Play 6: Build Your Community

You’re ready to officially launch your effort. This step is a hefty one and will take a bit of time to work through. It’s where you build your community, reach out to key stakeholders, and prepare participants who agree to join to help carry out your vision. A successful initiative will require the commitment, expertise, and support of a diverse, cross-sector group of people who act as advisors for and champions of your initiative.

To achieve your vision, you should think carefully about developing a community-driven approach as the foundation of your initiative. Start small and be realistic about your initial goals. As your initiative unfolds and it begins to get traction, you may find it helpful to convene a community of practice (CoP) to provide ideas and brainpower. This CoP might come together as a large group periodically or as smaller working groups composed of experts focused on achieving specific goals.[1]Remember, there is no ‘right’ approach. Find the approach that works for you and your team.

XR Access

The XR Access Approach

XR Access created a volunteer-driven community of practice (CoP) made up of six working groups coalescing around key issues to foster the development of accessible XR.

The CoP was designed to help raise awareness of the importance of XR accessibility, create a space where like-minded innovators and advocates could collaborate, develop a shared set of resources to communicate the importance of accessibility to networks and the public, and help industry leaders and developers consider ways to design accessible XR.

Teach Access

The Teach Access Approach

Teach Access: Teach Access formed six task forces to help achieve its mission of embedding accessibility throughout higher education and expand educational experiences for college students. Teach Access later revamped these six task forces into three to better focus on their core audiences of universities, students, and industry. This approach enabled Teach Access to harness the valuable expertise and time of its 80+ members rather than relying on only a handful of executive committee members to conduct most project activities.


Footnotes

[1] Another approach to community building is to implement a Champions Program to help organically grow engagement inside an organization. Champions Programs offer a low barrier of entry and have been shown to work well in technology companies such as IntuitRead more about Intuit’s Champion Program: “Intuit’s Accessibility Champions Program,” by Ted Drake for more information.