Brief

A need was identified by Terminalfour, to up-skill some of the team on how to implement accessibility throughout their process management. HeX Productions were engaged to deliver training, freeing up resources and the need to develop the specific training internally. The requirement was a bespoke training programme that would assist their team from sales, design and development. HeX’s proven track record in upskilling teams on accessibility drew Terminalfour to choose us to deliver training, understanding our core values as an agency is our passion for accessibility education.

Approach

HeX provided onsite training over a number of accessibility modules, starting with general accessibility awareness, providing guidance on legal liability for clients. Technical training was carried out providing developer-specific training, delivering assistive technology demonstrations, hands-on ARIA and HTML workshops. Hacking and self-auditing code with the use of assistive technology, learning through the users eyes. This hands-on approach gave teams the opportunity to implement ARIA code and understand how it interacts with their website elements.

Outcome

The training allowed Terminalfour to update the organisation on new legislation, confidently carry out accessibility audits and fixes on their core website modules, and implement new techniques and practices. Development teams were able to practice accessible coding techniques in a live development environment, providing them with the confidence and skills necessary to comply with WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 standards. The training gave project teams the ability to consider accessibility prior to each project, reducing the technical debt accrued by having to carry our accessibility fixes retrospectively.

Delivering effective accessibility training to upskill teams

As a software development company, specialising in content management systems for higher education and the public sector, Terminalfour were getting increasing requirements for projects to have accessibility implemented into their builds. In order to fulfill the requirements of their clients, they had identified the need to bring their teams’ accessibility knowledge in line with WCAG  standards. They required a hands-on training course for developers, as well as general awareness training for staff across the organisation. 

Owing to our expert position within the accessibility industry, and as key partners of Terminalfour, HeX were identified to upskill them in accessibility best practice. HeX has demonstrable experience delivering accessibility solutions on a number of Terminalfour projects in the past, including the audit and accessibility statement creation for the University of Winchester

As experts in accessible development, alongside a core training and consultancy package, HeX was chosen to effectively communicate the ever-changing world of accessibility to both non-technical teams, as well as experienced technical developers. Thanks to a long-standing relationship with Terminalfour, the organisation understood our core values regarding accessibility and recognised our commitment to deliver training and consultancy packages, to upskill organisations. 

Defining a strategy for implementing accessibility

HeX provided a clear schedule of training modules spread over a two day period. The end goal to make the entire team aware of  how to discuss and build in accessibility from the start of a project. To have developers building, auditing and implementing accessibility , by understanding the user and use of assistive technology. 

The WCAG 2.1 guidelines and how this works with Section 508 and the UK accessibility legislation

HeX provided an explanation of WCAG Guidelines and how they relate to the U.S accessibility regulations, Section 508, and the UK Public Sector Accessibility legislation. Allowing the Terminalfour team a greater insight into the legal obligations of their clients. 

Design and Wireframe review

HeX detailed how to identify issues in designs and wireframes, giving the project team the confidence to challenge accessibility issues in designs being produced externally.

Assistive technology and understanding how code is interpreted

We provided an outline of the issues that disabled users face when interacting with inaccessible page elements, demonstrating the impact of inaccessible code to those using assistive technology

HTML structure

HeX gave insight into why semantic and structured HTML is vital, highlighting the way that screen readers navigate a site from the top to the bottom. Developers witnessed how automated accessibility tools could give false positives in tests, emphasising the importance of using assistive technology to audit sites.

ARIA and how it’s used to enhance user experience

HeX gave Terminalfour teams an understanding of ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications), demonstrating ARIA code, and why it’s important. The team were given the opportunity to develop their own ARIA code in a live development environment, providing hands-on experience. 

One particular element that was demonstrated was the ARIA alert code. The alert code is used to notify a screen reader when something requires their attention. Examples of use include notifying a user when a web form has been filled out incorrectly, the screen reader will get an ARIA alert notifying them of what part of the form requires their attention and why. 

Performing an audit and reacting to the results

HeX demonstrated how assistive technology could be used to identify accessibility issues within code. This provided understanding of how to use assistive technology on their own devices and audit their own code.

Reducing technical debt in projects

A greater understanding of accessibility was echoed throughout the organisation. Our training was able to reduce the number of accessibility issues being fixed retrospectively by developers. Therefore reducing the technical debt of projects being delivered. 

Terminalfour clients are now being engaged with, regarding the importance of accessibility, directly from sales teams. The impact of accessibility is understood by internal stakeholders, who are able to communicate with the wider organisation about digital access needs. 

Do your staff need accessibility training? 

If your staff need training to implement accessibility throughout your web projects, we can help. We provide accessibility for any staff members, whether it be in-depth technical accessibility, accessibility for content writers, or accessibility awareness training for any knowledge level or ability. 

If you think you need help, but aren’t sure where to get started, we provide accessibility consultancy for your organisation, building a solid and robust accessibility plan to help your move forward. 

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