Accessibility is the responsibility of everyone in the organization.
That said, the reality is that most of us work within defined roles.
The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) created a document on Mapping WCAG2 to Project Roles (Microsoft Word, 47 KB, 15 pages). This document “considers all 61 success criteria for WCAG 2.0 Level A, AA, and AAA against 10 roles that span software project responsibilities.”
The 10 roles listed by the IAAP do not map neatly to traditional large organization roles, so I have re-mapped them as follows.
- Business Analyst maps to IAAP’s Analysis, Architecture, Content Strategy, and Interaction Design and Usability.
- User Experience maps to IAAP’s Content Strategy, Interaction Design and Usability, and to a lesser extent HTML and CSS Prototyping.
- Designer maps to IAAP’s Graphics Design.
- Marketing maps to IAAP’s Content Authoring.
- Front-End Developer maps to IAAP’s HTML and CSS Prototyping and Front-End Development.
- Back-End Developer maps to IAAP’s Back-End Development.
- Quality Assurance maps to IAAP’s Quality Control.
Select the role that most closely matches your from the list above, which links to a page with more advice specific to that role. Or, read on for more overview information.
Digital agency SapientRazorfish provided the following advice about how cross-discipline collaboration is important to building accessible experiences.
Program managers have a critical role of ensuring that accessibility concerns are accounted for in estimates and addressed in projects. They must determine that:
- The accessibility compliance level is known (A or AA).
- Accessibility tools have been shared with the client (screen reader and browser combination we will use to test).
- Compliance activities are accounted for in the estimate across disciplines are actually performed within the project and targets met.
Product Managers must ensure that accessibility requirements from all disciplines are incorporated into relevant acceptance criteria.
User Experience (UX) and visual designers must consider the linear keyboard/screen reader experience, and should account for an extra internal accessibility review and feedback cycle in their estimates.
Copywriters will also need an internal accessibility review.
Front end developers need training to perform accessibility-related development and testing.
Quality assurance specialists must document the test level (A or AA) and ensure they are familiar with accessibility related manual test cases and automated tooling.
Interactive WCAG 2.0
Design agency Viget created the Interactive WCAG 2.0 which allows you to filter the guidelines by role: Content, Design, General Development, Front-End Development, and User Experience.
The IAAP Project Phases and Role Descriptions
The IAAP phases and role descriptions don’t map directly to most large company roles, but they offer a good general approach.
Strategy and Planning
Analysis: Evaluate design and development tools, features, and platform components for their ability to support the requirements. The analysis function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with analysis of the project’s strategic orientations, analysis of the options for technology platforms, or functional analysis of Web interfaces.
Architecture: Specify features and select tools and components that support the requirements. The architecture function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with the architecture of the delivery platform.
Content Strategy: Ensure content creation, delivery, and governance mechanisms support the requirements. The content strategy function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with formulating the informational purpose of a site and planning for content creation, delivery, and governance.
Interaction Design and Usability: Ensure keyboard and non-visual access requirements are included in all design and behavior decisions. The interaction design and usability function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with the planning of web interfaces, content changes, interactivity, and other interface-related contents of the pages.
Graphics Design: Ensure needs for low-vision and colorblind users and users with cognitive issues are included in visual elements. The graphics design function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with the graphic design of interfaces, the related graphic declinations, the specific design of navigation elements, context changes, and other general design of the main content of the pages.
Content Authoring: Ensure content is produced in appropriate formats and using correct semantic elements, and provide text for alternatives. The content authoring function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with producing a site’s information content, equivalent alternatives for non-text content, and other general text elements presented in the pages.
HTML and CSS Prototyping: Ensure prototypes incorporate accessibility requirements or include approximations for elements still being developed. The HTML and CSS prototyping function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with the production of functional prototypes and wireframes, website master templates (HTML and CSS), as well as scripted behaviors as they are available.
Front-End Development: Ensure code incorporates accessibility requirements as specified and identify any gaps. The front-end development function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with HTML and CSS integration and the creation of proposed scripts and applications on the Web site.
Back-End Development: Ensure provided code and content tools support the inclusion of accessibility requirements. Ensure proper timing of interactions with front-end calls. The back-end development function covers tasks and related quality control normally associated with the development of server side programming and database management, as well as content contribution tools.
Quality Control: Validate that accessibility tasks have been handled correctly in all planning, design, development, implementation, and maintenance phases. The quality control function covers tasks normally associated with ensuring appropriate testing and follow-up is being conducted in planning, design, development, implementation, and maintenance phases.
The IAAP Project Role to WCAG Success Criteria Mapping Table
This table needs to be re-formatted to fit onto the page, and it needs to be made accessible… work in progress.
IAAP writes, “The Quality Control column has no text as their responsibility will be the same for each Success Criteria: Design test scripts for each criteria that will find defects as early in project as possible; conduct testing; track defects and resolutions.”
[table will go here]