Should an Accessibility Consultant be Involved with Changing My Site?
In one of my previous posts, I told you about the reasons why you should hire an accessibility consultant. Now let’s delve a bit deeper on the specific tasks your accessibility consultant can do.
I’ll discuss the standard output your consultant should provide, and other productive tasks this expert can work on. More importantly, I’ll help you decide on whether or not you should ask your consultant to do the additional tasks for you. This post is in response to one of our reader’s comment.
Creating an Accessibility Report
This is what any accessibility consultant should provide you once you’ve hired them. The consultant will examine your site, identify the accessibility issues in it, and make a set of recommendations to solve these issues.
You can ask your consultant to use any standard such as Section 508, WCAG, or standards specific to your state or country. You may decide to just make your site accessible without worrying about any guidelines.
You can then take the report and review it before sending it to your web developers. Your developers should work on the changes and improvements as stated in the report. The accessibility consultant will communicate with your team so that the changes would be done accurately.
Your consultant can also create a training for your developers. This is a good idea especially when your developers have received the report. An accessibility training helps your developers understand what needs to be done and why they should do it.
The above scenario gives you a more cost-effective option. Basically, the only additional cost you’d have is the fees given to the consultant. However, you need to set a longer time frame since your developers and the consultant would need to communicate thoroughly in this project.
Directly Making Your Site Accessible
In addition to making the accessibility report, your consultant can directly work on the changes. This is a suitable option if you do not have a web development team or if your team is currently working on other site-related tasks.
Your accessibility consultant would usually have his or her own team of web developers to handle the task. You can simply monitor the changes via the updates your consultant would give you.
When the consultant has made your site accessible, you have the option to work on a contract together. Here, your consultant will continuously work on the changes needed to accommodate new content in your site.
Letting your consultant work on your site may entail larger costs on your part. This option nevertheless ensures that your site becomes accessible in a short amount of time. This is because the consultant and his team would already know what the issues are and how to solve them.