The Web and Media Accessibility Group AMA ๐ŸŽ‰

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Paula Borowska's photo

What advice do you have to help get buy-in for accessibility from stakeholders, decision makers or even PMs?

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Jen Luker's photo

The same way we got buy-in for test suites! Accessibility isn't a feature. It is the feature. Testing prevents bugs. Accessibility testing is no different. It prevents bugs.

If someone was unable to get through the purchase process, you'd be hot-fixing that so fast that heads would spin.

Why is it different when someone with a disability can't get through the purchase process?

#a11y issues are not optional features. They are bugs.

For designers, and developers, make it easier to do the right thing than to do the wrong thing. Implementing linters, and CI testing can be the first step. Developers fix lint errors, and test suites all the time. Tests associated with accessibility should be no different.

There are business people that need an ROI to support accessibility.

More users!

  • 1 in 5 people have some sort of disability (World Health Organization)
  • 1 in 10 websites are accessible (deque)

If your website is accessible, you could be cornering the market for those with disabilities!

More clients!

  • Many governments require accessibility certification of not only government websites, but also companies working on government land, or contracting with the government.

Being accessible opens your business up to government entities

Lawsuits are expensive

The Dominos lawsuit in 2019 set a precedent, at least in the USA, that websites, even without government contracts, need to be accessible. People can sue your company! The smaller the company, the higher the risk of going bankrupt over an accessibility issue that could have been prevented.

Personal experience

We have an emotional response when we can relate accessibility with someone we know. Make it personal.

As 1 in 8 men are colorblind, chances are, there is a man in your company that is colorblind. Take that person to your boss and say, "Can you explain to {name of person}, who works for our company, why he doesn't matter enough to make our site accessible?"

Tatiana Mac's photo

The other answers have expressed a lot of great ideas! My only addition is:

Tap into the fears, motivations, and excitement from the key stakeholders and present the perspective that will be most relevant to them.

While we can be idealistic and want people to care for the most marginalised people in the world, frankly, not everyone does, particularly people at the top who might have made their success by way of exploiting people.

Some folks disagree and think that using finances as a motivation is problematic. I agree. And also, I personally care most about outcome. So if I'm working with someone who has shown me very clearly they don't care about people, but they care about money, I'm going to use that motivation in order to make the product as accessible and equitable as I can.

The outcome is that the product is more accessible and equitable, which is the end goal I always keep in sight.