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RE: Costs of Accessibility?

From: Kelly Ford <kelly@kellford.com>
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2010 20:14:58 -0800
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: "'Lainey Feingold'" <LF@lflegal.com>
Message-ID: <120c01cb808d$d7025730$85070590$@com>


I think we do a disservice to the accessibility community and the
accessibility efforts for the web when we make statements like having an
accessible web site is a 0-cost item for qualified web folks.  In an ideal
world we’d get automatic accessibility as a part of the general development
process but in my experience even when folks know about accessibility, it
isn’t a 0-cost item.  We are not at the state of the world to assume we’ll
get accessibility right as part of the design without any additional effort
in my opinion.  And ignoring the legacy accessibility issues and the
associated costs isn’t a good idea.  Great if new pages in this ideal world
are accessibility-perfect but rarely does a web site exist in a vacuum of
just new pages and I think businesses will face some cost with the ideas
floated in the DOJ NPRM.  Better to have an idea of the impact based on the
world as it is today than how we’d like it to be.


If you look at the DOJ questions, question 13 in particular, it asks:


Question 13. What are the annual costs generally associated with creating,
maintaining, operating, and updating a website? What additional costs are
associated with creating and maintaining an accessible website? Please
include estimates of specific compliance and maintenance costs (software,
hardware, contracting, employee time, etc.). What, if any, unquantifiable
costs can be anticipated from amendments to the ADA regulations regarding
website access? 


This week I spent about four hours working with a local government-sponsored
web site addressing some accessibility issues in a new deployment.  And yet
when the process started I was told the site in question already met “ADA
standards” (whatever they understood that to mean).  As just one example,
dozens  of alt tags were missing and part of that was because the site in
question was basically a port of something developed outside the
organization.  Now I can argue that the organization should have known
better and all but the fact is they didn’t and when the issues were brought
to their attention they had to do something.  The staff time spent
addressing the issues had to be paid for out of some budget.  And had I not
really had a strong investment  to help because I needed to use this
particular web site, the education I ended up providing would have had some
cost.  And I’m sure most on this list can relate similar stories repeatedly.





From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of Gunderson, Jon R
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2010 1:38 PM
To: kmancuso@gmail.com; Sims, Glenda L
Cc: Lainey Feingold; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: Costs of Accessibility?




If you look at trying to do everything at once you will probably not make
much headway, but if you look at one design group or part of the website it
will be more manageable to make some changes.   


Every company has its own values and processes, so if you are large company
things are not going to change overnight.


I suggest that you start small and build upon the experience of success to
improve accessibility incrementally.  


Try to pick a group or part of the website that is considered a model that
other people in the company try to emulate and have them get the resources
they need to become more accessible, ideally during the design phase of
their next project.  


Developers rarely like to work on old websites and retrofitting
accessibility will probably not be a good model that other people in the
company would want to emulate.


If that group is successful you will have some experience to base costs on
scaling accessibility to the entire company and hopefully some allies in
making the case to management.






From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of Katherine Mancuso
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2010 11:24 AM
To: Sims, Glenda L
Cc: Lainey Feingold; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Costs of Accessibility?


Hi everyone,

I want to point out that it is very nice for folks who don't work in very
large shops to say "well it just should be designed as accessible, there
shouldn't be any extra cost."

But realistically, even if we are talking about deciding that our new sites
should be designed as accessible as opposed to remediating old sites, there
is a cost of staff training, there's a cost for enterprise compliance
software and a cost to integrate that into continuous deployment systems,
there's a cost for the resource person at a large shop (which often means an
FTE as someone said), there is extra time to be spent in QA to check these
new guidelines . . . granted, while those numbers might be quite big, these
costs are still quite small in proportion to our overall budget, but it's a
sum of money that has to come from somewhere, and it's an estimation

For me as a staff person at a large company, what I really need to
understand is: "What will the training cost look like per person in job
function x?" "What will the costs of accessibility look like for the initial
projects (which will probably require multiple cycles of develop - qa -
remediate to get up to standard), and how will this cost decrease over
time?"  "What is my expected ROI on this effort?"


On Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 6:53 AM, Sims, Glenda L <gsims@austin.utexas.edu>



You likely already have this data in your brain…but just in case you don’t.
I love the “Case Study of Accessibility Benefits:  Legal & General (L&G)
article posted at http://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/legal-and-general-case-study


Accessibility changes


         Measures taken:


o   Accessibility audit and usability testing of existing site

o   Market research from the existing customer membership

o   Incorporation of the accessibility needs of the target audience most
likely to be excluded or obstructed by inaccessible websites

o   A new site was designed and built, seeking to ensure conformation to all
relevant accessibility standards, successful passing usability testing and
evaluation by users with disabilities5 before going live.



         Within 24 hours natural search engine traffic saw a 25% increase,
eventually growing to 50%.

         Significant improvement in Google rankings for all target keywords

         Reduction in maintenance costs by 66%

         Site visitors receiving quotations doubled within 3 months

         100% return on investment (ROI) in 12 months


Additional benefits


         Average times for content maintenance jobs reducing from 5 days to
0.5 days, saving 200,000 GBP per year

         Page loading times reduced by 75%

         Positive customer feedback on noticeably improved performance of

         Inaccessibility complaints reduced to zero

         New site is accessible to mobile devices


I think an example of the concrete ROI data you seek can be found in this


Looking forward to seeing you at AccessU West in January 2011.





glenda sims   |   university of texas at austin   |   accessibility and web
standards advocate      

                  web for everyone. web on everything. - w3 goals 


From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of Lainey Feingold
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2010 1:05 PM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Costs of Accessibility?


Dear WAI list:  In its Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, The U.S.
Department of Justice asks a question about cost:  "Question 13:  What are
the annual costs generally associated with creating, maintaining, operating,
and updating a website?"  Please share any information on this, as well as
any information on the additional cost (if any) of including accessibility!
(off list to LF@LFLegal.com)


I wrote about the costs of creating my accessible website at
http://lflegal.com/2010/10/lflegal-doj-anprm/  More examples like that would
be helpful to the Department. 


You can read all 19 questions in the full ANPRM at:


Thanks, Lainey

Lainey Feingold

Law Office of Lainey Feingold




Twitter: http://twitter.com/LFLegal

Katherine Mancuso: crusader of community art, social technology, &

Current work:
Walt Disney Imagineering & Parks and Resorts Online, Intern (work:
accessibility evangelism & interactive projects)

Center for Assistive Technology & Environmental Access
Georgia Tech, Digital Media (http://dm.gatech.edu)

The Vesuvius Group: metaverse community builders
Gimp Girl Community Liaison/Research Fellow (http://www.gimpgirl.com)
Alternate ROOTS: arts*community*activism (http://www.alternateroots.org)

Contact in the web, the metaverse, the world:
SL: Muse Carmona
Received on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 04:16:25 UTC

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