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Home » News » Access Granted: Design Hammer, Part 2

Access Granted: Design Hammer, Part 2

Ablr's Mike Iannelli talks to Dave of Design Hammer on the Access Granted podcast.

Access Granted: Design Hammer Part 2 Transcript. Tune in wherever you listen to podcasts.

Mike Iannelli: Hey there, welcome back to Access Granted, powered by Ablr. I’m your host, Mike Iannelli. And today we’re diving into a conversation with Dave Shepley. As a development strategist at DesignHammer, Dave brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table when it comes to web development and accessibility.

In part two of our episode, we’ll continue to explore Dave’s insights and perspectives on the importance of accessibility in digital experiences. So sit tight, and let’s jump right into it.

Mike Iannelli: So back in the day, it’s like, remember privacy policies back in the day? It kind of reminds me of that. Do you have a privacy policy on data collection? No, I don’t, but I’ll just go stake one from someone else’s. It’s the same thing, so instead of people actually putting in the, the commitment and the effort to inclusion and access, they’re saying, well, we care. We put an accessibility statement on our site. So the first place people go when

Dave Shepley: It’s not their accessibility statement, it’s one they copied and pasted 

Mike Iannelli: Exactly.

Dave Shepley: I mean, you Google accessibility statement and you paste it and it’s in your footer and you’re “covered.”

Mike Iannelli: You’re covered, which again, that is –

Dave Shepley: Air quotes for those listening. 

Mike Iannelli: Yes. Those are good air quotes – but so frustrating because when individuals that show up to the site and they are having trouble, where do they go?

They go with the accessibility statement. And so imagine being on a site. That you’re wanting to shop, or you’re wanting to buy food, or you’re wanting to go bank. Whatever you’re wanting to do. And you’re lost, and you’re stuck. Now something that takes, and I’ll tell you, if something’s supposed to take me a minute to do it, and it takes me more than a minute, I start to get frustrated after about three or four minutes.

You see, it starts to bake in after a while. If it’s supposed to take me this long, and it’s not, I’m frustrated. Imagine going in, getting frustrated, now going and saying, hey, I’ve got an accessibility statement, I’m gonna go check it out and see what I can do to find accommodations, to figure out what’s going on, and it’s fraudulent.

Dave Shepley: Right.

Mike Iannelli: And nothing has been done. So these accessibility statements state that we care about folks with disabilities, we care about access, we care about inclusion, we’ve made a commitment to doing it by doing these things. We’re working with an organization that’s helping us. That’s what it is. Like I said earlier, you know, years ago I didn’t even think about it.

You know, but it wasn’t something to think about years ago. It should have been, but it wasn’t. 

Dave Shepley: You didn’t have awareness. 

Mike Iannelli: Didn’t have awareness. Now I have the awareness, but now we all have the awareness. I mean this isn’t, this isn’t new anymore. People are talking about this a lot, 

Dave Shepley: Right.

Mike Iannelli: And if you know about it, and we’re still not doing anything about it. What does that say? 

Dave Shepley: I say this all the time, like your web presence now is your front door. COVID sort of, it was happening anyway, COVID kicked that wide open, right? People don’t go to stores anymore. Um, people are less likely to sit across the table and, you know, break bread like this. I think even, you know, even those who go to church, I think more people are doing it online now because it’s just easier,

Mike Iannelli: Which is also terrifying.

Dave Shepley: So everything, you know, if everything’s online, then everything, you know, needs to be tested for accessibility. Because imagine trying to go to that service or whatever, like you’re searching. You know, and you can’t even get access to, you know, that, 

Mike Iannelli: You know, I know that you guys have been thinking about it. And you guys have been our biggest supporter from day one. And we’ve got, again, some great agency partners, which we are so grateful for. Um, some folks up in Pittsburgh, Level Agency. I’m very grateful for, um, Adonis Media. I’m grateful for obviously DesignHammer. These guys are these guys, these agencies are really truly leading the way.

