Accessibility for Product Owners and Project Managers

“The world needs different kinds of minds to work together.” – Dr. Temple Grandin, Scientist and Author

Impact

Product owners and managers play a key role in communicating accessibility requirements early in the project lifecycle, ensuring each team member knows their responsibility and keeping the team accountable for building accessible products.

Accessible digital products and services enhance trust in government, drive innovation, and extend service reach.

Including accessibility in design from the beginning of a project reduces technical debt, avoids rework and saves money.

The goal of accessibility at the State of Colorado is to build web services that are usable by everyone, not to meet minimum standards and avoid lawsuits. 

Your Responsibilities

  • Understand the State Accessibility Technical Standard (TBD) and best practices for meeting compliance guidelines for technology.
  • Ensure that accessibility is included in product planning and prioritization from the very beginning of the project and during continuous improvement cycles.
  • Integrate accessibility acceptance criteria into user stories.
  • Include compliance with state accessibility standards in the “definition of done” for all product increments.
  • Include both automated and manual accessibility testing into development sprints.
  • Understand the value of the assessment and remediation tools that are available, like Siteimprove.
  • Purchase only technology that is accessible and compatible with assistive technology.
  • Understand how to create accessible documents and presentations.
  • Stay updated on accessibility best practices.

What You Can Do

Evaluating a website or application for accessibility

We cannot check all accessibility using a tool alone. Human judgment is required because automated tools may give inaccurate results. 

Evaluate accessibility early and throughout the process to find and fix problems early. This will save you time and money in the long run.

Testing Resources:

Evaluation Tools

Resources for State of Colorado Agencies

Siteimprove: Siteimprove’s software helps to improve State website usability and accessibility by automating the process of finding errors and problems. Siteimprove alone will not make websites accessible but is part of a holistic approach to managing web services.

For questions about using Siteimprove or Siteimprove Academy, please contact Theresa Montano, OIT Solutions Architect of Accessibility at theresa.montano@state.co.us.

Don't have access to Siteimprove? Use these free browser extensions:

Siteimprove Academy, Siteimprove (Requires a login)

To request accessibility testing: