Congratulations if your web experience is accessible to all audiences. Don't stop now, here are five ways to make sure it stays that way:
- Make sure that future updates to the experience assessed for accessibility compliance in every phase (wireframe, design, development, and production).
- It happens too often that we create an accessible experience and then let it slowly become inaccessible as errors are introduced in future phases.
- Name accessibility owners for each domain.
- Part of avoiding the deterioration of the accessibility of the experience is to have accountable owners in place for every aspect of the project -- the user experience design, the visual design, and the code
- Owners need to know they are owners and agree to be accountable for accessibility. They also need to be given the time and resources to provide this governance.
- Be aware of introducing content issues (e.g. “Learn more” links, images with no alt attribute).
- Often the review stage is skipped for "simple" content updates. Never skip a review! It is possible to introduce accessibility issues through content updates alone.
- Conduct periodic (quarterly) high level accessibility audits on the entire site.
- High level audits can cover the web experience's "happy paths", which are the paths the majority of users need to take (e.g. path to purchase, registration/sign in).
- Ideally, have power users of assistive devices audit the site. Often these are users with some kind of visual, auditory, or mobility challenge.
- If you have a power screen reader user on your team, that person will be in a position to check the experience regularly as part of their daily work. This is a great boon to maintaining accessibility.
Add a comment if there are additional processes you have found helpful for maintaining accessible experiences.