Avoid Accessibility Setbacks by Implementing and Meeting Deadlines

Published August 2, 2022

Deadlines are crucial to keeping projects on track, and accessibility efforts are no different. It can be tempting to charge forward as quickly as possible when making changes to improve accessibility, but that may not necessarily be the most productive approach. Here are a few examples of how setting and meeting deadlines can help keep things on track and avoid potential setbacks.

Deadlines clarify goals

It can be challenging to organize tasks and prioritize phases in an accessibility initiative, but setting deadlines can help organize things into separate steps, providing clear goals for each stage. Doing so can help prevent setting unrealistic goals and give space to give each phase enough attention and focus before moving on. 

Future goals become more attainable

Approaching an accessibility initiative in phases and setting deadlines can help break complex or long-term goals into smaller tasks. The way W3 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) compliance works is a prime example of this. The guidelines outline three levels of compliance, each of which builds upon the last. So it's impossible to achieve higher levels of compliance without meeting each previous level, but taking things one level at a time is much more sustainable than trying to aim for the highest level of compliance from the start. 

This is valuable in the ever-changing landscape of digital accessibility, but it can also apply to other accessibility goals. As each task is achieved, it creates the foundation for the next step, making it easier to keep making progress and respond to the need for updates or changes in the future. 

Measurable progress can be achieved sooner

Out of context, deadlines may seem like they'll create pressure, but well-implemented, realistic deadlines have the potential to be rewarding and motivating. Each deadline met results in measurable progress, which can help keep everyone invested in the initiative. 

Having regular deadlines and results also creates a clear timeline showing progress and documenting that accessibility improvements are underway. This can be useful in helping keep the team organized, but it can also be helpful in the case that it becomes necessary to prove that legal obligations are being met.

Deadlines help prevent setbacks

It can be easy to put things that don't have clear deadlines at the end of the list of priorities, so setting clear expectations for accessibility improvements can help ensure things stay on track. And since there may be specific steps that can't be taken until other tasks are completed first, setbacks can create delays that affect the progress of the entire initiative.

Setting deadlines can help ensure that goals are met on time and prevent indefinite delays.

Deadlines facilitate the change that breaks down barriers

Meeting internal expectations, complying with regulations, and keeping the team working on improving accessibility are essential parts of the success. But the ultimate goal of any initiative is to make a real difference by breaking down barriers. To do that, progress needs to be consistent, goals and results need to be clear to stakeholders, and the value of putting resources into the initiative needs to be understood. Deadlines can help make sure those things happen.

But, beyond that, deadlines can help keep the mission on track. Even with seemingly small tasks and changes, each deadline met helps break down the barriers standing in the way of the equal access that everyone has a right to. And prioritizing this progress shows the persons facing barriers that their rights to access and equal participation in society are important and respected.

AccessibilityPlus 2022

Accessibility.com is proud of our role in promoting digital accessibility and equal access for all while recognizing there is much work to be done. As we welcome a new year in 2022, we have opened registration for AccessibilityPlus 2022, which will feature events dedicated to promoting actionable solutions in implementing digital accessibility initiatives. Registration is limited. For more information about the conference, speakers, and topics, please visit our AccessibilityPlus Event Calendar.

Registrations for our August event Add to Cart: Creating an Accessible e-Commerce Experience are now available at no cost for Accessibility.com viewers for a limited time.