Educause covers this topic pretty well. In short:
“IT accessibility requires specialized knowledge and therefore requires an investment in training of faculty and staff.” 7 Things You Should Know About IT Accessibility
The same is true for web accessibility. Like any aspect of website quality, it requires expertise to implement and do well. From an organizational perspective, that requires an investment, but improving the quality of our websites certainly makes the investment worth it.
How much does it cost?
It depends, but it’s probably less than you think. If you’re familiar with web standards and current best practices, you’re already well on your way. Many web accessibility problems come up because general web standards aren’t being followed, not because a developer is unfamiliar with a particular accessibility issue. For the folks who spend their days working on the web, sitting through a couple of workshops, reading some articles, and maybe going to a conference will set them up well for success. Here are some options for training and resources:
- Web Accessibility Essentials (TAMU)
- Web Accessibility Advanced (TAMU)
- AccessU (annual conference in Austin)
- WebAIM (online articles; onsite training; training in Utah)
If you’re looking for something in particular or have questions about raising the accessibility expertise of your entire team, get in touch with us: IT Accessibility at Texas A&M.
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