And I, and I mean that, I mean, as an agency, you don’t have to do that, but you should. And folks that are out there making a difference. And these agencies have the opportunity to really change, change. Well, that’s why we did the ally program. We thought, Hey, we can’t do this alone. You know, we’re a nonprofit mission driven.

We’re trying to change the world, right? But we can’t do it alone with 10 people. We need others. And so the, the ally model that we created was, hey, listen, we know that you guys are on the forefront. You’re working with the clients every day. There’s not only is there opportunity fiscally to support your brands, but it’s opportunity to do the right things and maintain that reputation, maintain that relationship by going to your client with a leadership position.

And so, we believe that that really still is the future. I mean, we can’t contact everybody. Agencies have access. Agencies have that responsibility and that opportunity to truly shift the paradigm, but they have to do it in the right way. 

Dave Shepley: Right.

Mike Iannelli: So talk to me about when we talk about the right way talk to me about some of the things you learned, right? Because I want to hear about some of the things you’ve learned through the partnership and then the other part is some of the challenges you’re facing there I want to hear about some of the challenge you’re facing with some of your clients as well when it comes to accessibility. 

Dave Shepley: Sure. I mean the challenges are easy. It’s that people don’t want to pay for it because they’re not aware 

Mike Iannelli: Yep.

Dave Shepley: Right? And I think in general the industry is shifting where things cost less than they used to. So in general, budgets are smaller. Um, I think, you know, the, the last year of economic uncertainty has also kind of affected that a bit. So that adds a level of challenge and complexity. People still have the mindset of we want a flashy website. Um, so we start every. conversation with a prospect of saying that we believe that websites are tools to solve business problems, not just flashy things that, you know, have images that pop. And I think we’re past that now.

I think it needs to be like your website is your business in a lot of ways. And so the challenge there is communicating to people who don’t think their customers have disabilities that they do. Or they might, you know, say for example, I’m not, I’m a B2B that wouldn’t typically have folks with visual impairments visit my site, but now because we’ve enabled folks to go to college and to learn and to be successful, say you’re, you’re, you know, a CEO of a company and you’re the one that’s going to that site, then all of a sudden you’re not, you know, engaging that company anymore because you can’t use the site I think is, is, is a message that people will probably be a harsh reality. Yeah. I think as people with disabilities are put in positions of influence and you know, more as those numbers grow. 

Mike Iannelli: That’s a really good point, man, because you’re right. We are on a path and that path is changing and, and you’re right. In five, 10 years from now, this whole world is going to be very different. So, so the, the budget thing is, is an interesting question or an interesting statement and where do you see, is it like, cause I talk to folks every day and there’s most of the, the cost issue truthfully from my perspective comes in is that they thought they paid for it and they’re like, well, I just paid my agency all this money and they said they got it covered and we’re covered and what? You’re not covered and we do these accessibility scorecards, man, and I’ll tell you, I mean, we’ve done thousands of them. You’ve seen plenty of them. I think, I think if I did, I think I pulled the date on it, but I think out of a third of our customers that we work with today were told very clearly that they were, they were fully accessible. Think about that. You’re told something and now all of a sudden you’re not. So then you have a responsibility at that moment to do what? You can A, go back to your agency, um, and have a discussion. 

Dave Shepley: I mean, that’s what I would do. Yep. But that, that requires an agency to be honest and genuine and open minded and own that. or admit that they ran the site through a tester, air quotes again, worked for them.

Mike Iannelli: Passed, yeah. 

Dave Shepley: So, so it passed. 

Mike Iannelli: I mean a lot of the, a lot of the automated tools say you do pass, they really do. And I get it. Like if I, if I was there, I run it through a tool. It’s, it’s free. Just tell me I’m good. But then, but then it’s like, you got to peel back the cover. It’s so much deeper. So talk to, talk about that, that usability aspect of it.

Because again, color contrast, basic, right? And, and I think it’s basic. It’s very basic. And truthfully, I’m 47, I wear glasses and I get so frustrated when I can’t see. And, and, and I can’t see. I struggle. Like, there was a friend of mine who has a coffee machine. I can’t see the buttons from like a foot away, I can’t see the buttons. Uh, I play PlayStation. I play online. It’s fun. I can’t see the screen. The fonts are too small. Uh, the color contrast is terrible. Like, it’s just not part of it. And so even the basics aren’t there. 

