4. Creating Digital Accessibility Culture
Digital Accessibility Culture Defined
“Culture,” in the context of digital accessibility, refers to an overarching consciousness or awareness throughout an organization of potential barriers — barriers that may prevent people with disabilities from participating in digital activities or consuming digital information at the same level as their fully able peers.
It means that attention to accessibility is weaved into an organization’s processes and integrated with quality assurance, so, when products and services are evaluated, accessibility is part of that evaluation. Everyone who is involved in producing products or delivering services has accessibility in mind while they carry out their duties. They know how to address accessibility in their work, and, if they encounter potential barriers they are not sure of, they ask questions, perhaps, addressing questions to accessibility experts on staff or to the Web or third-party experts to search out answers. In short, they will persevere until they find a solution.
Developing digital accessibility culture requires buy-in from the most senior executive in an organization. That buy-in trickles down through an organization, influencing senior managers, who influence junior managers, who influence the staff reporting to them, and so on, flowing all the way down the organizational hierarchy.
This culture, by way of its adoption throughout an organization, becomes a practice that guides business activities in designing and developing new products, to production, to service delivery, to marketing and communications, to procurement, to hiring, and more. All aspects of the organization are influenced by attention to digital accessibility inclusion.