Website Accessibility Can Be an Upfront Cost with Training

As you’re initially remediating your digital assets for accessibility there is a significant cost associated with accessibility.

And that is because you have to hire professionals to perform an audit and to remediate your website for accessibility.

And that cost is there because you’re unfamiliar with accessibility and you have to outsource that manual work which can be extremely time consuming, but it also requires a specific skillset and knowledge that not everyone has.

So what’s very important is that you train your employees, your staff, your contractors – whoever is on your team that’s working on your websites or your mobile apps, you train that team so that they are aware of accessibility and they become experts in their own right.

Now they don’t know how to know every single last facet of accessibility, but if within their role if they understand accessibility and what needs to be done then you’re not going to have to keep incurring this cost of audits and user testing.

And even if you did there wouldn’t be as many issues to be found.

So let’s take let’s take a designer.  Once a designer is aware of accessibility considerations, then they’re going to know what the appropriate color contrast ratios are, they’re going to be able to consider color scheme with a focus indicator, they’re going to understand that they need to make they- they need to limit the use of text embedded within images, and they’re going to understand everything within their role as it relates to accessibility.

And they won’t have to be that that they will make accessibility a part of their process.

The same thing goes with developers and content creators and anyone that’s uploading content or creating content, they’re going to know relative to their role or specific to their role exactly what they need to do for accessibility.

And so accessibility is simply going to become a part of your process, it’s not going to be something that you need to outsource every time.

And so training is very important but taking that training very seriously is important and so that’s going to make it so that this initial upfront cost that you have for accessibility drops by 90% or 95% as you- as it becomes a part of what you do.

Think of how the web was once it wasn’t responsive so if we went on to a website on a phone the website loaded horribly and it was a bad experience because websites weren’t flexible enough to display properly on mobile devices.

But now that’s not of every website has that capability you there’s not a website you will go to where you’re on your phone and you can’t the website just won’t display.

So responsive websites are almost universal and so accessibility will be too.

Now there are some costs that come with content, namely audio and video.

When you think of transcripts close captioning and audio descriptions although we do have transcription- transcriptions and closed captioning can be done really well with automation, they’re not perfect.

You may have- you’re going to likely have to pay a service for those especially if you’ve got live captioning but those three are costs that you have to be aware of.

But those aren’t- those aren’t those are really outside of the initial audit and remediation those are just ongoing costs that are needed and are necessary to make sure that your audio and video remain accessible.

But otherwise if you train your staff well then accessibility is really going to be a one-time, upfront cost it may it may take a few rounds depending on your staff- a few rounds for them to understand accessibility generally, but then more importantly as it relates to their specific role but once they get that down then it’s going to become a part of the process.

Now this is not to say that if you overhaul your website, it’s not a good idea to get an audit or if you if you’re ACR is 3 years old and it’s not a good idea to update that, or maybe isn’t part of your accessibility policy you have audits performed annually or user testing performed every two years.

I think those are all great ideas.

What this video is really getting at is that it’s not necessary it’s not you know- those things are all great practice, but I want to emphasize the point that if you train internally that is the most important thing.

Training is what I would have done I would make sure to have either annual training or just regular ongoing training as a part of joining the team.

I think that is an excellent idea and the point of this video is that you can bring accessibility in-house and have accessibility become a part of the skill set and knowledge base of your team.