Dave Shepley: With white or yellow writing or whatever, yeah. 

Mike Iannelli: And this is just basic, basic. Forgetting about visual impairments or auditory impairments.

Just basic fundamental caring in some ways. Or education. So, talk to me about that. What do you say in the percentages that is, and this is probably an uncomfortable thing to ask, but when you think about is it more of an uncomfortableness or an education thing? I’m interested in your perspective, where, where do you find that? Do you find it gets more balanced on the, I don’t care part or it’s not, it’s not our business part or it’s not a priority to us part? Or is it like, I just didn’t know this existed. I had no idea. Cause I was the, I had no idea guy. Where do you think in terms of your experiences, where do you think that falls?

Dave Shepley: I think largely the pre falls in the, I have no idea. Initially. It’s hard to say this. Knowing that, you know, former clients, future clients, current clients may end up listening to this one day.

Mike Iannelli: That’s the truth. I feel the same way. But these are hard conversations that have to be had.

Dave Shepley: I wasn’t aware. Now I’m aware. It doesn’t impact me. I’ve checked the box. 

Mike Iannelli: Yep. 

Dave Shepley: Right? And I want to get this site done and I want it done for X amount of money. Um, and I think the way that we can move the needle is by then coming to you and saying, okay, we have X amount of money to do a website. Whether or not they want it to be accessible or not, we want to bring you in and have you help us do that.

Where do we cut corners? Um, and I think the frustrating thing for clients is that you have a truly accessible website. You still have to cut corners on design sometimes, even slightly, because the headers are so important. Um, so where you didn’t want a header or a title before, you need it for the screen reader.

Mike Iannelli: Mm hmm. 

Dave Shepley: I think that’s where clients get frustrated because now their site isn’t as flashy as they want it. So then we go back to, well, what are your business models? 

Mike Iannelli: See, I’ve never seen that. See, that’s an interesting point that you bring up. Because John and I, when John, and I went to John with this idea of, of building the brand to support what he was doing. And he, he and I used to joke and say, you know, accessibility is sexy. And it, because, because my first thought was, well, we’re going to turn this into a, you know, 2004 SEO friendly website. That’s all white with black text, no images. And, and that’s not the case. And I always, 

Dave Shepley: It doesn’t have to be the case.

Mike Iannelli: No, it doesn’t. And I always go back and look at our sites afterwards. And I, and I, and I’ll truthfully tell you, I don’t ever rarely, rarely do I see a difference other than an improvement. So there’s not like, oh, you’re going to take my site and you’re going to, you’re going to make it look different. It’s like, that’s not at all what’s happening, a large percentage of it outside of the. It’s behind the scenes. It’s the code. It’s the content. It’s the experiential pieces that are coded behind the scenes. So there is a misconception about an accessible website, um, that doesn’t have to be unappealing, 

Dave Shepley: Right. 

Mike Iannelli: It doesn’t at all. Actually, if anything, it’s going to make your experience better. That’s where the usability piece comes in. Right? So it’s, it’s, it’s compliance. Now compliance may not be, may not, may not be attractive, right? But that’s, you’re going way beyond compliance, way beyond compliance is like so fundamental baseline. I mean, the ADA was created 33 years ago and it was updated when the iPhone came out. Sixteen years ago. So, you gotta look beyond just making sure that you’re legally protected, but it goes back into this aspect of accessibility. So, let me make sure I can access it. Mm hmm. And let me make sure I can use it. And usability, when we say usability, it’s not usability for folks with disabilities. It’s usability, period, for all people. Right. And that piece is always missing. So, your site’s not gonna go from, Hey, this is a wonderful site, it’s crazy awesome, to, well, it doesn’t work anymore. It’s gonna make it better. You’re going to get better SEO components, which we talked about. SEO is a huge component. You’re going to get better usability. You should get better conversion rates. Everything is better. So, and potentially, well, not potentially, you’re opening up your audience to people who never saw it before. So the business case for accessibility isn’t really much of a case. It’s just a, it’s a no brainer.

