How to Eat an Elephant: Tackling Web Accessibility in a Large Corporation

Presentation from the 2011 CSUN Technology Conference.
Presenters: Primarily Elle Waters and Lisa Barnett of Humana, Wes Dillon and Preety Kumar of Deque Systems, Inc and Sharron Rush of Knowbility, Inc. were also on the stage.

Elle and Lisa were charged with coming up with an accessibility plan for Humana and went through a number of the challenges, successes and things they wish they would have known. Humana is big Fortune 100 (and moving up) company with 29,000 employees, 140+ web properties, 11 million customers in the US.

Here are the full slides from the presentation:

(alternate formats coming later..)

Here are a few takeaways I came away with from the presentation:

  • Present accessibility as the solution to problem of the group you are presenting to (i.e. accessibility as a way to enforce coding standards).
  • One person pushing a cause in an oddity, two people is a trend.
  • Work to align accessibility goals with the goals and mission of the company.
  • When relevant, tout the non-accessibility requirements of accessibility such as better SEO, better mobile experience).
  • Look to information security as a model to how accessibility might be implemented in your organization.
  • Develop a library of acessible code snippets.
  • Plant a lot of seeds and cultivate what grows, identifying interested stakeholders along the way.
  • As an accessibility expert, don’t wait around for someone to tell you what to do, take the initiative.
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