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Accessibility Audit Experience Needed - Can You Help?

Reply with quote Hi all.

Many of you know that I've been on Incapacity Benefit for several years. Last year I discovered AccessifyForum and it really helped to turn my life around. I discovered a real passion for accessibility issues related to the Web.

I have just started a New Deal Training Programme designed to help me into self-employment. I receive lots of valuable support and advice from a 3rd party organisation sanctioned by JobCentre Plus.

I have undergone a complete change in my trading name and URL...although the site is still being put together and hasn't been published yet.

Although my Mentor can give me lots of advice, the one thing he can't give me is practical experience. My business model, about which the mentor is very enthusiastic, includes carrying out accessibility audits of existing sites.

Is anyone out there willing to give me some practical experience of accessibility auditing, or other related issues?

I'm willing to do it either paid or unpaid. If, unpaid, I would expect some kind of feedback as to how successful my audit was compared to the actual results obtained by the organisation/company carrying out the audit.

I would also be happy to provide credit to anyone who helped me, once my new site is launched.

I have contributed in the Site Critiques forum fairly often, and feel confident that I am ready and able to audit at WCAG 2.0 standards.

Many thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope to hear from you soon. If you wish to contact me about this, but prefer to keep the matter private, please feel free to PM me.

Smile
Reply with quote I'm afraid I don't have any practical suggestions for you, but just wanted to say this sounds like a fantastic move forward for you and I wish you the best of luck and hope it works out really well Smile

Accessify Forum Administrator ~ Nigel Peck / Starstream
"Everything I say is not meant to be set in stone" - Van Morrison
Reply with quote Thanks for the good wishes Nigel! Smile
Reply with quote Best of luck with this Gary, the programme sounds really good. Your enthusiasm speaks for itself and you've proven yourself to be a fast learner and eager participant in discussion which are vital attributes in this business! I hope you manage to secure some good projects soon to build up your experience and take this forward. If I come across anything suitable I'll let you know. Smile

James Coltham - NHS web content manager by day, web and accessibility blogger at lunchtime, freelancer by night. Tweets at @prettysimple.
Reply with quote Thanks James! Smile
Reply with quote I remember going through exactly this phase before I started trading as Site Surgeon. Best way is to learn by doing!

The audits I write for companies and government assess compliance by listing actionable fixes. For each WCAG checkpoint, I check the representative selection of pages agreed by the client and document every problem.

I provide code fix for every issue. These are either drop-in working replacements or "signposts" which show the general direction to go in. Obvious changes, such as changing CSS selector due to replacing elements, are usually left out.

My first audit was 30-page professional audit for the Department for Transport, back in 2006. It's a big step up from writing Site Critiques! Luckily sDesign1 already had a template I could fill in, since the founder had audited many websites before.
Reply with quote
Ben Millard wrote:
The audits I write for companies and government assess compliance by listing actionable fixes. For each WCAG checkpoint, I check the representative selection of pages agreed by the client and document every problem.
Yeah, going down the actionable fixes route is a good idea. You may also want to consider prioritising them. I'd not necessarily provide the code fix for each one (depending on circumstances), but I'd certainly advise on the procedure to fix (e.g. might say "mark up table headers" as opposed to providing code sample)
Reply with quote @Ben: Thanks for the info. Smile You're right about full audits being different from Site Critiques...it's scary! Wink

@JackP: Thanks for the feedback. Smile

It's the same old Catch-22 isn't it? Folks won't hire you 'cos you have no portfolio or experience...how the hell are you supposed to get it? Confused

That's exactly why I wrote the post. If someone is willing to give feedback, I'll rate that much more important than financial remuneration!
Reply with quote yep, but you've got the right attitude. Get doing, paid or otherwise, then you'll have experience (and you will genuinely learn a lot). No one will ask you if you got paid for your portfolio jobs...

My first project was self funded, it took a long time to get back in the black, but I did and it was worth the struggle.

Good luck. I will be asking if we can use you (in the nicest possible way Wink), but we're going through a lot of changes here, and so this may not be a priority for quite a while... Sad Plus we don't currently audit, but it is something I've always wanted us to move towards some sunny day.

Still I'll try.

creator of Talklets
Talklets ,
Reply with quote
Phil Teare wrote:
Good luck. I will be asking if we can use you (in the nicest possible way Wink)


ooooooo...errrrr....missus! Shocked

Seriously though, thanks for the thoughts Phil! Smile
Reply with quote Hi all.

On the subject of Accessibility Audits, does anyone here know what a standard price for such an audit would be? I've looked at various sites, but companies offering the service seem to keep their pricing cards pretty close to their chest.

For example, if a site consisted of 4 pages with only 4 or 5 images, would a fee for a complete audit of £150.00 seem reasonable? The audit findings would be presented in a comprehensive report outlining all procedures carried out and with recommendations where appropriate.

I thought that this might be reasonable for such a site, with larger and more complex sites scaled as appropriate using this as a baseline.

Any ideas?
Reply with quote
Gary Miller wrote:
Any ideas?

I'm not 100% sure of the legal position, but I know SitePoint discourages price discussions because it was felt that this might be interpreted as the site being complicit in price-fixing, and could cause legal problems...

Therefore I would instead decide what you believe an appropriate hourly rate to be (taking into account your reputation, skills, level of experience etc), and work out how long it would take you to do an audit of that nature - and base the price on that.
Reply with quote
Gary Miller wrote:
Hi all.

Is anyone out there willing to give me some practical experience of accessibility auditing, or other related issues?


Doh!

A few years too late Exclamation

I used to run Independent Testers (http://web.archive.org/web/20060221040809/http://www.independent-testers.org/) in which we had testers from all over the world testing sites, this was a free organisation but successful and I tested over 215 sites as I tested each one, testers where chosen to test a site via the equipment and skills they had so didn't test all sites. We actually had just under 320 testers!

I decided to stop the site as I needed to concertrate on my other ventures including Rayfields Accessibility which has really taken Independent Testers place.

Adrian

Web Deign and Accessibility Breakofday - Painting and Decorating Property Decorating
Reply with quote
JackP wrote:
Therefore I would instead decide what you believe an appropriate hourly rate to be (taking into account your reputation, skills, level of experience etc), and work out how long it would take you to do an audit of that nature - and base the price on that.


Thanks JackP. I've been looking at IT Jobs Watch - Web Designer category.

Based on the information in that document, I think an hourly rate of £13.00 seems reasonable, with a daily rate of £175.00. Does this seem fair? If anyone thinks it's too low, bear in mind that I'll be working from home with no overheads for an office, staff, etc. If it's too high, could you tell me why and what you think a more realistic figure would be for someone like myself just starting out?

Cheers!
Reply with quote
Adrian Rayfield wrote:
Doh!
A few years too late Exclamation


Rats! Oh well, thanks for letting me know anyway. Smile

Now, where did I leave the Tardis... Wink

The good news is that I've received a couple of offers to do some auditing. It's unpaid in a financial sense, but the feedback I'll receive will be far more worthwhile...

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