4.5 Project management

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The process of updating an organizations' website to make it accessible to customers with disabilities requires careful planning and oversight. As a web developer, you may or may not be in charge of managing the web accessibility project. Whether you are managing the project plan, or someone else, the following steps should be considered in any web accessibility project:

  • Ensure that your web developers and designers have awareness of the issues, including WHY the end results are important to any organization.
  • Acquire appropriate training for the organization's web development team to help them understand how technology and the web can create barriers for some people.
  • Determine if the organization's authoring tool or content management environment supports accessible design techniques.
    • If they do, promote the use of the accessibility features to web designers and developers. Note that authoring and content management tools often have a built-in accessibility checking software.
    • If not, project managers should consider acquiring better authoring tools that DO support accessibility. At the very least, acquire and use accessibility checking "plug-ins" that are freely available.
  • Prepare a project plan, with key deliverables, scheduling milestones and communication protocols
  • Consider developing a working prototype of the organization's accessible website and have it tested for accessibility and usability by actual users of assistive technology.
  • Obtain appropriate descriptions from content experts
  • Do not assume that web developers are familiar with the purpose of the content of web pages. For example: If a policy analyst wants to publish a chart, the analyst should provide a clear description of the meaning of that chart which the developer can use as the alternative text description.