved in conducting digital accessibility reviews as part Section 504 reviews of agency grantees of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Section. Jeff is also a certified Title III ADA Coordinator.