Shift Left: Use Accessibility to Improve Your Project Bottom Line

Thursday, December 12

10:00 am – 11:30 am

Got GaaS?

Kim Wee
Webmaster and Digital Accessibility Coordinator, Minnesota IT partnering with Minnesota Department of Education

Jennie Delisi
Accessibility Analyst, Office of Accessibility – Minnesota IT Services

Ken Rodgers
Disability Programs Coordinator/ADA Title 1, Minnesota Department of Transportation

For seamless integration into IT projects, it’s important to consider accessibility early and throughout the process. Incorporating accessibility from the start of a project increases the positive impact of designing for everyone, while decreasing development costs associated with accessibility when it is addressed much later. While there are components of digital accessibility that need to be considered as the business team starts thinking about the project, the scope of this session will be the IT project scope.

While much is known about how to make documents and individual websites accessible, many organizations do not have a formal process for including accessibility throughout the project life cycle. At each stage of the website design and development process, accessibility should be a key consideration. Best practices in web design indicate that it is important to follow a systematic design process and that accessibility issues are addressed at each stage. Presenters will provide an overview of how this works, and point to resources to enable participants to learn more about the pieces relevant to their specific role.
Presenters will provide examples of projects that could have been more successful if they had included accessibility at key points in the project life cycle; as well as projects that succeeded and how this was achieved. This is applicable to web redesigns, software and app development, and contract and purchasing. There are roles for all IT professionals in this process, including: project managers, designers, business analysts, developers, quality assurance professionals, and digital accessibility specialists. The materials will also cover the types of training appropriate for each role.

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn how to include accessibility in the project’s entire life cycle and why it’s beneficial.
  2. Learn the project lifecycle steps, roles, and responsibilities.
  3. Learn about tools for your next project.


About GTS Educational Events

If you are a nonprofit or public sector group looking to create a conference, workshop or educational event with impact, look to GTS. We believe educational events are successful when participants learn and grow and then return to their organizations and communities to make them stronger. We look forward to continuing our work with the broad spectrum of organizations striving to make a difference for the people and communities they serve.

Steering Committee

Alex Hepp, City of Hopkins
Bill Bleckwehl, Cisco
Dave Andrews, DEED
Jay Wyant, Minnesota IT Services
Jim Hall, Ramsey County
Matt Bailey, IBM
Melissa Reeder, League of Minnesota Cities
Nathan Beran, City of New Ulm
Sue Wallace, IT Futures Foundation
Lisa Meredith, Minnesota Counties Computer Cooperative
Justin Kaufman, Minnesota IT Services
Renee Heinbuch, Washington County/MNCITLA
Jerine Rosato, Ramsey County
David Berthiaume, Minnesota IT Services
Cory Tramm, Sourcewell Tech 

Content Committee

Tomas Alvarez, Federal Reserve
Tom Ammons, MN.IT – Central
Dave Andrews, MN State Services for the Blind
Susan Bousquet, MN.IT – DOT
Robert Granvin, Metro State
Alex Hepp, City of Hopkins
Shawntan Howell, Ramsey County
Jenny Johnson, Metropolitan Council
Millicent Kasal, MN.IT – Central
Ping Li, MN.IT – MMB
Chibuzor Nnaji, MN.IT – DHS
Mehrdad Shabestari, MN.IT – Central