Maturity Model

The itAccessibility Program team began its work by researching approaches used to assess, promote, enhance, and monitor the accessibility of large electronic and information technology (EIT) systems. Through our research we discovered the work of the Business Disability Forum Technology Taskforce and One Voice for Accessible ICT. These groups developed an Accessibility Maturity Model for assessing and tracking progress of EIT accessibility in business. Using the Maturity Model as a foundation, the UA itAccessibility Program team modified the critical areas and levels of maturity to fit a higher education environment and began using the concept to guide our work at the University of Arizona.

The Maturity Model serves as a yardstick to measure the University's progress across critical areas of EIT access. As such, it provides both a benchmark and roadmap to strengthen our position in creating accessible EIT environments. The Maturity Model offers a general understanding of the University's accessibility performance at a glance. 

Critical Areas and Levels of Maturity

  1. Leadership- Organizational commitment and accountability
  2. Standards and Implementation: Recognized standards used throughout system life cycle
  3. Governance and Risk Management- Campus leadership group to lead/advise program and strategies. Process for risk management strategies to assess systems and determine adjustments needed to meet guidelines.
  4. Resources and Cost Impact- Investment strategies / budget impact across campus
  5. Education and Communication- Training, consultation, awareness, and publicity
  6. Procurement and Supplier Contracts- Guidance, checklists, contract language
  7. Application Systems- Strategy and pathway to increasing areas of campus with accessible systems
  8. Reasonable Adjustments Process- Understanding and utilization of individual accommodation process

In each area we have defined our current status and continue to track our progress using the following levels of maturity:

  • Level 1: Informal
  • Level 2: Defined
  • Level 3: Repeatable
  • Level 4: Managed
  • Level 5: Optimized

itAccessibility Maturity Model

itAccessibility Maturity Model


Level 1: Informal

Level 2: Defined

Level 3: Repeatable

Level 4: Managed

Level 5: Optimized

Leadership No senior buy-in Strategy in place  Top down commitment & involvement Active strategy monitoring; strategic view; objectives defined Pioneers & leaders
Standards & Implementation Minimal or unclear; minimal inclusion in development lifecycle Basic standards documented & used ad hoc; lifecycle stages documented & applied ad hoc

Standards in regular use & actively promoted & integrated including user testing by staff & consumers

High standards;continuous improvement; proven standards compliance; metrics collected Influencer; early adopter of new standards; innovation and design excellence
Governance & Risk Management Process Not defined Process defined; minimal actual governance Active governance Continuous improvement & strategic view Suppliers influenced
Resources & Cost Impact Not allocated or controlled Some budget provided; clear responsibilities Investment strategy & support services integrated Effective budget & benefit management Specific funding for innovation & user empowerment
Education & Communication Minimal resources available Workshops provided; basic Web resources; individual consultation Department liaisons; tool kits in existence Formalized workshops & role-based training, "train the trainer" comprehensive Web resources & tool kits Mandatory role-based training; ISM Model
Procurement & Supplier Contracts Minimal inclusion in procurement process Process documented & used ad hoc Regular use & non-compliance management Proactive and supportive Supplier partnerships
Application Systems Low accessibility Limited accessibility; ad hoc processes Priority systems accessible; strategy to address remaining systems Systems mostly accessible All systems accessible
Reasonable Accommodation Process Minimal / reactive Basic process; used ad hoc Integrated process promoted & in regular use Active management within service levels Innovation & sharing of best practice 

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