Developing for the Broadest Access: Practical strategies for creating accessible digital products

Professional Forum
Robert Stein, American Alliance of Musuems, USA, Sina Bahram, Prime Access Consulting, Inc., USA


In this Professional Forum, panelists will discuss practical strategies for addressing accessibility with a goal of increasing inclusion for all audiences, especially those with disabilities, throughout an agile digital product development process. Based on lessons learned from the American Alliance of Museums’ web re-design project, the panel will cover issues such as how to plan for accessibility in an agile process, the kinds of tasks that would necessitate touchpoints during design and development, the amount of work expected to do this, how much it costs as a percentage of budget, etc.


As a core value and a focus area of the Alliance’s Strategic Plan, the organization is strongly committed to developing products that allow for the broadest access. For its web redesign project, the Alliance engaged Alley Interactive based on its work as “the digital team for publishers” and their commitment to the agile development process. The Alliance also engaged Prime Access Consulting for its work creating “equitable experiences that will be more usable, enjoyable, and profitable.” This collaborative effort between the client, the developers, and the accessibility consultants was intended to be a more efficient and successful method to remediate accessibility issues rather than waiting for a post launch evaluation and audit.

Panelists include Liz Neely as the project lead for AAM, Pattie Reeves as the senior UX developer from Alley Interactive, and Sina Bahram as the project’s accessibility consultant from Prime Access Consulting.

Panelists will speak from their unique perspectives of developing a project with accessibility requirements in the scope of work, incorporating accessibility work process into the agile sprint framework, assessing the benefits of engaging an accessibility consultant, and other lessons learned.

Luján-Mora, Sergio, Firas Masri. "Integration of Web Accessibility into Agile Methods." Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems (ICEIS 2012), Volume 3, p. 123-127, Wroclaw (Poland), June 28 - July 1 2012. ISBN: 978-989-8565-12-9. Consulted September 24, 2017.

Mardi, Loretta. "Why Museums Need to Embrace a Culture of Accessibility." Published September 9, 2015. Consulted September 24, 2017.

Murphy, Adrian. "Accessibility in museums: creating a barrier-free cultural landscape." Published October 12, 2015. Consulted September 24, 2017.

Wyman, Bruce, Corey Timpson, Scott Gillam and Sina Bahram. "Inclusive design: From approach to execution." MW2016: Museums and the Web 2016. Published February 24, 2016. Consulted September 24, 2017.