Consistency is the secret sauce of web accessibility

Graph of errors over time starting at 750,000 and decreasing to 400,00

The secret sauce of web accessibility: Shhh…. it’s not that big of a secret.

I recently noticed that one of our Pope Tech clients, a university, was able to resolve over 350,000 accessibility errors in less than two months. 

A major accomplishment, cutting their errors on the websites they had in Pope Tech nearly in half.  

Although this level of improvement was at the high-end (even for this school), it isn’t uncommon for me to see regular, substantial improvements for this institution. 

It made me wonder why some organizations are able to make massive improvements in web accessibility while others are not as successful. 

I happen to know some of the things that this university does for web accessibility, like an annual competition to see which team fixes the most errors and an annual PDF purge to eliminate as many PDFs as possible, etc. 

But none of these really seemed sufficient to account for the success I was seeing. 

So, I emailed the accessibility coordinator for that school and asked what things she does to increase campus-wide motivation to use our platform and fix errors. 

She was great and emailed me back pretty quickly. 

The only things she added to my list was that they do periodic “accessibility training/workshops and they reach out directly to website owners and send accessibility tips.”

As I stared at those answers, by themselves I couldn’t see how it achieved what she was accomplishing across her school. 

Then it dawned on me… the secret to her success was not one of those things…it was all of those things. 

The secret was she had a strategy and she was consistently working on it. They scheduled time in advance to do training. She periodically reached out to website owners. And she sends them tips. 

These small impactful actions consistently were the secret I was looking for. 

Consistency in working on web accessibility (fixing things and learning more), is the secret sauce to having and maintaining accessible websites across an organization. 

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