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

The Digital Accessibility Maturity Model: Introduction to DAMM

Written by: Sheri Byrne-Haber

This is the first in a 5-part series of posts on the Digital Accessibility Maturity Model (DAMM).  At a high level, these blogs will cover an introduction to DAMM and its terminology, and detailed reviews of the 10 DAMM dimensions, the 3 DAMM-HR dimensions, DAMM audits, and how ratings are assigned


Digital accessibility is a complicated and nebulous space, and it is difficult to know what a successful digital accessibility program looks like. Accessibility roadmaps can help developers and project managers understand where to start, but a Capability Maturity Model (CMM) is the best approach for measuring the degree of maturity a program has attained in managing and implementing accessibility.

The Digital Accessibility Model (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.

DAMM Definitions and Acronyms

What is DAMM?

The Digital Accessibility Maturity Model defines a working model to measure the maturity of digital accessibility programs. In order to accomplish this, DAMM also includes a series of dimensions, aspects, artifacts, and levels supporting the model. DAMM builds on prior work by the Business Disability Forum to develop a general organization Accessibility Maturity Model. Level Access has used this model as inspiration for and as a base for certain aspects of DAMM. DAMM does not include any Human Resources accessibility issues. These are defined as add-on maturity dimensions under the DAMM-HR model.

What is a Maturity Model?

A Maturity models defines how mature an organization is in addressing a business problem – in this case, accessibility. DAMM was developed in line with the Capability Maturity Model defined by Carnegie Mellon, using five levels with requirements for each to determine what level of maturity an organization has achieved with respect to accessibility. A Capability Maturity Model is often used to look at the maturity of software development processes, thus the model works well when applied to Digital Accessibility, which includes software development or acquisition as a major component.