This is Us
The State of Connecticut is embarking upon a digital transformation to uplift the lives and well-being of our residents, businesses, and employees. Our goal is to improve access to our programs and services, making interaction with the government easier. When you join the Connecticut Digital Service, you’ll be part of a team creating simple experiences personalized for everyone. If you enjoy solving complex problems with a curious, supportive, high-performing team, then the State of Connecticut is the place for you.
Is This You?
- Problem Solver. You are comfortable navigating bureaucracy to address wicked problems.
- Iterative. You understand and accept the value of incremental improvement.
- Service-Oriented. You are passionate about government innovation and improving services for your fellow residents.
The State of Connecticut (CT) is seeking a Digital Accessibility Specialist who has strong experience in assessing, strategizing, and implementing user accessibility improvements for digital products and services. You will bridge the verticals of Business, IT, Customer Experience, and Design to ensure the government meets the highest standards of inclusion for our residents.
This role will require a deep familiarity with the requirements and processes for complying with current and future accessibility guidelines as documented in WCAG, ADA, and Section 508 standards. This role will also help build a 360-degree approach to the accessibility needs for services and experiences provided by the State of CT. You will audit internal systems and processes, guide research methods, and strategies for UX and product development, create training materials, establish success tracking, and engage with stakeholders to implement and advocate for accessibility best practices.
The ideal candidate will also champion customer needs by promoting the humanity behind inclusionary practices. You will be an empathic problem-solver who can move teams toward higher standards while staying focused on the impact your efforts will have on the people who need government services.
This is a next-level opportunity. Your work will change lives.
- Conduct reviews and implement improvements to digital products, services, and processes to ensure the State is meeting the highest standards of accessibility compliance
- Develop and lead a practice of inclusionary methodologies and integrate these enterprise standards across State teams
- Assist the development of new State accessibility policies, aligning with regulatory requirements and the experiential needs of external users
- This role will drive the State’s initiatives for accessibility optimization. To better understand the needs, we broke down the main responsibilities into seven main areas.
- Audit current State systems, internal processes, and customer-facing assets to find accessibility issues, and create prioritization models and project plans for addressing
- Clearly summarize accessibility findings and provide recommendations for remediation, including code-level recommendations and solutions
- Evaluate new vendor products for compliance with accessibility standards, and help improve the State procurement process for technology and digital services
- Utilize and interpret multiple sources of research data to make credible recommendations for accessibility improvements
- Document current levels of State compliance, rank the compliance level against standardized benchmarks and create reports that identify State gaps and violations by platform, service, process, asset type, and customer journey touchpoints
- Align with leadership and State accessibility advocates to help define and maintain the roadmap, vision, and strategy for enterprise digital accessibility
Strategy & Development
- Serve as the product owner of accessibility strategies, enterprise standards, and procedures for meeting inclusionary compliance standards
- Support accessibility initiatives that foster environments where everyone can thrive, including employees along the full range of neurodiversity
- Collaborate with internal and external partners to identify needs and incorporate best practice policies for accessibility
- Work with Legal and Legislative teams to align accessibility guidance with State regulatory policies
- Assist project teams with management activities related to accessibility requirements (i.e, tracking deliverables and tasks, documentation, asset/artifact management, etc.)
- Develop a process for identifying business needs around translated assets, help stakeholders engage with translation efforts and provide guidance for asset governance
- Provide compliance guidance for the creation of visual media assets, and assist in the creation of these assets as assigned
- Conduct and execute routine usability and accessibility checks for state websites and online assets
- Integrate testing policies for meeting State accessibility standards on all product and service development, including development from external vendors
- Serve as an effective spokesperson and advocate for digital accessibility
- Work with CTDS leadership to broadly champion digital accessibility
- Conduct regular outreach as well as ad-hoc communications support for state teams around accessibility practices
- Provide success metrics and KPI reporting to stakeholders and identify areas of improvement and challenges from optimization efforts
- Keep leadership apprised of progress, challenges, and outcomes related to the efforts of State accessibility initiatives
- Establish and maintain effective relationships across IT teams, business teams, legal teams, legislators, and vendors
- Conduct accessibility trainings addressing various stakeholder needs, develop training materials for teams, and serve as an accessibility asset point of contact
- Shape enterprise accessibility guidance with cross-functional teams and promote its importance through leadership, coaching, and communities of practice
- Develop and implement ongoing accessibility program activities and share-outs for business stakeholders and vendors to support the State’s evangelization of inclusionary design
- Provide enterprise governance of accessibility requirements, along with consistent oversight, accountability, and tactical support to keep the State in regulatory compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws
- Establish relationships between State and external customers to ensure accessibility needs are consistently surfaced and that State options are continually improved upon based on advances in technology
- Contribute content on accessibility standards for current State guidebooks on Design, Research, Content, Development, Data, and Technology to consistently improve enterprise standards
- Stay on top of the latest advances in WCAG, ADA, and Section 508 regulations and best practices, and create plans/processes for efficient optimization of State accessibility standards
Knowledge, Skills, and Ability
- 5+ years of experience assessing and improving digital materials and services (websites, digital interfaces, online transaction flows, PDFs, etc.) to comply with regulatory accessibility standards (WCAG, ADA, Section 508) - specifically WCAG 2.1 AA
- 5+ years of experience conducting QA activities on systems and products: analyzing needs, testing process flows, planning service improvements, assessing test data, and implementing accessibility solutions
- 2+ years of product or project owner experience, working collaboratively with teams to improve products and services using digital accessibility technologies, policies, and best practices
- 2+ years of experience with language translation efforts, including the oversight and maintenance of accessibility standards around translation services – both machine and manual.
