Accessibility is everyone’s business

A brightly coloured graphic indicates different kinds of digital communication: social media, camera, phone and video.“We need to do this for compliance, let’s figure out what to do and then we are done.” What you measure, is what you get and no more so than when standards ask for minimum compliance. It is the same in any field of design.

However, the big tech companies claim they do much better than compliance these days. And it has more to do with company culture than teaching better design.

Accessibility is a fundamental part of good design says Matt May from Adobe. He is an accessibility engineer and was part of bringing Adobe up to speed on this topic. He offers some tips for prioritising accessibility in a magazine article. They could apply to any design discipline:

    • Take the time to educate all teams on the elements of an accessible product. May ran a training to encourage all teams from design to product, engineering, and even sales, on how to think about and prioritize accessibility.
    • Introduce a diversity of users to the team to show how different people engage with the tech. Adobe hosts a speaker series where the company brings in a variety of users to highlight how they interact with tech.
    • Take a holistic approach to accessibility. Adobe’s teams integrate accessible design features in the planning phase to create a more fluid experience for all users.
    • Focus on what each team can do to improve accessibility, rather than making it all about the business value.

The article goes into more detail including making accessibility relevant to each employee’s role. The article is titled, Adobe’s approach to accessibility? Everyone’s responsible.