Dave Shepley: When you mentioned Apple, um, you know, this was years ago now, but, um, Tim cook said, and I think Apple was one of the original leaders in accessibility. He said they didn’t do it for the return of investment. They did it because accessibility should be a fundamental human right, which I think is completely where we have to get people.

But yeah. You know, when we have conversations with clients, you know, oftentimes what we’re trying to do is just get them to understand if they want like a website that looks like Apple’s, for example, have to pay a little bit of money, like Apple versus do you want. A site that looks like it was, you know, designed on Wix that you’re my five year old did, you know, and that’s oftentimes, you know, what the budget is.

Mike Iannelli: Yeah, I mean, and you’re right that that brings up a really good point because, and this to me, if agencies are listening into this and hope the point is they will be. I think it’s in, in our partners that are, it’s getting ahead of it, right? Cause where it becomes, it can become expensive is, hey, I’m going to build this website for you. I don’t know, 10 grand, 20 grand, a hundred grand, 200 grand, whatever the number is, and I’m going to build it. And over the next six months, I’m going to spend all my time and effort building this site. We’re going to go through a couple of remediations, but at the end of the day, here’s your site. Okay. Now I just get a served a letter because I didn’t do it the right way. Now I got to go backwards and I got to test everything and then modify design, modify code, modify content,

Dave Shepley: Right. 

Mike Iannelli: Instead, it’s if you engage in it in the beginning with human testers and accessibility organizations that are certified and do it. It becomes part of your development process.

So, that to me is where the game changes. Now, remediation is one thing. I’ve got a website, it’s three years old, I’m not going to spend another, any more money building a new website today, tomorrow, the next day. That’s different. Let’s go back and fix it. That’s remediation. And that’s, that’s a whole other experience.

But, if you’re building something new. 

Dave Shepley: If you’re three years old, you probably should think about building a new website. Well, yeah. For all those with three year old websites.

Mike Iannelli: Anyone? Anyone? You’re right. Drupal experts. Um, no, but the point is, is getting it in front, right? Because then that that’s different. It’s a, it’s a very different investment when you’re beginning the process with testers and accessibility experts up front. And that even goes back into. Again, designs, brand style guidelines, visual representation of the brand, uh, wireframing, font selection, color choice, all that can be audited, very quickly, by the way. It’s not a huge lift to audit flat standards. No, I mean, then you roll it into the dev process. 

Dave Shepley: Yeah, I think we submit, um, designs and wireframes to you guys and get them back in 48 hours. So it’s not slowing down development.

Mike Iannelli: That’s right. 

Dave Shepley: You know, and the, the plan typically is for while the client is testing a beta delivery or while we’re doing user testing for, you know, a beta delivery, that Ablr is also working through accessibility things, because at that point, since we’ve already agreed that the wireframes and the design concepts are accessible, then we’re just on, you know, buttons and have we done headings correctly? And, you know, is it easily clickable? We’re not doing the. Yeah. Is the website usable? We’ve already validated that through designs and wireframes. Um, so it, it streamlines the process more so than it slows down the process. 

Mike Iannelli: Incredibly streamlines. 

Dave Shepley: That’s another misnomer. 

Mike Iannelli: Yeah, exactly. When you talk about the investment level that comes with it, if you do it up front, it’s a better option because then you get to the final staging aspects of the site.

And all you have to do there is validate it. And so once it’s validated, you can go live with a fully accessible site versus, Hey, we’re getting ready to go live. Let’s get it live. Let’s punch it out. We’re live. Oh, we got to go back now. And remediating can take a long time. I mean, and that’s an area where it’s just. It’s this education aspect. So a couple of things I want to ask you just real quick too, is, well, one, I mentioned validation and validation services that, that Ablr offers, which is, which is a lot of times in some agencies can, will do the work themselves. Organizations have testers will do the work themselves.

