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Zendesk Accessibility Plan

Date Last Updated: August 9, 2023

General

Zendesk is pleased to present its 2023 Accessibility Plan. Should you require an alternate format of the contents of this Plan or a description of our feedback process, you may submit your request by email to the Senior Manager of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at accessibility@zendesk.com. Zendesk will endeavor to respond to requests to make this Plan or a description of our feedback process available in print, large print, Braille, audio format, or an electronic format that is compatible with adaptive technology as soon as possible.

As outlined in the Feedback section below, we have designated the following individuals to receive feedback on accessibility matters on behalf of Zendesk:

  • General accessibility feedback and requests for alternate formats: Senior Manager of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  • Product-related accessibility feedback: Senior Director of Product Accessibility

Accessibility statement

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are important values at Zendesk. We are committed to providing better experiences for both customers and employees with accessibility needs, as well as fostering the growth and development of all individuals, regardless of their physical, cultural or social characteristics. At Zendesk, we are diligent in demonstrating ourselves as a socially responsible leader that champions equity both internally and externally. Accessibility in particular is about making information, activities, and/or environments sensible, meaningful, and usable for as many people as possible.

Zendesk understands that the need for accessibility reaches beyond our business. We believe the human side of accessibility is just as important – this is why we consider that inclusivity and opportunity is for everyone. This consideration is built into our commitment to the customer service industry, our customers, their end-users, and our approach to ensuring that individuals can access the technology they need.

In terms of product, our goal is not only to meet the industry standard of WCAG 2.1 AA, but to create experiences where anyone who accesses the Zendesk platform with assistive technology has a productive and successful experience.

Removal of barriers

Zendesk takes steps to identify barriers to the accessibility of our external products, as well as to our internal communications, procurement, facilities, and programs and services. From a customer product perspective, we define accessibility barriers as any exception to WCAG 2.1 AA and seek to minimize them. From an internal perspective, we view barriers as any hindrance to an individual’s access to the tools, facilities, and programs and services made generally available within Zendesk.

AreaZendesk’s Approach

Employment

Accessibility is critical at every stage of employment. This means accommodations are made available to candidates and employees upon request. Zendesk further aims to embed accessibility into our employment policies, processes and practices, including recruitment, employee onboarding, professional development, business travel, short- and long-term disability leaves, return-to-work processes, and redeployment. We are also focused on hiring, retaining, and promoting diverse talent, and enabling diverse talent to succeed. As part of this goal, we take steps to remove accessibility barriers to full and equal participation in our organization.

  • Roles and responsibilities: This is a partnership between the People Team and the Senior Manager of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

  • Actions: To identify and remove barriers for employees and prospective employees with disabilities, Zendesk works to:

    • Educate hiring managers on accessibility and how they can ensure a barrier-free hiring, selection and accommodation process.

    • Benchmark current recruitment, selection, and onboarding practices against leading accessibility practices.

    • Review human resources policies with an inclusion and accessibility lens.

    • Continue to support our employee communities for employees with disabilities and their allies to deliver programming to reduce stigma and improve inclusion. Zendesk currently offers a Whole Self Employee Community to provide resources and serves as champions for inclusivity in areas like design, experience, functionality, practices, and work environment.

    • Continue partnerships with external organizations such as DisabilityIn to provide thought leadership on topics such as representation, advocacy, culture and best practices.

    • Continue to raise awareness of accessibility features for in-person conferences, and hybrid meetings technologies.

    • Continue to expand our tool offerings to support accessibility needs, such as Assitiv Labs, which remotely connects employees to assistive technologies like NVDA, JAWS, and Windows High Contrast Mode.

  • Determining and tracking intended outcomes: Zendesk will conduct periodic progress reviews against the plan, and will identify additional action items as needed.

Built Environment

Please see “Procurement of facilities and site selection” section below.

Design and delivery of products made available to customers (including external-facing information communication technologies)

Zendesk strives to deliver products which are inclusive to everyone. Specifically we target a minimum of meeting the industry standard, WCAG 2.1 AA.

  • Roles and responsibilities: All of our product teams are accountable for meeting our technical standard. Efforts to meet and maintain this quality standard are coordinated by a central team of subject matter experts in Zendesk’s Product Accessibility team. At the time of writing, both the central team as well as several product teams include employees with disabilities.

  • Actions: To both identify and confirm the remediation of barriers, we conduct the following: third party audits, triage of customer feedback, user research, internal manual and automated testing, and internal usage of the products using assistive technology. Our Product Development organization runs an ongoing quality program, tracked against the industry standard. In this program, we strive to catch and avoid issues as early in our release cycle as possible, starting with design, through development and testing through checkpoints, tooling, and automated and manual testing. We base UI wherever possible on our Garden Design System where accessibility improvements can be leveraged by all products. We also offer ongoing employee training.

  • Determining and tracking intended outcomes: Our core Product Accessibility team tracks compliance with quality standards to ensure consistency.