- Expertise in auditing systems and products to find accessibility issues, providing guidance for mitigating issues, and improving accessibility knowledge and practices within internal teams
- Strong expertise in assistive technology tools such as JAWS, NVADA, Dragon, Fusion, deque, Wave, and ZoomText. Also experience with built-in device features such as speech-to-text, text-to-speech, magnifiers, onscreen keyboards, eye gaze tech, and alternative mice/keyboards
- Demonstrated proficiency with applying user-centered design (UCD) methodologies to effectively solve accessibility design problems
- Strong understanding of responsive web design principles, techniques, and frameworks
- Experience assessing and mitigating accessibility issues on internal business processes, including case management and data collection processes
- Experience creating or contributing to the development of an accessibility policy for a business or institution
- Demonstrated experience establishing governance standards and processes to support efficient maintenance of accessibility efforts
- Creative out-of-the-box thinking to provide solution-oriented guidance for optimizing services, using the latest digital accessibility techniques and tools
- Can work both independently and collaboratively to advance accessibility standards in the UX, content, research, development, and technology spaces
- Experience as a mentor or coach for product teams to promote accessibility-focused development within an agile system
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including the ability to clearly present ideas and recommendations as well as receive and address challenges to your guidance
- Proficient with KPI and success metric development, along with the ability to communicate the impact of accessibility efforts to stakeholders
- Expert in facilitating the remediation of accessibility issues with little guidance
- Strong ability to create and maintain documentation and best practice methodologies across multiple systems and functional areas
- Ability to explain technical issues to non-technical stakeholders and communicate their implications on systems, processes, projects, and services. Able to facilitate discussions and solutions
Preferred Skills & Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree is required
- A total of 5 years of experience working in the domain of accessibility optimization, with 2 years of highly relevant professional experience in Accessibility and Inclusion-based policy compliance
- 2+ years of experience in assessing and optimizing digital assets for accessibility needs, including websites, visual media, communication tools, online applications, documents, and video conferencing tools
- Experience with WebAIM services and training
- Strong written and oral communication skills, and responsiveness to leadership and stakeholder requests
- Strong organizational skills and experience with project management software, along with project processes and best practices
- Experience in balancing a diverse workload of projects, with varying complexities and unique needs
- Excellent time management skills, with an ability to lay out clear project goals, timelines, and target dates
- Ability to work independently as well as part of a team to reach program goals and meet dynamic business objectives
- Ability to set rigid practices for accessibility optimization solutions, while maintaining flexibility for ad-hoc needs
- Strong proficiency with MS Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and Zoom
Other Desired Skills
- Degree in Human-Computer Interaction, UX Design, Psychology, Instructional Design, or Computer Science
- Experience in accessibility compliance for chatbots and other customer communication tools
- Experience in accessibility compliance for analog formats like Word, Powerpoint, and print marketing assets
- Experience with digital forms and documents remediation to meet accessibility standards
- Proficiency with Adobe XD, Jira/Confluence, Sitecore, and Salesforce
- Knowledge of basic research methods and tools, and data visualization tools
- IAAP certification (CPACC, WAS, etc.)
- PMP certification
- DHS Trusted Tester certification
The Digital Accessibility Specialist will work as part of an iterative team using agile sprints. Work will be assigned based on items in the product backlog associated with Website Improvements. These tasks may be adjusted, reduced, or expanded as the project progresses through various phases. The contract employee shall be expected to maintain and provide written documentation on any work performed in conjunction with this engagement.
Use of State Resources: The contractor will share dedicated office space and will be provided with all computer hardware and software needed to execute and perform the duties for this program.
Security/Privacy Considerations: Information accessible by the contractor may be sensitive, confidential or subject to the Privacy Act and/or HIPAA considerations. Contractor personnel must be familiar with and comply with the provisions of appropriate regulations and/or instructions. Signing a confidentiality agreement will be required. Daily sign-in to the facility may be required. The contractor employee must always display an access badge while present in state facilities. A background check will be required.
- Bachelor's degree in Communications, Marketing, English, Journalism, or a related field
- Content marketing
- SEO and analytics
- Web content management systems
- Writing and Editing Skills
- Communication skills both verbal and written