Build a community of practice
Within and across government departments, people with related knowledge and responsibilities are often scattered. Without a deliberate effort to build a shared understanding and define how digital accessibility is done, the approach and expertise can vary widely. Establishing a community of practice can make it easier to share knowledge and best practices, and help your organization align behind common goals for digital accessibility.
Digital accessibility requires technical knowledge, but also personal empathy. Understanding how others experience the digital world is critical for addressing their needs. Therefore, it's crucial that a community of practice on accessibility involves people with disabilities.
As a whole, government bodies need to get better at identifying accessibility barriers, removing them from their systems, and preventing new ones from occurring. This will take a real community effort, and current approaches have not been up to the task. Building a community of people who are working together to identify, resolve and prevent errors will make your organization's accessibility goals more achievable and sustainable.
The BBC is a real leader in this space, building out a Champions Network. Not everyone can be an accessibility expert, but we can have more people who care enough about it to become champions. Ability net has a great resource on how to build and grow your accessibility champions network.
- Start a newsletter or slack channel to start a conversation about accessibility.
- Work to collect best practices implemented by internal teams.
- Get management buy-in for a champions network.
- How can staff reach out to learn from their peers when they run into an issue where there isn't a simple solution?
- What can be done to include people with disabilities from within the organization?
- What can be done to build good accessibility and inclusion practices into our teams?