How do I complete Beyond Compliance: Accessibility Self-Assessment Tool for Organizations?
This self-assessment experience is designed to be simple to administer and complete. It also offers flexibility on how your organization wants to use it. The guidebook offers more detailed instructions but here is a summary of the eight (8) easy steps:
1. Select the area your organization would like to work on. The tool is organized under six key areas of organizational responsibility. Your organization can choose to assess all six areas or pick the one or more areas you want to work on first. Areas not assessed now can also be assessed at a later date.
Each area has an overall best practice to create an accessible organization. This is the horizon you are aiming to reach. Each area also has a goal. This is the road to reach that horizon, with each of the items you assess like steps along the way.
2. Answer the questions. Each area offers a series of questions that are based on best practices to create an accessible organization. All are activities that are beyond what is required by Ontario’s accessibility laws. You can choose to skip questions that do not apply to your organization.
Questions are organized under primary and secondary sections. Our research told us that some best practices are more important to work on first. Your organization can focus on the primary questions only, come back to the secondary questions later, or choose to do all the questions at once.
3. Learn definitions and terms. Some of the terms in the questions have been defined to make the tool easier to use. Just click the highlighted words for clarification.
4. Record comments. You have the option to record comments in the text box provided for each question. This is especially helpful if a team is involved in the assessment project and you want to share information. All comments will be saved and aligned with your results for easy reference.
5. Consider your results. After you complete an area you receive results. Answers to questions are tallied to provide an assessment of your organization on a scale from preparation to action, with a percentage result. Based on your answers your organization can see where it lies on the accessibility spectrum for that area. There is also an overall results page, with an overall accessibility measurement for your organization.
Keep in mind that these measurements are beyond compliance. Every measurement is a positive one and more than what is required by accessibility laws in Ontario.
6. Decide a plan of action. The results page also includes a measurement for each question, with a link to your comments and various resources and best practices related to it. Decide what best practices your organization would like to work on to improve accessibility and use the resources to help achieve your goal. The next time you complete this self-assessment you can rate your organization higher on the scale for that best practice, not only increasing your results but more importantly your organization’s levels of accessibility. Don’t forget to update how many times your organization has used this tool in your Profile.
7. Continue or complete the assessment. At this point you can go back and revisit your answers, use the navigation bar or quick nav drop down menu to go elsewhere in the tool, save and continue later, or forward the website and login information to a colleague for input. You can also choose to complete the assessment. Here you will have the opportunity to download your results as a PDF or Word document.
8. Reassess your organization at a later date. With the completed assessment you have established a baseline of accessibility in your organization, identified areas to improve and strategies to complete those tasks. Now plan to reassess your organization on a scheduled basis in the years ahead. Each time you reassess your organization you will create a new user name and login account.
Research tells us that this type of assessment is best repeated one year apart to allow time for change to happen and to encourage an organization to set goals and milestones for each year. Establish timing, however, that works best for your organization.