Many business leaders and managers understand why digital accessibility is important for business. There are many arguments that make clear the benefits of digital accessibility, and how it affects a business's bottom line. Despite this understanding, some leaders are unsure where to start, and need help with the what and how of implementing digital accessibility throughout their organizations.
Digital Accessibility as a Business Practice is a free three-week Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) developed by the Digital Education Strategies team at Ryerson University's G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, in partnership with the Government of Ontario's Enabling Change Program. This course provides business leaders with the tools and knowledge needed to effectively enable digital accessibility in an organization through cultural change, raising awareness of its importance, and equipping employees with the specific tools and knowledge they need to address digital accessibility as part of their everyday work.
This course has been co-designed by recognized experts in the field of digital accessibility and key industry professionals. Together, they created a practical course for business leaders and managers who are tasked with developing and implementing digital accessibility planning.
The course content focuses on three main themes:
- Strategic Planning for Digital Accessibility – Developing an implementation framework for change management to sustain a culture of inclusion, including strategies that inform accessibility policy development.
- Implementing Digital Accessibility – Identifying roles and responsibilities in developing a process to implement digital accessibility, related to training, hiring practices, and procurement.
- Digital Accessibility Quality Assurance – Developing metrics to measure, monitor, and maintain digital accessibility once it has been achieved.
Participants will take on the role of a project manager following the story of the Sharp Clothing Company. Through a wide range of activities, they will learn how to implement digital accessibility throughout the company, with a practical exercise to develop a digital accessibility policy that guides the company's accessibility efforts into the future. The policy document created in the course can be reused as a template for real-world organizations that plan to implement a digital accessibility policy and develop a culture of inclusion as part of their business practices.
As a formal recognition of accomplishment, a digital badge will be issued by The Chang School to those who successfully complete this course.
- Greg Gay - IT Accessibility Specialist - The Chang School - Ryerson University
- Chris West, MBA - Senior Manager - Treasury Board Secretariat Ontario
- Frank Miller - Contract Lecturer and Faculty Advisor - Human Resources Management and Organizational Behaviour - Ryerson University
Also see Professional Web Accessibility Auditing Made Easy, another course in this series aimed at building digital accessibility skills and awareness in web developers and IT staff.