Usability and accessibility remediation efforts ensure existing systems provide equal access, satisfy compliance regulations and improve user experience. Things to consider for a when drafting remediation plan for accessibility:
- Key decision makers
- Remediation of existing systems known usability and accessibility issues
- Future process improvements
Evaluating Incidents or Defects
Consider impact to users when evaluating accessibility defects/incidents for existing systems:
- Does the defect//incident make the system functionality, website or web page unusable for the user?
- Does the defect/incident preclude the system from providing comparable access to services (takes longer to use, less rich experience)?
- Does the affected system functionality provide an important service that the user is required or expected to use (file taxes, obtain emergency services)?
Issues can be prioritized in multiple ways. Give priority to items with a high impact to users.
- Categorize issues based on impact to users with accessibility needs
- High Impact: Users are unable to perform important system tasks or unable to understand important content
- Medium Impact: Users can perform important system tasks and/or understand important content but with some level of difficulty
- Low Impact: Users experience inconvenience or moderate frustration
- Shared issues: If fixing an issue once automatically fixes it throughout the system, consider working on that issue first
- Blocker: Issues that make a system completely inaccessible should take precedence
- Visibility/Criticality: Issues with high-profile pages and mission-critical functions should be tackled early on
- Ease of repair: Some issues are much easier to repair than others. If you can fix it quickly, do it.
Consider the following if accessibility issues cannot be remediated right away:
- Is there an alternative but comparable method for obtaining the same result as obtained from using the system (i.e. telephone support)?
- Is there a ready workaround that could provide access to the affected functionality?
- Is there already a plan to address the issue identified, or could a resolution be added to upcoming plans for system corrections/enhancements?
- Is there a natural opportunity to address the issue (new system in development, procurement of alternate solution)?
- Is it reasonable to address the issue (legacy system with minimal support)?
- Are resources available to address the issue?
- Is there an alternative to the affected system functionality that, while not providing comparable access, does it allow the user to gain the benefit of the affected system functionality (user can mail a form rather than using the website)?