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

What is the Digital Accessibility Maturity Model (DAMM)?

DAMM provides a clear and concise method for measuring the proficiency of accessibility programs. The model is split into ten core dimensions, which define key areas which the accessibility program must effectively and completely implement in order to attain success. These dimensions are, in turn, divided into a set of aspects, which successful programs must also master at each level. Our Digital Accessibility Maturity Model (DAMM) blog series gives an in-depth look at the model and its dimensions.

Commonly Used Terms and Acronyms in DAMM

  • Accessibility Program Office (APO) – The central coordinating organizational unit for digital accessibility policy. The maturity model assumes that a central coordinating organization component or a specific, named organization component are playing this role.
  • Artifact – Specific document, activity, object or element which is developed and maintained as part of a digital accessibility program.
  • Aspect – A secondary area upon which the maturity of a digital accessibility program is measured. Aspects are essentially sub-dimensions and are used to break down the large dimensions into specific sub-categories.
  • Assistive Technology (AT) – Assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices and software for people with disabilities to assist them in accessing ICT.
  • Business Development Forecast (BDF) – A projection of business development looking forward for a set period of time.
  • Department of Justice (DOJ) – One of the federal regulatory agencies which investigates complaints regarding inaccessibility.
  • Dimension – A primary area upon which the maturity of a digital accessibility program is measured. Dimensions define high level areas of activity or competence needed to be addressed for an effective digital accessibility program to be in place.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – A federal regulatory agency which investigates complaints regarding inaccessibility specifically pertaining to employment or employment opportunities.
  • Governance, Risk management, and Compliance (GRC) – the umbrella term covering an organization’s approach across these three areas.
  • Government Product Accessibility Template (GPAT) – A document developed internally or provided by third-party vendors providing the applicability and compliance level specific to all Section 508 requirements using a template provided by the General Services Administration. See also VPAT.
  • Independent Verification and Validation (IVV) – Accessibility verification and validation performed by an independent 3rd party.
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT) – Any information technology, equipment, or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment for which the principal function is the creation, conversion, duplication, automatic acquisition, storage, analysis, evaluation, manipulation, management, movement, control, display, switching, interchange, transmission, reception, or broadcast of data or information. Examples of ICT include, but are not limited to, any public facing content, content that is broadly disseminated within an organization, letters adjudicating any cause, internal and external program and policy announcements, notices of benefits, forms, questionnaires, and surveys, emergency notifications, all educational and training materials, telecommunications products, computers and ancillary equipment, software, information kiosks and transaction machines, videos, IT services, and multifunction office machines which copy, scan, and fax documents.
  • Line of Business (LoB) – An individual organizational unit charged with addressing accessibility. Note, a LoB as used in this document is a general concept denoting a group that owns an IT asset that is charged with implementing accessibility. The exact organization structure responsible for accessibility and related to this definition of LoB will vary widely.
  • People with Disabilities (PwDs) – One or more individuals with one or more disabilities, including but not limited to hearing loss, vision impairment, mobility disabilities, neurological disabilities, or cognitive disabilities.
  • Responsible, Accountable, Consulting Informed (RACI) diagram – A chart which reflects one or more of these four roles for a list of individual or group Stakeholders involved in a given project.
  • Return on Investment (RoI) – A performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. To calculate ROI, the benefit (return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment, and is generally expressed as a percentage or ratio.
  • Service Level Agreement (SLA) – A contract between a service provider (either internal or external) and the end user that defines the level of service expected from the service provider. SLAs are output-based in that their purpose is specifically to define what the end user will receive.
  • Stakeholders – A cross-functional representation of individuals or departments who have an interest or concern in a project.
  • Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) – a term used in systems engineering, information systems and software engineering to describe a process for planning, creating, testing, and deploying an information system.
  • Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) A document developed internally or provided by third-party vendors providing the applicability and compliance level specific to all Section 508 requirements. See also GPAT.
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 or WCAG 2.0 (WCAG) – Refers to the web accessibility standard developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).