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"Yeah, but" - objections to doing accessibility work, and ideas for discussion

  • "Yeah, but people with disabilities are not our target market."
    • Disability is a spectrum, not a binary. A disability can be permanent, temporary, or contextual.

  • "Yeah, but it's too difficult to do."
    • It gets easier with practice, like most new things.

    • Part of our job is continuous learning and improvement. For example, we’ve learned responsive web design.

    • Plain old semantic HTML gives you lots of a11y for free.

  • "Yeah, but we don't have time to do it."
    • Do small bits at first: five minute piggybacks on top of other things.

    • Make a choice to replace one small bit of existing work with an a11y tasks, as an experiment.

    • It’s not doing more work, it’s doing the same work differently.

  • "Yeah, but we don't have support to do it."
    • Get buy-in with a small, high-value, example.

    • Set up a tiny test for people to do, so they can see the problem, feel it.

    • Talk about how it gives us more, happier, customers, and what metrics that increases.

  • "Yeah, but it's boring."
    • It’s an exciting challenge, working within stronger constraints. It requires more creativity to find good solutions.

    • It’s being a superhero to our users. In the best case scenario, we take something from can’t use to can use. In the worst case, we make it easier to use for everyone.

  • "Yeah, but it's not important."
  • "Yeah, but it's limiting"
    • The accessible version of something doesn’t have to be the only version. We need to provide keyboard support, but that doesn’t mean only keyboard support: of course we should support mouse (and touch) too!

  • "Yeah, but it's only realistic / practical / possible on small projects."
    • Yes, remediation on large projects is difficult and costly. The way to approach this is to shift left and address problems earlier, when they’re cheaper to fix.

    • “It doesn't have to be perfect. Just a little bit better than yesterday.” - Leonie Watson