The Indirect Pursuit of Accessibility: a Strategy for Organizational Change


Presented at 11:30am in Penrose 1 on Thursday, November 17, 2022.



  • Rob Carr, Strategic Accessibility Coordinator, WebAIM

Session Details

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


Organizations are coming around to the fact that they need to make digital accessibility a goal across their digital properties. As conversations about doing this begin, though, many organizations become overwhelmed. This is understandable. Making everything accessible is a big goal, indeed. Join me to talk about a handful of areas organizations may focus on that help to achieve the big goal, without the big goal feeling too big to achieve.


It is hard for an organization to achieve big gains in accessibility across its digital products without a large-scale effort. Especially now that we are all realizing how much technology is going to continue to be a huge part of our day to day lives. Instead of working toward the big goal of “making everything accessible” what if we focused on the things that we need to do to make that happen? In studying human behavior, research points to the benefits of approaching big goals indirectly. For example: take “being happier”. That's a huge goal. And this research shows that people that focus on that actually tend to be less happy. This is when we compare them to people that focus on smaller goals that help to build up to the big goal. Goals like, "improve my relationships with people" or "go outside more". In the context of digital accessibility, we can take this same lesson and apply it to our organizations. WebAIM has documented a set of Indicators of Organizational Accessibility that serve as a framework for tackling accessibility at a large scale. Each focuses on characteristics shared across organizations that are more successful in creating accessible digital spaces. I will introduce the Indicators at a high level during this session. Then we will talk about some tasks that help to move organization in line with the Indicators. We will identify things to do that are smaller and more manageable. From there we'll discuss what you can do to within your own reach. Let’s lower the stress around building up an accessibility program. And we will also come out with a happier organization and a more barrier-free web.


  1. A stated goal to make all digital accessible can be overwhelming when approached at organizational scale.
  2. Focusing on process and not the large-scale outcome makes the large-scale outcome more attainable.
  3. Identify actions that you can take to help to advance accessibility across your organization.

Disability Areas

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Other, Procurement, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Rob Carr

Rob Carr is the Strategic Accessibility Coordinator at WebAIM. Rob has been in the digital accessibility space since 2010. He has spent loads of time training, consulting, and learning about digital accessibility topics large and small. Rob has worked with thousands of individuals and dozens of organizations on everything from accessibility in a single PDF to integrating accessibility into organizations’ digital strategies. Rob presents at national conferences, organizes the occasional conference, and tries to be more active and less snarky on LinkedIn.


Indirect Pursuit AHG 2022