How to Avoid Common AODA Risks and Pitfalls

Posted / 28 October, 2020

Author / Simone Abel

How to Avoid Common AODA Risks and Pitfalls

Our final post as part of our new series 'A Product Leader’s Guide To Accessibility & AODA'. Here we cover the common AODA pitfalls digital teams encounter when they go about building new products.

We’ve worked on dozens of accessibility projects over the years, and have helped nonprofits, associations, businesses, and regulated industries navigate the tricky waters of accessibility compliance.

We are excited to launch our five-part series on Product Leader’s Guide To Accessibility & AODA with  Simone Abel - Director of Digital Strategy at Enginess. Over the next couple of weeks, we will post several articles sharing the best practices and key recommendations around implementing accessibility and AODA with your project.


A Product Leader’s Guide To Accessibility & AODA

Part 1Understanding accessibility compliance 
Part 2: Project delivery 
Part 3: Managing costs
Part 4: Ongoing maintenance
Part 5: Common risks and pitfalls

Can't wait to see more tips? Download the complete guide today.

How to Avoid Common AODA Risks and Pitfalls

We do a lot of accessibility projects. And over the years, we’ve seen plenty go smoothly. But we’ve also seen everything that can go wrong. So in this final blog post, we put together a list of the most common risks, pitfalls, and project roadblocks we’ve seen derail website compliance — and how to avoid them.

Most CMS software today can and should support accessible front-end design and code patterns. A less frequently encountered but showstopper cause for accessibility projects going off the rails is when a CMS isn’t compatible and has to be completely ripped out and replaced, or it’s core re-developed / upgraded.
A CMS migration - or core tune-up - is an entirely new project on top of the accessibility and compliance one you may have scoped. If your CMS is not going to support accessible patterns, you’ll have to address this first and foremost.

The question then become 'what do we do'? The best solution that we’ve seen is to simply separate the projects into their components — the accessibility and compliance project, and the CMS upgrade or migration. This is yet another great example of why it’s so important to involve accessibility early in the SDLC as well. It’s entirely possible for a CMS to work perfectly for the rest of the organization while being fundamentally broken for accessibility specialists.
By splitting the projects — and even shelving the accessibility project until the CMS is dealt with, makes it far easier for product owners.

In this final chapter we explore the following risks and pitfalls and show you to avoid them, which include:

  • Alienating your existing users
  • Legal ramifications of making a mistake / inaction
  • Failing to design a common design language
  • Failing to account for the total cost of ownership of one- off costs
  • Trying to force every change into a single project

Download the complete guide today: A Product Leader’s Guide To Accessibility and AODA.

Plan your project right - a step-by-step guide to ensure a successful digital project launch. Read now.
Guide: Achieving Success On Your CMS Project


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