Pyramid with 5 levels of DAMM Maturity - Initial, Managed, Defined, Quantitatively Managed, Optimizing

Accessibility Policy Series #7: Measuring Success with DAMM

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Written by: Sheri Byrne-Haber

In my last Accessibility Policy Series post I discussed the accessibility plans that must be created during the Accessibility Implementation phase.  In this last post in the series blog I will discuss at a high level a method to measure the maturity level of your organization after the accessibility policies have been implemented.

Digital Accessibility Maturity Model (DAMM)

All of the policies and plans described in posts one through six of this series fit into a dimension in the Digital Accessibility Maturity Model (DAMM).  DAMM is a method for analyzing the existence and execution of policies related to digital accessibility.  DAMM has 10 core dimensions, and 3 HR related dimensions in DAMM-HR.

The core DAMM dimensions are:

Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance

This dimension defines the degree of maturity associated with accessibility program Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) in the organization. The implementation of a well-defined GRC program defines the extent to which accessibility implementations are actively evaluated, monitored, and validated in the component lifecycle.

Communications

This dimension encompasses all public facing communication activities relating to the digital accessibility program, and broadly measures organizational maturity in communicating its digital accessibility program activities. It explicitly includes ensuring that there are also clear and well-tended channels for receiving feedback on digital accessibility issues. This dimension includes public statements of compliance and public representations of the digital accessibility program. The Policy and Process aspects for this dimension include addressing questions like: Should public facing marketing assets be accessible? Should public facing communications be accessible?

Policies and Standards

This dimension measures the extent to which an organization has policies and technical standards governing digital accessibility, and includes an overarching digital accessibility policy, specific policies in use throughout the development and support lifecycle, and detailed technical standards for accessibility. Included in the policy is a determination of whether or not the organization will implement accessibility on a go-forward basis, or create remediation or obsolescence plans for inaccessible legacy systems.

Regulatory

This dimension encompasses all non-HR filings, remediation plans, or other documentation required by statute, regulation, or is part of a settlement agreement, consent decree, or other legal proceeding.

Fiscal Management

This dimension defines the core maturity an organization has in analyzing and implementing accessibility investments, and includes a clearly defined model for understanding the Return on Investment (RoI) associated with accessibility. Growth in this dimension ensures the organization understands and has quantified digital accessibility business drivers.

Development Lifecycle

This dimension defines the extent to which accessibility is included and defined in the development lifecycle activities of the organization.

Testing and Validation

This dimension defines the degree of maturity associated with accessibility testing process and approaches, and encompasses an evolution from a chaotic testing environment to active, structured testing to a continuously updated testing approach that includes assistive technology and integrated testing by users with disabilities.

Support and Documentation

This dimension defines the degree of maturity with which an organization providers accessible support services and documentation, and includes ensuring that support systems meet the communication needs of people with disabilities and that documentation is provided in an accessible or alternative format.

Procurement

This dimension specifies the degree of maturity associated with including digital accessibility considerations in the procurement and vendor management activities of an organization, including purchases made by credit card.

Training

This dimension defines the level of maturity the organization has in providing all impacted roles in the development lifecycle appropriate and effective training, and is strongly linked to the Policy and Standards and Development / Lifecycle dimensions as it supports their effective organizational implementation.

DAMM-HR

In addition to the core dimensions, there are three additional dimensions specific to human resources which can be adopted in conjunction with the other dimensions. These include:

Recruiting and Job Application

This dimension measures the maturity of the recruiting and job application process as it pertains to people with disabilities, and is tied to the Reasonable Accommodations dimensions as reasonable accommodations are required, if requested, for the entire job application lifecycle.

Reasonable Accommodations

This dimension measures the extent to which the organization has a defined process in place for implementing reasonable accommodations and changes needed to address inaccessible systems.

Staff Evaluations

This dimension measures the extent to which the organization has a defined process in place for evaluating staff competencies with respect to accessibility.

Coming Up

My next series of blog posts will be an in depth look at the Digital Accessibility Maturity Model (DAMM), including the maturity levels and what those look like along each dimension, as well as related aspects and artifacts for each.

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