Our digital accessibility journey update

Last year our digital team committed to our first set of Digital Accessibility Maturity objectives, which we agreed to during several discovery sessions with AbilityNet.

AbilityNet is a UK charity that helps organisations of all types and sizes to become more inclusive and build accessible digital products and services. With their help, can make sure as many people as possible can experience and be part of Oxfam’s work.

There are five progress milestones designed to measure accessibility maturity: Informal, Defined, Repeatable, Managed and Optimal.

Each milestone is split into five dimensions: Vision, Leadership, Process, Capacity and Procurement. Each of these has questions that help you assess your progress.

Our first set of accessibility objectives was chosen to help us move into the “defined” milestone in AbilityNet’s Digital Accessibility Maturity Model (DAMM).

What “defined” looks like for Oxfam GB

Our objectives were broken down into these key areas:

  • Supporting content
  • Leadership
  • Compliance
  • Training
  • Human resources
  • Procurement

What follows is how we set about achieving them.

Supporting content

The first objective was to create an accurate accessibility statement for our Oxfam GB and shop websites. These statements reflected the learnings from recent accessibility audits, making it clear where some of our supporters might experience accessibility issues and inviting people to give us accessibility feedback.

All accessibility issues identified in the audits, which have not already been actioned, have now been added to our task list.

We were also asked to write an accessibility vision and mission statement.

This is what we have committed to:

Vision - Every Oxfam digital experience will bring our brand to life and engage UK audiences, inspiring them to give money, time or take action with Oxfam. By crafting authentic and inclusive experiences designed for real people we build trust and deepen relationships.

Mission - Our ongoing mission is to improve performance, inclusion and user satisfaction across all digital platforms. To do this we oversee and work with others to deliver the following: analytics and user research, human-centred design, ethical design, accessibility, interaction design, and user journey mapping.


Put simply, we chose someone to head up accessibility (that’s me).


Accessibility compliance starts with the brand. This project could not have been better timed, as Oxfam GB is in the middle of a brand refresh. The Brand team have been very supportive, and I have helped them shape the new brand toolkit, ensuring Web Content Accessibility Compliance, and including advice on creating accessible content. We have also ensured all brand documentation is optimised for assistive technology.


My aim was to go above and beyond with training materials. We have run webinars on MS Word, Adobe Acrobat, InDesign, Social Media, building a Disability-Inclusive Culture and Alternative text. All of these resources and more are available on our intranet and have been widely shared across Oxfam.

Human resources

We are now in the process of refining the copy for job descriptions in the digital engagement division to include digital accessibility knowledge and experience as desirable.


We are close the the end of reviewing the procurement channels (products and services). Our process has been to interview everyone involved in procurement individually and look for trends in the responses. The interviews follow a questionnaire, which we created to better understand current processes.

Our six month DAMM review with AbilityNet

Last week we were all very happy to share our progress with Robin Christopherson (Head of Digital Inclusion at AbilityNet). Robin’s response to our progress so far:

I am so impressed at the progress that you have all made over the last six months. I hope I’m not being disloyal to our other DAMM clients when I say that Oxfam has undoubtedly advanced the most across almost every area with concerted efforts to action the recommendations arising from the process – and you seem well set to continue to level up in the months to come.”

Robin Christopherson, Head of Digital Inclusion at AbilityNet.

Next steps in our digital accessibility journey

We are currently defining our objectives for the next six months, which will start to move us into the “Repeatable” milestone.

This is where Oxfam GB begins to put measures in place to ensure we meet digital accessibility standards for all of our supporter facing digital content.

I’ll let you know how this goes!