Sustainable accessibility

It takes time and effort to embed sustainable accessibility into an organisation. It cannot be achieved through disconnected activities like assessments or training (although such things can be useful in their own right); sustainable accessibility needs a co-ordinated and evolving plan that encompasses every aspect of the organisation.

Sustainable accessibility is a significant investment because it has many moving parts, but it ultimately reduces cost because it:

Knowledge risk

When accessibility knowledge is dependent on a particular person or group of people, the organisation is at risk of losing that knowledge should those people leave. For accessibility to be really sustainable it must be part of the organisation's DNA; but because every organisation is different there is no definitive blueprint for sustainable accessibility. That said, it is typically a 12 to 36 month endeavour that encompasses many different activities that reflect the size, complexity, and existing practices of the organisation.

Living roadmap

At its core is a living roadmap that is, as the name suggests, constantly updated and refined as the organisation makes demonstrable progress towards sustainable accessibility. The living roadmap can cover any period of time but starting with a 6 to 12 month plan helps focus the initial (and most intense) period of activity.

Common features

The scope and content of the living roadmap are unique to the organisation, but there are certain features that are almost always worth including - albeit with adaptations that make them relevant to the organisation in question:

When deciding which features to include in the living roadmap it is tempting to try and change the way the organisation works, but this is rarely successful. Whatever else it does, sustainable accessibility should amplify what the organisation is already doing - helping to achieve more (not slow things down).

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