Module 7, Maintenance and post-publication development

Module 7

  • Accessibility must also be taken into consideration systematically after publishing when content is produced for the service or the service is developed further.
  • Of what kind of use could the testing tools be in monitoring and maintaining the accessibility of the service?
  • What must be taken into consideration when deciding to expand, overhaul or otherwise develop the service?

Prepare for accessibility maintenance after the service has been published

Appoint an owner for the accessibility of the service. They will be responsible for ensuring that the accessibility requirements of the service are not forgotten or neglected when content is created for the service and the service is developed.

  • Experience has shown that the accessibility of services does not automatically stay at the level of the publishing phase. For example, new contents such as new HTML pages or PDF documents can inadvertently breach the service’s own specifications. On the other hand, further development should always be as meticulous as the original implementation of the service, as it is also subject to the same legal requirements. Finally, keep in mind that the accessibility statement of the service must be updated on a regular basis.
  • The owner of accessibility must ensure that content production for the service follows the instructions set for it and that any further development of the service will not bypass the requirements of the Act on the Provision of Digital Services.
  • If one automatic tool is used for monitoring the accessibility of the service, the owner should have the appropriate user rights and training for it.
  • The owner also primarily receives and processes the accessibility feedback provided through the accessibility statement.

Assess whether an accessibility monitoring tool is needed to maintain the service and whether one can easily be acquired, e.g. through a framework agreement.

  • If you are able to utilise automatic accessibility monitoring, specify who will use the tool and what resources and obligations that entails.
  • For example, if the monitoring tool reports any specification breaches that have occurred in content production (e.g. pages without technical heading specifications have been added to the service or a link to an external service has not been marked correctly on a new page), specify in advance what action the user of the tool, such as the owner of the accessibility of the service, can take in the situation.

The service specification and maintenance processes can utilise the W3C’s ARRM (Accessibility Roles and Responsibilities Mapping) model, which is designed to help service developers and administrators assign accessibility-related responsibilities to different professionals (i.e. roles), sorted by the nature of each issue.

ARRM also features a checklist for making corrections, which can be a good aid particularly in administration if accessibility shortcomings occur in the service. The list is instructive, and you can read it via the link below:

Keep in mind! Training and the sharing of accessibility know-how are important after publication!

  • In contemporary service development, accessibility know-how cannot rely on training alone. The best way to learn accessibility is by doing things yourself.
  • An important helper here is organisation-wide learning in which good practices and problem-solving methods are consistently made available to all development teams.

Utilise the training section of the Accessibility Model: Guidelines for implementing accessibility.

Original version: Tero Pesonen
Created 3 April 2021