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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) By An Accessibility Expert During Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

taught by: Anthony Fernando

co-presented by: Matt Robinson

Session Summary:

This session will look at a variety of critical frequently asked questions related to Accessibility that come up during Software Development Life Cycle, which can be accurately answered by an Accessibility Expert. During this session presenters will provide realistic approaches to answer the most critical frequently asked questions using their expertise and knowledge in Accessibility. Participants are also given an opportunity to ask their critical FAQs during the Q&A time period.


Most of us closely work with product development teams in one or more phases of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and may have come across various Accessibility questions. Answering some of these questions are hard or tricky, as there is no right or wrong answer. The answer provided may be critical and have a huge impact on the business as well as the customer. It can go a long way either becoming a positive or a negative outcome. So, it is important to give a healthy answer which is an efficient, practical and durable solution that fits the target audience.

Since most of the time these answers are subjective, the accuracy of the outcome depends on how much of an expert you are and how much experience you have in the field of Accessibility. The presenters have much experience and knowledge to answer these types of critical questions and would like to use this session as a platform to help others in the industry to answer similar questions.

Here are some of the example questions that can arise in 6 phrases of SDLC that we are planning to discuss in much deeply during the session.

  • Phase 1 - Planning and Requirement Analysis:
    • When to consider accessibility in product development?
    • Create products to work with specific AT or do we create products to work with all AT?
  • Phase 2 - Design:
    • Is esthetic in the application more important than accessibility?
    • How can we be consistent in adopting accessibility in User Interface Design?
  • Phase 3 - Coding:
    • Is it a good idea to out-source or utilize in-house staff for development?
    • Can we waive off accessibility from product development?
  • Phase 4 - Testing:
    • Why should we use people with disabilities for testing?
    • What assistive technology software and testing tools should we purchase?
  • Phase 5 - Installation/Deployment:
    • Can we compromise accessibility over security?
    • What are the accommodations we need to provide?
  • Phase 6 - Maintenance:
    • How to best handle a customer complaint about an Accessibility issue in your product?
    • How to introduce new features without breaking existing Accessibility standards?

During the session we will NOT focus on promoting any specific company or their products, rather we only plan to educate the audience to shortlist a suitable candidate where it is required.

We will conclude our session opening an opportunity to ask burning questions from the presenters and setting a platform to discuss the best approaches to learn from each other.

Practical Skills:

  • Identify critical frequently asked questions during SDLC
  • Provide best solutions to most critical accessibility FAQs
  • How to overcome future accessibility problems