In Getting to the Heart of Digital Accessibility Carie Fisher makes a compelling argument for making accessibility a priority in tech companies. Her conclusion really resonated with me:
Maybe I’m naive, but I’d like to think we’ve come to a point in our society where we want our work lives to have meaning. And that we don’t want to just hear about the positive change that is happening, but want to be part of the change. Digital accessibility is a place where this can happen! Not only does understanding and writing purpose-driven code help people with disabilities in the short-run, I believe strongly that is key to solving the overarching diversity issue in tech in the long-run. Developers who reach Stage 4: Understanding, and who prioritize accessible code because they understand it’s fundamentally about people, will also be the ones who help create and cultivate an inclusive environment where people from more diverse backgrounds are also prioritized and accepted in the tech world.
She mainly mentions developers in this article, but I’d argue that it is very much also the responsibility of product managers to make sure accessibility is always in the discussion on projects. We need to make sure that if extra time is needed for accessibility, we build that into the planning.
For some practical advice on how to make emails more accessible, see Accessibility vs. Inclusion: What it Takes to Create More Inclusive Email Marketing Experiences and Email Accessibility: Looks aren’t everything.
For an example of how not to approach this topic, see Should websites be accessible to everyone? Domino’s says no.