Validation services is something different. So if an agency’s out there listening in and. They’ve got testers and they feel like they’ve gone through the right process and they feel like they’re dialed in and buttoned up. Ablr can actually do validation. So what validation is, is basically it’s a retest of everything they’ve already tested.

Yep. So, have you done validation services? Are you sort of the believer of upfront is better than post? It sounds like you’re more of a Post, I’m sorry, more of an upfront guy than going to the post. 

Dave Shepley: We prefer to be upfront. Um, we’re not always given that opportunity, obviously. We, we are a company that takes pride in our work. So even, um, as we were building out a budget for this site that we’re working on with you guys currently. Um, Stephen had some time in the budget for him to do testing before he sent it to you guys, because he said, we don’t want to send them something really sloppy and I’m sort of think philosophy a lot of times where if they can do it faster and better than us.

Mike Iannelli: Yeah, why do it? 

Dave Shepley: Why are we baking in our hours? 

Mike Iannelli: Truth. That’s, that’s a good point. 

Dave Shepley: When we can just send them something that may be sloppy. But that’s what you’re getting paid for. Yep. Right. That’s a good point. And maybe I’m shameless. I don’t know.

Mike Iannelli: Well, you might be. I mean, the fact that we’re sitting here having this conversation and potentially shameless. I mean, look, you know, the reality of it is, is that we’re here having a conversation because this isn’t about Ablr per se, this isn’t about DesignHammer per se, or any of other amazing agency partners that we work with. It’s about raising. around a potential, well, not even a potential, a real problem. And there’s a lot of misnomers. There’s a lot of miseducation. There’s a lot of mistakes happening. There’s a lot of promises that are being, uh, under delivered on. And there are a lot of potential clients and current clients that are being misled. And that to me, it’s not benefiting anyone. It’s not benefiting the agency because of the agency CEO or the agency executive team hears that account people are offering these things and developers are offering these things.

And they can’t back them up, that’s not good for them, that’s not good for the agency growth, that’s not good for anybody. 

Dave Shepley: Right.

Mike Iannelli: It’s definitely not good for the clients, because the clients are depending and trusting in this relationship, and then they’re getting an end product that isn’t accessible, and now, and then it’s not good for us, because I gotta have the conversation with the company that just made this investment to tell them that it’s not accessible.

So, it’s not good for anybody, uh, to be making claims or promises without the proper education, and, and, We got to get better at educating. 

Dave Shepley: It’s unfortunate that we are now getting into more and more when we write up contracts or statements of work, we’re having to load our assumptions with what the website is not going to be as it relates to accessibility because of what you were talking about.

Mike Iannelli: That is really smart, by the way. I do think we’re on the right path to get to everywhere that we need to be in terms of inclusion and access. And I do, I think we’re a few years away and I think AI will play a major role in this down the road. Not right now. I think we’re Three or four years away, but we still need usability testers.

We still need manual testing. 

Dave Shepley: Yeah. I mean, I don’t see AI really detecting contrast issues.

Mike Iannelli: I think the perfect blend is using manual testing 100 percent, and then baking in automated tools and monitoring tools and AI tools after the site is in a great spot to maintain its accessibility. So to me, it’s always about fixing something versus covering it.

And again, I’d rather do the job right. And yeah, I might, and again, accessibility is not expensive. I mean, it’s only expensive because you haven’t budgeted for it, haven’t thought about it. The other misnomer is it all has to be done tomorrow. And it can’t be. I mean, you can’t say, oh, my site’s not accessible.

Test it today, fix it tomorrow. That’s why it’s critical to have accessibility statements that are written by certified organizations. That’s why it’s important to have a certified company who lives and breathes this every day so it can help you write policies, help you write procedures, help make sure that not only is your website and your assets, right, but your full business is accessible, right? And so that’s why it’s important. But one of the things I’m, I’m interested in, in your position, how have you seen the landscape change? 

