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WebAIM’s Hierarchy for Motivating Accessibility Change

    Creator: WebAIM

    Date Updated: October 21, 2021


    This is a great quick summary and infographic detailing the ways people are motivated to implement accessible changes. It is a pyramid hierarchy similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, with Guilt being at the bottom and Inspire being at the top.

    The information is summarized from WebAIM’s Hierarchy for Motivating Accessibility Change.

    Quick Facts

    • The order of the pyramid, from top to bottom, is as follows:
      • Guilt as a motivation method is the easiest but least efficient option.
      • Punishment as a motivation method, like suing people who don’t implement accessibility, results in the minimum needed to avoid punishment.
      • Requirements as a motivation method, like legislation requirements, can be helpful, but they overlook the human element of accessibility.
      • Reward as a motivation method, like gamifying a task, works well, but people will only do it for their benefit.
      • Enlighten is a powerful motivator when someone makes an accessible product because they think it is right.
      • Inspire as a motivation method, achieved after one experiences the impact accessibility (or lack thereof) has on a person, is the best motivator. (See note below.)

    Note: WebAIM does not suggest that the inspiration would or should come from persons with disabilities. It is not their responsibility to inspire you to create accessible products that should come from your own desire to make a difference.

    Visit WebAIM’s Hierarchy for Motivating Accessibility Change


    WebAIM (2013). WebAIM’s Hierarchy for Motivating Accessibility Change. Web page. Retrieved from: