Accessibility planning encourages consideration of the many ways people inside and outside the organization may face barriers that limit their participation. This includes customers (clients, students, patients, etc.), employees (managers, teachers, doctors, etc.) and other community members who benefit from accessibility in its many forms.

  • Attitudinal barriers that result from false assumptions, often based on appearance
  • Informational and communication barriers, such as tiny print or information that is  not easy to understand
  • Technological barriers such as websites that do not consider needs of people who do not use a mouse or who use screen reader software
  • Systemic barriers are policies or procedures that can exclude some people, for example, when job applicants are required to use online forms.
  • Physical barriers can be large and small, including walkways that are not shoveled, narrow store aisles, or high service counters.  

Tips for getting started on accessibility planning:

  • Appoint an accessibility coordinator to work with senior management and staff to coordinate accessibility planning and be aware of new accessibility standards.
  • Develop a working group that creates an organization-wide team approach to accessibility planning and awareness.  Include people disabled by barriers. 
  • Invite organizational leader(s) to champion accessibility planning. 
  • Consult with the persons inside and outside the organization who will be affected by the plan (also called stakeholders).

Before you begin your plan, create an overview of your organization, including your programs and services and who uses them.  Noting the types of barriers listed above, consult to determine what you have already done to become accessible and what barriers still need to be removed.  This becomes your baseline report.