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How to achieve Accessibility?

A.  Include accessibility in product development lifecycles.

  1. Accessibility Management Platform (AMP) may be used to crawl sites or scan pages before commit, and integrate found issues into bug tracking systems. To set up AMP with tracking systems such as Jira, please contact SOAP.
  2. Access Assistant may be used to debug individual pages.
  3. Learn about accessibility concepts and how-to's using Access University, linked from within AMP.
  4. For individual problems which cannot be answered by AMP's Best Practices knowledge base, contact SOAP to use the Access Advisor accessibility consultants.  They will provide detailed testing and analyses to answer your questions.
  5. SOAP will also review early draft designs and wireframes to help you minimise problems during development phase.

B.  Test for accessibility using both automated scanners and manual testing with assistive technologies.

  1. Automated scanners such as AMP may detect 30% of the accessibility problems.  These are the accessibility issues with easy solutions.  Use the automated scan report as an indication of the types of problems which commonly exist in your site template or the result of a production workflow.  E.g., you may find that all your pages are missing a "skip nav" link (add it to the page template), or that images uploaded by a contributor are always missing alt text (remind the contributor about alt text).
  2. Visually inspect for accessible use of colors and contrast.  Use a color picker to compare pairs of colors, or run a color contrast checker on the rendered page for complex combinations. If you are looking for a variety in the Stanford palette, our Stanford Identity Toolkit has already pre-selected numerous accessible background/foreground pairs of colors.
  3. Many of accessibility problems only become apparent when a user attempts to use your site or product.  Access Assistant provides instructions to manually testing key components and log the results into AMP.
  4. Walk through your product's User Acceptance Test script with only keyboard and a screen reader to spot any usability problems.

C.  Purchase accessible products and hire knowledgeable developers

  1. Ask for vendor supplied accessibility documents, preferably prepared by accessibility specialists.
  2. Spot-check vendor and/or product with page scanners such as AMP and compare the result with their submitted documents.  If there are obvious gaps, ask vendors to commit to a timeline to fix these problems.
  3. Interview vendors about how they include accessibility in their development process and which tools, if any, they use to test for accessibility.   Accessibility considerations have the most impact during design and development phases of product development.
  4. Ask vendor to demo their products with only keyboard or screen reader. This involves NOT moving their mouse pointer while navigating through various features of the product.
  5. Commit vendors to deliver accessible products and sites in your contract terms.  Our accessibility policy is stated in both in our basic purchasing procedure, and in our Terms and Conditions document linked from that page.
  6. SOAP will advise on how you may evaluate the vendor documents and contractual requirements.

D.  Produce accessible content

  1. Write accessible content.
  2. Caption video and provide transcripts for audio.

E.  Monitor compliance

Schedule periodic automated scans with AMP so that you can be alerted to newly introduced issues, and also track the site's improvement.

F.  Provide an accessible contact link to escalate any accessibility request.

Recommended places to place your easily accessible contact link are in your public contact page (e.g., Stanford home site) where users may choose different contacts for different questions, or in the footer of your site (e.g. GSB).

Have questions?  Contact SOAP or ask on the Accessible IT mailing list.