AT&T’s Approach to Accessibility

Their rules of engagement:

  • Document a11y requirements via an org benchmark
  • Every requirement must have a testable basis
  • The web accessibility “check” = program building block
  • Every “check” has an owner
  • Ownership is distributed

10-stage process for integrating accessibility into enterprise:

  1. Establish a benchmark, e.g. WCAG 2
  2. Break down the requirements of web accessibility. Establish accessibility checks
  3. Determine which checks are machine-detectable vs hand-review
  4. Identify the roles & responsibilities of each discipline within the site production chain
  5. Map ownership of checks to production disciplines: nice matrix where for each WCAG checkpoint they assigned roles; e.g. 1.3.2 – dev, qa, ia
  6. Make room for accessibility information in project documentation, discipline deliverables and project artifacts.
  7. Creating scripts for automated testing
  8. Hand review
  9. Train delivery teams (by discipline): AT&T created their own style guide where every design element was fleshed out and documented (a11y included)
  10. Train QA to test for all machine-detecible and hand-review errors.

Overall conclusion:

AT&T made sure to do role-based training & work. Also they made sure to divide the accessibility work between teams such that there’s no overlap; e.g. the QA team doesn’t check for the validity of alt text, that’s not their job, content writers do that.

One last important conclusion: 

This is a project-based process so they do this with every new project; it is not an organization-wide process;

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