Pyramid with 5 levels of DAMM Maturity

The Digital Accessibility Maturity Model: Core Dimensions

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Written by: Sheri Byrne-Haber

In my first two posts in the Digital Accessibility Maturity Model (DAMM) Series I gave an overview of DAMM and shared why a Capability Maturity Model (CMM) based model was used for DAMM. In this post, I’ll provide a brief introduction to each of the ten core DAMM dimensions.

The DAMM Dimensions

The Digital Accessibility Maturity Model (DAMM) provides a clear and concise method for measuring the proficiency of accessibility programs. The model is split into ten core dimensions that define the key areas a program must effectively and completely implement in order to attain success. The core dimensions include the following:

Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance

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

Encompasses all public-facing communication activities relating to the digital accessibility program. The communications dimension 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 and should public-facing communications be accessible.

Policies and Standards

The extent to which an organization has policies and technical standards governing digital accessibility. This dimension 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

Encompasses all non-HR filings, remediation plans, or other documentation as required by statute, regulation, or as part of a settlement agreement, consent decree, or any other legal proceeding.

Fiscal Management

Defines the core maturity an organization has in analyzing and implementing accessibility investments. This 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

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

Testing and Validation

The degree of maturity associated with accessibility testing processes and approaches. This 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

The degree of maturity with which an organization provides accessible support services and documentation. This 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

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

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

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