Dave Shepley: The world has changed for one, which I think has forced the landscape to change. We sort of talked about that because DesignHammer talks about accessibility in every potential sales conversation we have, or we talk about it with existing clients. Um, it’s hard for me to see the, the trees through the forest, I guess, in that one. Um, Is it the forest through the trees? It’s both. It could be either. It really depends on your perspective. 

Mike Iannelli: You are insightful, man. 

Dave Shepley: Like we’re so in the weeds that we don’t see, you know, the, the individual trees that are standing out. Um, and it’s frustrating for us when you have a client, a long term client who. You know, whether we had a call with a client who was very interested for a while until, you know, they got legal involved, they had a new legal counsel come in.

And then all of a sudden that conversation dried up. And I think somebody somewhere must have said, okay, we’re not going to get sued. So we’re fine. Let’s move on. So that’s frustrating. I think that’s changing. People’s perspective is changing. But again, I think it’s going to take some major shifts, either, you know, depending on the client, the industry, it’s going to take a shift somewhere where somebody of influence, you know, is able to make a decision. John was successful in business before starting Ablr, um, worked for big companies, people like that to say, well, we’re not going with X company because it is not meeting my needs or it is not meeting the needs of my friend, you know, maybe friendships too, you know. I’m open to be educated on this, but I think it’s hard to. Think about going through a day in the shoes of somebody with a visual impairment. I think you just can’t do it. You talked earlier about the, um, the dartboard with Shannon. And I think even that experience isn’t their experience. 

Mike Iannelli: One of the things I will give anyone listening to this, say hello to someone, open a door for someone, talk to someone, treat them like you treat everybody, befriend someone, go to communities and be part of something. I mean, it, it changes you. And, and I say this because, you know, I had a, when I, we started, we started the company, it was, it was hard for me initially. You know, and it’s not, but one of the reasons why I say it is one of my close friends who God rest, God rest his soul, uh, passed away last year. His name was Chris and he, uh, was a paraplegic and I spent two years with him um, and we had a lot of fun, a lot of fun, probably too much fun, but. When you see and, and recognize you have to be part of the life. Like to me, you have to throw yourself into something that is uncomfortable. Um, and to me it was, and I met him one day running. One day. I, I, he was, he was wheeling, uh, he had a, a remote control, really cool scooter. And, um, I decided at this red light couldn’t, he couldn’t get to the button to change it.

It was a dangerous intersection. I got him over the intersection and he started talking to me. And he was just started yammering and I was like, and I said, you know what? I’m going to sit here and I’m not going around. I’m going to walk and I’m going to talk. And he became my closest friend for two years.

Dave Shepley: Yeah. 

Mike Iannelli: And, uh, I did things that I never thought I would do. Bladder bags, changing out bags, I used to carry him, putting him in bed. Doing things, it’s just caring for someone. Like, and it’s, and but the other part is it’s just accepting them for like who they really are. Like it’s this whole like, and I get it’s hard, I get it, I was there, it’s hard, it’s different. But ask the questions. Why, how’s it, what’s it like having this? What does it feel like? How can I help you? Can I help you? Is it insulting if I put my arm on you? I mean, I still do that with John sometimes. We’ll be walking through the airport or something, I’ll just, you know, I just, I just put my arm on him, you know, and, and, and it’s just, but you have to, you have to talk, you have to ask questions, you have to be willing to be vulnerable, I think.

Dave Shepley: Ed Summers, who’s kind of like the. 

Mike Iannelli: Yeah, that’s great, man. 

Dave Shepley: The guru of web accessibility, at least in the Triangle, if not the country, you know, I remember him. Because I wrote it down, um, and took a picture of the slides and think about it regularly as I think about it. 

Mike Iannelli: So so Ed was the, uh, just for those listening, Ed was, um, he’s now at GitHub as a head of accessibility, but he was a head of accessibility at SAS. And he’s played a huge role in John’s life and Ablr’s life. Great friend, great partner, but I just wanted folks to know.

