Accessibility Consulting Practice

Web Accessibility Assessments

Web Accessibility: Typical Engagement

A typical engagement for Web content accessibility compliance involves an initial assessment plus different levels of support. After creating a Statement of Work and awarding the contract, the first step involves an initial evaluation and report that typically is completed within 30-45 days after contract award. Most customers find that the straightforward recommendations in this evaluation and report will eliminate over 90% of the accessibility problems for a website. After this initial evaluation and report, most customers request various combinations of training, strategic management, help desk support, or independent testing—which varies depending on the type and complexity of the customer’s website, the size and nature of the customer’s Web development team, the customer’s Web deployment technologies, and the key business drivers. A Cryptzone sales representative can help guide you to the most cost-effective solution for your needs.

Defining Scope of Work

We spend as much time as necessary trying to understand the scope of our customer’s requirements and to define the scope of work. This is important for making sure that our customers get the attention they need while being as cost-effective as possible.

Defining the Assessment Scope

Every customer finds such value in the initial assessment that we define its scope separately and based on each unique customer requirements. Most customers, however, ask us to test strategic transactional pages/paths, main product landing pages, main page templates, specific client “use-case” scenarios etc. If much of the customer’s content is delivered through page templates or a content management system (CMS), then we typically test a representative sampling instead of all pages. We also work with the customer to then define the Compliance/Quality Rules they want applied to those pages. We can work with an almost infinite combination of standards, but most clients typically choose the Section 508 standards and WCAG accessibility guidelines. The initial assessment can also include Web privacy, site quality or site inventory rules, along with any customized rules to further add business value to the initial assessment (many customers find these additions to help justify their business case with budgeting and contracting staff). In addition, many customers request a manual review of many of their web pages using assistive technology (AT) to assess the real impact on end-users with disabilities.

Defining the Scope of Other Products and Services

We also spent time understanding our customer’s requirements for product subscriptions, training, help desk support, and other services. These products and services usually begin immediately after the initial assessment. In addition to helping our customers “become compliant” as quickly as possible, our customers find that adding these services early helps reduce the overall price of our products and services as we can offer discounts through bundling.

Statement of Work

Once the project scope has been defined, we provide the client with a Statement of Work clearly defining the deliverables of the Assessment, the estimated time for completing this work, and the price. The price of a Web Assessment is based on the amount of hours it will take to perform the tests, document the findings, build the Assessment Reports and review with the customer. In addition, the Statement of Work will include the cost of other products and services bundled with the Assessment, together with a description of the discounts offered.

Performance of Assessment

For Accessibility Assessments, this can include both Standards testing (508/WCAG 1.0/WCAG 2.0) using the Compliance Sheriff Web-based Solution, screen-reader testing using JAWS or WindowEyes, as well as all the manual testing to cover the “visual checkpoints” within the standards.

Assessment Report

The Assessment Deliverable usually takes the form of a high-level PowerPoint Overview of the major issues, specific examples identified that have accessibility problems and code-repair examples to fix these issues. Customers also receive a private link into the Compliance Sheriff portal that validated all the 508/WCAG Standards Reporting in order to see the page-level data and lines of code that triggered the failures/warnings. If requested, we will include a report of AT User Report for the usability issues found from the JAWS or WindowEyes testing. If included in the Statement of Work, this report can also include a general usability assessment from testing by a blind user.

Review of Assessment Report

We then set up either an on-site or Web-demo/conference-call to review the report and findings. We want to ensure we provide the proper knowledge transfer to the customer for all the issues found in the Assessment and provide a recommendation for resolving all issues.

Additional Products and Deliverables

As noted above, most of our customers find that making the straightforward corrections identified in the Initial Assessment eliminates over 90% of their accessibility problems. Unfortunately, web content is constantly changing and may quickly become inaccessible. To avoid this loss of value, most of our customers find that our products and services help them be proactive and stay accessible. After the first year, most customers discover the services component decreases significantly as they develop in-house expertise, mature processes, and a “culture of accessibility.”

The Cryptzone team includes some of most respected IT and policy professionals in the accessibility field. If your product group is interested in learning more about Cryptzone's Web Accessibility Assessment services, contact us today.