Big Problems, Small Solutions: Considering Accessibility in DesignOps

2-day virtual workshop
October 5-6 2023, 9:30am-1:30pm PT

Almost everyone has heard about accessibility—the practice of making information available and systems functional for people with disabilities. However, for DesignOps practitioners in particular, there are a dizzying array of considerations involved in operationalizing accessibility.

In this workshop we’ll create a framework for the many ways accessibility issues can present themselves when looking at the DesignOps and ResearchOps of an organization. We’ll then take one area of accessibility, alt text, as an example and dive deep. We’ll cover the way alt text, as with any accessibility consideration, must be integrated into organizational governance and hiring, internal documentation, tooling, and infrastructure, and design or research processes themselves.

Target Audience:

Anyone involved in research or design processes in organizations will be set to gain something from this workshop. However, DesignOps and ResearchOps practitioners, either full time or as part of their job duties, will stand to gain the most from this workshop. Participants should have a basic understanding of accessibility and its importance. This workshop is for you if you want to tackle the breadth of issues falling under the accessibility umbrella.

Participants will be able to:

  • Name and describe the elements of a few of the vast array of accessibility issues that can come up in design processes.
  • Describe and plan for how to properly consider accessibility in three main ways: within products and content being designed; within hiring and governance practices for new employees with disabilities; and within documentation, tooling, and processes used by existing teams to support current employees with disabilities.
  • Write alt text for images that follow best practices and inclusive guidelines, as well as understand, practice, and assess the utility of different types of alt text writing processes.
  • Create and prioritize their own Accessibility Considerations Menu to guide future DesignOps goals and changes in their organization.


Day 1
Introductions and diving in (40 minutes)

  • Get to know the facilitator and participants
  • Intro to Accessibility
  • Core Concepts: POUR and “shifting left”

Accessibility Considerations (50 minutes)

  • Whiteboarding Activity: Brainstorming elements of accessibility
  • Small Group Discussion: Accessibility considerations in three categories

Large Problems (60 minutes)

  • Large Group Discussion: Debrief / face the challenge
  • Introducing The Menu
  • Individual Activity: Getting started on your menu

Break (30 minutes)

Small Solutions (45 minutes)

  • Introducing Image Accessibility
  • Lecture + Q&A: Image Accessibility Guidelines

Practices for Creating Alt Text (60 minutes)

  • Large Group Activity: Interactive alt text practice
  • Introduction to Alt Text Production

Day 1 Wrap Up (15 minutes)

Day 2
Review from Day 1 (30 minutes)

Practice and Discussion of Alt Text Methods (60 minutes)

  • Small Group Activity: Practicing Different Methods
  • Large Group Discussion: Pros and cons of different methods

Alt Text in Your Organization (60 minutes)

  • Individual Brainstorming: Everything you know about alt text in your organization
  • Small Group Discussion: Current state of accessibility/alt text in your organization

Break (30 minutes)

Returning To The Menu (60 minutes)

  • Small Group Activity: Writing an ingredients list / refined menu
  • Large Group Discussion: Share-out

Takeaways (30 minutes)

  • Lecture: Review concepts and lessons
  • Large Group Discussion: Insights from all discussions

Wrap-up (30 minutes)

  • Round Robin: Everyone’s next steps / goals
  • Goodbyes and ways to connect with each other