Dave Shepley: And yeah, and I would say, you know, DesignHammer’s thinking as well, but something that he said. Um, during last year’s accessibility day, it was, it was the, all this technical stuff, all this great stuff. But the one that really stuck out to me was the progress trumps perfection. It’s something that we think about, we say all the time and it’s kind of pithy, but you know, this is the, 

Mike Iannelli: If you think about it it’s not. 

Dave Shepley: Right. This is the non DesignHammer making money pitch to people is that his point was people, I think, often get paralyzed because they think, okay, our website is so messed up that we just can’t afford to go back and remediate the site.

But he’s saying as long as every software update or every, you know, content change is getting better. That’s right. That’s better than doing nothing. Progress. Right. You’re making progress. And I think that is what I would say to clients or people who have websites that they realize, you know, they’re not perfect. They’re not accessible. 

Mike Iannelli: Just take an A step. 

Dave Shepley: Yeah. Do something. Take a day and put all the alt tags in your images. Take a day and look at your links and see if, if they’re easily accessible. Run your site to a screen reader.

Mike Iannelli: Good start. Absolutely. 

Dave Shepley: Start somewhere. Yeah. And then when it’s time to do something bigger, bring in somebody like DesignHammer who’s thinking about accessibility. Ask your agency, are you using somebody like Ablr or somebody who knows how to do this and has folks who are living that life. I think that’s, you know, you can’t replace the manual testing ever. I’m a firm believer in that. 

Mike Iannelli: You know, we’ve talked a lot about today about misnomers and about education and about a lot of good intentions with potentially some, uh, some poor outcomes.

Um, but why do you think, you know, and just to wrap it up, as an agency, should align with a certified accessibility company like Ablr or another organization like them while they’re in the process of supporting their clients. 

Dave Shepley: I think at the end of the day, it’s because meeting accessibility guidelines doesn’t I mean it checks the box, right, but it doesn’t actually complete their journey.

Mike Iannelli: Mm hmm. 

Dave Shepley: We were talking earlier about usability for people with disabilities. You need people with disabilities using the site to validate that the site is usable. If you want something that just checks a box, so the government’s happy, then, you know, we may not be the company for you. Ablr may not be the partner for you. And that’s a shame, I think, and hopefully that’s changing, but we see the value in people who live and experience that every day, whose life that is to, um, have to go through being the key to making an accessible website, and that’s not just on the technical code, you know, what DesignHammer does aside, that’s also on the, you know, you’ve had a website for a couple of years, you’ve got all this content, is the content accessible?

Because I think, you know, there’s a large percentage of the time that it’s the content that isn’t accessible, not the actual footprint behind or the, you know, the blueprint of the, the website. And that’s the part I think where, even. You know, tech, DesignHammer right, out of the picture, companies going to Ablr and saying, how’s my content?

 What do I need to do to make this site more accessible to people who struggle to see or can’t see? 

Mike Iannelli: Well said, man. Hey, Dave, thanks so much, man. Very grateful for you being here. Awesome time. Thank you. DesignHammer as well. Uh, what’s, what is it? Designhammer. com. What is your URL? 

Dave Shepley: 

Mike Iannelli: Great firm, but great people. And that’s really a big part of what Ablr is about the experience where your life is short and you get, you get to work with people. You should choose people you like and DesignHammer’s a great firm. So I appreciate you being here, man. Really good insights. Thank you so much.

Dave Shepley: And I would say our blog is a great place for resources. David’s written, I think, dozens of articles on accessibility, um, and he’s, he’s very well written and well versed. So if folks are just wondering how do we get into this, obviously Ablr’s a good place, but I think there’s a ton of good resources on accessibility on our blog. So check that out. 

Awesome, man. Thank you, brother. Appreciate it. 

Mike Iannelli: Thanks so much for tuning in today’s conversation with Dave Shepley on Access Granted. His expertise as a development strategist at DesignHammer has given us invaluable insights today into what prioritizing accessibility at a digital agency actually looks like.

Big thanks to Dave for sharing his knowledge, and to you, our listeners, for joining us. Don’t forget to follow along for more engaging content, and keep advocating for accessibility in everything you do.