Five ways to achieve success with your accessibility strategy

AbilityNet and Deque Systems recently brought together a small number of accessibility leaders to share their experiences and challenges at invite-only round table events in June 2023. Participants spent the morning in round table discussions and the afternoon touring Google's Accessibility Discovery Centre in London. 

Five ways to achieve success in your accessibility strategy 

The round table event discussion focused on five key factors that drive success in accessibility: 

1. Having a senior champion for accessibility within an organisation
This could be a person or a team who is responsible for driving accessibility initiatives within the organisation. The champion should have a good understanding of accessibility and be able to communicate its importance to others. 

2. Education and training on accessibility across an organisation  
Everyone in the organisation should have some basic understanding of accessibility, from the CEO to the interns. This will help to ensure that accessibility is considered at all stages of the development process.  
3. Having clear accessibility and inclusion policies and procedures in place
These policies should define the organisation's commitment to accessibility and outline how it will be achieved. They should also be communicated to everyone in the organisation so that they know what is expected of them. 
4. The need for regular accessibility auditing and testing
This is essential to ensure that the organisation's products and services are accessible to everyone. Audits should be conducted by qualified professionals and the results should be used to identify and fix any accessibility issues.

5. Involving disabled people in processes and decision-making  
Disabled people are the experts on their own experiences, so their input is essential to ensuring that accessibility is effective. They should be involved in the development of policies, procedures, and training materials, as well as in the auditing and testing of products and services. 

The Round Tables are hosted by Mark Walker of AbilityNet, who hosts TechSHare Pro and has worked with numerous clients to use the AbilityNet Digital Accessibility Maturity Model (DAMM) to create accessibility strategies.

Matthew Luken, former Head of Accessibility at US Bank and a key member of Deque's strategy services team, also helped facilitate the discussions. Known for his passion for metrics, Matthew offered a data-driven perspective on the landscape of digital accessibility.

“As you plan for 2024, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to take a different tack – like the sailing analogies you’ll hear later – or to double back to achieve your goals”, says Mark.  “Communication, understanding, and common objectives are critical for an organisation to achieve success in digital accessibility.”

Matthew adds “With good Storytelling techniques, and the data you have on hand, you can gain agreement and alignment with other internal stakeholders on where your digital properties are with conformance now, and where you are trying to get to in 2024”.

Matthew and Mark also chatted for our podcast! Access the episode below and the transcript to learn more about his background, Deque, and the round table events. 

If you are interested in attending one of our round table events in 2024 and for more information, reach out to Mark Walker, Head of Marketing & Portfolio of AbilityNet at 

Other ways AbilityNet is working to build a stronger accessibility community

We offer a range of free webinars, blogs and factsheets on digital accessibility. Watch our free webinar with Deque on How will Artificial Intelligence change accessibility testing?

We provide expert consultancy and services to organisations on how to help make their digital products and services more accessible.

We encourage everyone to get involved in the accessibility community. There are many ways to do this, such as volunteering, attending events, or simply sharing knowledge and resources. By working together, we can make a real difference in accessibility.