Accessibility Technology

Accessibility as Innovation


Elle Waters @Nethermind (worked at Humana)

What it takes to create an accessibility program at a large organization

Susan Moon was the one who was going to make that decision:

  • Head of digital experience program at Humana
  • SUSAN’S QUOTABLE QUOTE:  “Accessibility is the OXO of web design”
  • This quote unlocked the possibility of doing accessibility in the enterprise.

OXO:  products are geared toward the user.

  • Triggers innovation; is a catalyst for new ideas
  • Prioritizes value for the user first
  • Demands best efforts
  • Yields extensible benefits to all users


Showed NASA project plan guide:  85 pages of instruction in how to write a project plan


What does it take to truly innovate?

Hierarchy of web accessibility project needs (in reverse order)

  1. a web page
  2. a responsive, personalized experience
  3. a world class user experience
  4. a universally accessible experience


QUICK:  What makes the Bugatti Veyron worth 2 million bucks?

  • It’s not the body, it’s the engine
  • The things you don’t see are the things that count the most

Showed form error messaging detail

  • Most fundamental business interaction
  • Reviewed boilerplate form error messaging
  • Error messaging appears at top, only showing those fields that needed to be remedied.  This helps dissipate “tab stop hell”


Inaccessible Map State Selector

  • Thought about image map – NO, not forward-looking
  • What about SVG?  Not quite there yet
  • Drop-down menu (in alpha order) with submit button
  • What about tab order in the map itself?  Tab-able by west coast to east coast.


Skip to Main Content

  • Not used much because it’s not consistent
  • If there are lots of repetitive links, could we use a numeric threshold to determine where the skip link would land?
  • What if we put a Table of Contents (list of headings) at the top?



  • Close your eyes
  • Put down your mouse
  • Imagine a well-designed web page
  • Once you’ve cleared the paths, where do you want to go next?

By Paul Schantz

CSUN Director of Web & Technology Services, Student Affairs. husband, father, gamer, part time aviator, fitness enthusiast, Apple fan, and iguana wrangler.

2 replies on “Accessibility as Innovation”

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