Zero Project 2021/2022
In 2019 the International Standards Organization published ISO 30071-1 to help organisations put accessibility at the heart of their policies, processes and thinking, and move beyond accessibility just being about compliance to technical standards for a web page. Hassell Inclusion, a London-based digital accessibility consultancy, has developed the Digital Accessibility Maturity Scorecard based on this Standard. It enables organisations to self-assess their digital accessibility maturity against nine key dimensions for success. The resulting report provides personalised advice on the next best step for improvement on each dimension, including governance and measurement of ROI. Since launch over 350 organizations across 21 countries have used the tool.
Organizations often focus only on technical requirements of accessibility, ignoring managerial considerations such as embedding accessibility in procurement policies and governance. The Digital Accessibility Maturity Scorecard provides a comprehensive self-assessment of an organization’s current level of digital accessibility maturity with the help of an online questionnaire.
The questionnaire looks at digital accessibility across nine dimensions from ISO 30071-1: motivation, responsibility, capability, support, policies and practice, governance, product development, measuring the return of investment, and innovation. These dimensions cover such questions as “who in the organization is responsible for making accessibility happen?”, and “how does the organization use accessibility to create opportunities for product innovation?”, enabling organizations to review their practices against what is needed to fully embed accessibility into their ‘business as usual’.
The questionnaire delivers a 20-page personalized report explaining the scores, benefits that would come from improving them, and suggestions for what the organization should concentrate on next.
The Digital Accessibility Maturity Scorecard is created and maintained by Hassell Inclusion as a free tool. Companies that use it to assess their maturity can further improve their digital accessibility through Hassell Inclusion’s paid consulting services.
Since its launch in August 2020, more than 350 organizations have used the Scorecard, including multinational companies, national and local governments, universities, and health care facilities, as well as charities and small start-ups. It has been used mostly in the UK, and by some organizations in Europe, North and South America, Australasia, and the Middle East.
UK local authorities have been quick to realise the value of the Scorecard to their work. Hassell Inclusion and Socitm (the UK Local Government society for IT managers) partnered to offer it as a joint benchmarking service to UK local authorities, with over 100 of them using the Scorecard to advise their plans and track their accessibility improvement.
The tool is already changing behaviours in private-sector organizations who have taken it. Getting a score and some advice on areas of strength, key gaps and the risks that they can cause, is helping organizations to improve their accessibility plans, and get stronger buy-in for the resources needed to make accessibility happen, and improve customer or citizen reach, engagement and impact. As one IT Director put it: “We originally thought this was a compliance exercise; then we realised this affects all that we do. And we now have a Framework to understand where and how to improve.”
Government mandates are accelerating this behavioural change. The UK Government’s mandate of ISO 30071-1 compliance for companies on its Marketing Agency Framework in 2021, caused a step-change in the attitude of advertising and marketing agencies, and their holding companies, to accessibility. Multiple agencies have are using the Scorecard to assess their progress on their journey and influence the shape of their transformation programmes.
Our goals are that, by 2024:
- The Scorecard tool has extended to become a more comprehensive benchmarking, tracking and reporting resource that can be used by organizations and accessibility partners worldwide to show progress in delivering improved access to digital products and services for people with disabilities, in an ongoing, sustainable, efficient way.
- Anonymised statistics and metrics from the Scorecard provide a global insight on the progress of accessibility maturity, segmented across different industries, and allow organizations to compare their scores and progress to those of similar organizations, across multiple dimensions.
- Every major government department and corporation reports their progress on their journey towards the ISO 30071-1 Standard in their public reporting – showing how their commitment to accessibility is turning into action.
The Scorecard stays freely available across the world for all sizes of organization.
Our needs are threefold:
- People to lobby their governments to require the ISO 30071-1 Standard, on which the Scorecard is built, in their procurement processes. This will galvanise suppliers to turn accessibility from web-site compliance into inclusive design across multiple communications and commercial channels.
- Investment into the Digital Accessibility Maturity Scorecard, tracking and reporting solution to help take it global, so we can make an impact across regional and international boundaries.
- International partners to use the Scorecard in their countries to help organisations see their need for accessibility improvement, and use their expertise and Hassell Inclusion’s franchised services to help those organisations reach their inclusion goals.
Hassell Inclusion is scaling and replicating the Scorecard in three ways:
- The immediate scorecard will always be free – any organization irrespective of size or location can complete the Scorecard for free and get a personalised report. We’re looking for partners to help localise and promote it in different countries.
- Government organisations, regulators and large corporations could require suppliers and members to complete the scorecard and show progress towards the ISO 3007-1 (beyond WCAG compliance).
- With licensed partners getting more detailed access to their clients’ scorecard data, and the ability to resell HI services (such as scaled training, Champions programmes, policy templates and ISO 30071-1 benchmarking) in addition to their own services, to help their clients improve their accessibility maturity scores.
Contact Person: Peter Bricknell, Chief Product Officer, Hassell Inclusion