How Creating Content for Others Increased Webflow’s Own Company-wide Disability Awareness
Webflow — a no-code web development software — wanted to publicize their internal accessibility efforts during the 10th annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). They partnered with M.A.W. Consulting, LLC to ensure their efforts not only met accessibility standards but also kept an authentic perspective and tone.
The team created a wealth of well-received accessibility artifacts for the community, all while increasing their own disability awareness that continues to have lasting impact across the entire company.
Aligning Goals With Accessibility
As Webflow continually increased its accessibility efforts internally and across their product, team members recognized Global Accessibility Awareness Day (#GAAD, as the day is referred to on social media) as an opportunity to publicize the efforts and resources more clearly and widely to their community.
As a no-code website builder, Webflow has significant influence to empower and encourage customers to create accessible digital experiences. The educational resources Webflow could produce fit well with the awareness goal of GAAD — and tied in with their greater mission of democratizing the web.
The Journey To Making It Happen
After creating a team to execute various GAAD activities — across product, development, design, marketing, human resources, and more — the team members realized they had lots of enthusiasm and ideas, but no one who felt fully comfortable leading projects around disability and accessibility. Notably, the lack of comfort many team members felt is common due to a type of societal discrimination known as “ableism” that causes disability to be less visible and unfamiliar to a majority of people. Nonetheless, they were ready to take action.
Michele thoughtfully and critically reviewed and revised content at all phases, from kickoff to post-launch, particularly to ensure appropriate representation and centering of disability in the activities and messaging. More specifically, Michele provided thoughtful comments and educational commentary on each document review — not just what might need to change, but why.
Through interactions with Michele throughout the process, the Webflow team continually increased their own understanding, familiarity, and comfort levels — both in foundational disability awareness and actionable digital accessibility steps.
A Lasting Outcome
In the end, Webflow’s GAAD deliverables produced several pieces of (accessible) content presented internally and externally, all highlighting the importance of disability inclusion. The ongoing list includes:
An accessibility landing page including a formal Accessibility Statement (highlighting resources, features, and company plans and improvements)
Accessibility video courses (demonstrating how-to’s that maximize inclusion)
Accessibility checklist (making the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines — WCAG — easier to understand and specific to Webflow users)
External communications via social media & an email to their community (emphasizing awareness and accountability)
Case study of an accessible site (highlighting an accessibility success story)
Internal panel discussion & speaker event (reflecting on takeaways from the GAAD journey, and providing further education for team members)
Their hard work paid off with community praise and meaningful engagement. Just a few weeks after launch, there were:
And one tweeted sentiment, in particular, seemed to sum up all those impressive numbers:
Webflow's accessibility efforts received rave reviews online
When the 40+ team members involved in creating the GAAD artifacts reflected on the journey, everyone spoke of growing in knowledge that would carry on into their day-to-day work and activities. In fact, the cross-organizational team still meets quarterly to discuss next efforts.
When Value Goes Beyond Numbers
Ensuring access to disabled consumers is required for businesses. For a brick-and-mortar store this may mean wheelchair ramps and automatic doors; for an online e-commerce store this means following the design and code guidelines such as sufficient color contrasts and semantic HTML.
Although many teams have limited knowledge of how to implement this type of inclusion — let alone where to start — training and learning through a knowledgeable consultant accelerates the process and embeds the practices into established workflows. After all, it worked for Webflow.