Accessibility & New Projects
Per the Web Accessibility Policy, websites and applications created, purchased or revised after September 1, 2018 should be accessible. When beginning a new web project, it’s important to consider accessibility from the very beginning. Accessibility costs are lowest and implementation is easiest when a project team is aware that accessibility is a requirement in all phases of the process: designing and building things accessibly the first time is cheaper than redesigning and rebuilding once issues are discovered.
- If you will create new multimedia (audio or video recordings), budget for the creation of transcripts and audio and visual captions that can be provided to users who may not be able to see or hear.
- Set expectations with relevant stakeholders that accessibility is a part of the project, which may preclude some kinds of functionality. Get buy-in by making the case for accessibility, so that later conflict may be avoided.
Working with Vendors
When purchasing a solution or hiring and outside vendor, a few things are important:
- Include Yale’s accessibility wording in contracts. Involving Procurement will help ensure that contracts include accessibility language.
- Have conversations with vendors about their accessibility maturity. Prefer vendors who can speak knowledgeably about how they incorporate accessibility into their development and quality assurance.
- When appropriate, ask for Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs) or accessibility roadmaps.
Solutions Built at Yale
When building a website or application a few things are important:
- Ensure visual developers, designers, and content editors are familiar with their responsibilities. Getting these groups up to speed may require setting aside time and some money for learning new skills, such as getting familiar with the resources on this website or attending free or paid online or in person training.
- If your team’s accessibility skills are still not fully developed, consider budgeting for an outside expert to audit the project and provide a list of accessibility remediations to complete.
- Teams within the Information Technology Services department (ITS) should follow the ITS Digital Accessibility Standard. Teams outside ITS may find the public document (second link below) helpful to understand how to incorporate accessibility requirements into their own processes.