Why is Web Accessibility Still a Problem? – A Group Therapy Session for Web Accessibility Program Managers


Presented at 10:30am in Matchless on Monday, November 6, 2023.



  • Jill Wolters, Digital Accessibility Program Manager, University of California, San Francisco

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 3-hr
  • Format: Interactive/Discussion
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


This half-day interactive workshop aims to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing to enhance website accessibility at your university or college. Through interactive exercises and discussions, we can explore root causes of why web accessibility is still a problem, exchange insights, and identify successful strategies and experiments to try when we return to our campus. All skill levels are welcome, from beginners to experienced practitioners.


What’s keeping your web accessibility program from gaining traction or making progress? Take this opportunity to share what you're doing on your campus – what works, what doesn’t. How do others tackle these problems? We’ll reflect on common themes and work through what may or may not be in your control to tackle.

Taking a few pages from the A3 Thinking playbook, we’ll begin to define the problem statement and identify the root causes that impede progress. These may differ with each university’s unique organizational structure, staff skill levels and resources for web accessibility. Exercises include using the “5 Whys” and the cause-and-effect fishbone diagram. These tools help you succinctly communicate the problem to your leadership and help keep you focused as you try different experiments to improve awareness, compliance and overall accessibility.

You will leave the session with fresh ideas to propose upon returning to your respective campuses. Because this is pre-conference, you get to interact with peers in similar roles. We’re all in this together. Find like-minded souls to engage with throughout the conference and beyond.


*Share Successes and Challenges* Take this opportunity to share what you're doing on your campus – what works, what doesn’t. After sharing our programs’ successes, and setbacks, we’ll reflect on how others tackle the same problems.

*Root Causes Exercise* What’s keeping your program from gaining traction? Root causes may differ with each university’s unique structure, staff skill levels and resources for web accessibility. Practice using the “5 Whys” or a cause-and-effect fishbone diagram to help identify and succinctly communicate root causes. Reflect on those that are in your control to to tackle.

*Identify Experiments to Try* I'll run you through some of our experiments we tried to improve awareness and compliance, the results and our steps forward. We’ll do an energizing brainstorming session to offer up other ideas to each.

*Share our Takeaways!* After a little time to reflect, we’ll wrap up sharing what new experiments or twists on old ideas we want to take back to our campus. What will you try next to move your program along the path of accessibility?


  1. Web accessibility programs come in all shapes and sizes.
  2. Just like accessibility is a process, so is the continuous improvement of our web accessibility programs.
  3. We can support each other and have a safe space to share.

Disability Areas

All Areas, Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Mobility, Psychological, Vision

Topic Areas

Administrative/Campus Policy, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Jill Wolters

At UCSF, Jill’s programming includes monthly "Digital Accessibility Office Hours" to support developers and content creators. Monthly "Testing with Users with Disabilities" clinics create awareness for assistive technology and and uncovers barriers that automatic testing can't find.