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Designing an accessibility-centric system is the critical step in the development lifecycle. When software is designed to be accessible, it will be usable by a larger segment of the population. Accounting for accessibility when designing a system will ensure a greater measure of success in releasing an IT system.

In addition to roles and responsibilities as defined in the system development life cycle (SDLC):

An analyst should:

  • Ensure the design submitted adheres to applicable accessibility standards. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0, conformance level AA is required for California state organizations.

A developer should:

  • Apply software- and system- development best practices and standards to ensure the best experience to someone using assistive technologies. Common standards include Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform, Apple's Accessible Application Programming Interfaces, and Google's Developer's Guide to Accessibility.


Design | Build | Test | Implement



What to do

How to do it

Ensure the design follows applicable accessibility standards. The design must meet each functional requirement in a way that is accessible and usable by everyone who needs to access and use the system.

Analysts must be familiar with these concepts as they deliver design specifications and provide guidance as to best practices.

Example: The system displays reports containing graphical information. The system must also provide a textual description of the graphical information that can be read by screen reading software.

Accessibility standards have been well defined and documented by a number of organizations and regulatory bodies.

  • WCAG 2.0 - covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible.

  • WebAim - comprehensive resources for ensure that a site is accessible and usable to those with disabilities. Covers topics such as usability, development, standards, evaluation and testing.

  • Section 508 - of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended in 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. § 794 (d) ), and the broader context of other related accessibility laws and policy.