For more detail on our process and the current accessibility quality of our products, please see the Zendesk Product Accessibility Statement.

Information and communication technologies (internal facing)

In addition to the work we are doing to deliver accessible information communication technologies to our customers as part of our products, we are also taking steps to remove barriers in internal information communication technologies.

  • Roles and Responsibilities: This is a partnership between the IT team and the Senior Manager of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

  • Actions: To identify and remediate barriers in information and communication technologies, Zendesk strives to:

    • Improve how well new systems, including internally developed or externally procured hardware and software, meet modern accessibility standards that are “accessible by default”.

    • Address identified accessibility barriers in legacy systems when they undergo maintenance, are re-developed, or at renewal for externally procured software.

    • Set up guidelines for posting accessible documents and media on the Intranet (e.g., specifying when alternative formats are required).

    • Develop training and awareness sessions for Zendesk employees on Accessibility, Accommodations, and Adaptive Computer Technology (AAACT).

  • Determining and tracking intended outcomes: Zendesk will conduct periodic progress reviews against the plan, and will identify additional action items as needed.

Other communication

Given Zendesk’s digital-first model, the majority of communication occurs through information communication technologies (see above). However, we continue to work towards removing barriers in offline communications.

  • Roles and Responsibilities: This is a partnership between the People and Places team and the Senior Manager of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

  • Actions: To identify and remediate barriers in offline communications, Zendesk strives to:

    • Identify key information and frequently used content that needs to be adapted and enhanced for greater accessibility.

    • Incorporate inclusive language and imagery in communication products.

    • Identify and promote leaders in the accessibility community through Zendesk communications products.

    • Provide training to employees and managers on accessible communications best practices, and incorporate these learnings into all public-facing Zendesk communications.

  • Determining and tracking intended outcomes: Zendesk will conduct periodic progress reviews against the plan, and will identify additional action items as needed.

Procurement of goods and services

Zendesk aims to remove barriers by improving the way we procure goods and services.

  • Roles and Responsibilities: This is a partnership between the Procurement team and the Senior Manager of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

  • Actions: To identify and remediate barriers related to the procurement of goods and services, Zendesk strives to:

    • Conduct surveys of existing and prospective vendor partners to evaluate their progress towards meeting industry standards in connection with accessibility.

    • Identify vendor remediation needs or transition to alternative vendors when appropriate.

    • Create a training framework for procurement and facility professionals which would include relevant accessibility awareness and best practices.

  • Determining and tracking intended outcomes: Zendesk will conduct periodic progress reviews against the plan, and will identify additional action items as needed.

Procurement of facilities and site selection

Zendesk aims to remove barriers by improving the way we procure leased facilities:

  • Roles and Responsibilities: This is a partnership between the Director, Real Estate and Capital Improvements, Director, Global Workplace and the Senior Manager of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

  • Actions: To identify and remediate barriers related to accessibility within our leased facilities, Zendesk strives to:

    • Track areas of improvement related to accessibility within our current global office footprint.

    • Create written guidelines around accessibility requirements for our leased premises which would include relevant accessibility awareness and best practices.

  • Determining and tracking intended outcomes: Zendesk will conduct periodic progress reviews against the plan, and will identify additional action items as needed.

Design and delivery of programs and services

Zendesk’s goal is to progressively remove barriers in the design and delivery of programs and services, both for internal and external audiences.

  • Roles and Responsibilities: This is the responsibility of the Employee Experience team and the Senior Manager of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

  • Actions: To identify and remediate barriers related to the design and delivery or programs and services, Zendesk strives to:

    • Implement an internal focus group consisting of persons with disabilities in core service teams.

    • Raise awareness on the importance of creating accessible programs and services among employee teams by developing options for operational employees to collect, respond to, and consider feedback from persons with disabilities.

  • Determining and tracking intended outcomes: Zendesk will conduct periodic progress reviews against the plan, and will identify additional action items as needed.

Transportation

Zendesk does not offer transportation services and therefore has nothing to report under this heading.

Consultations

Across all our accessibility efforts, Zendesk endeavors to consult with persons with disabilities during initial planning as well as during ongoing improvements:

  • We continually gather requirements and collect feedback from all our employees and stakeholders. This includes employees with disabilities, such as those represented in our Whole Self Employee Community and Product Accessibility team.

  • During our product development process, our goal is to involve persons with disabilities at multiple stages of our release cycle via:

    • Conducting third-party audits;

    • Collecting customer feedback;

    • Performing user research; and

    • Testing and hands-on usage of the products with accessibility testing tools and assistive technology.

Consideration of Accessible Canada Act principles

In the preparation of this Plan, Zendesk took into account the principles set forth in Section 6 of the Accessible Canada Act:

  1. all persons must be treated with dignity regardless of their disabilities;

  2. all persons must have the same opportunity to make for themselves the lives that they are able and wish to have regardless of their disabilities;

  3. all persons must have barrier-free access to full and equal participation in society, regardless of their disabilities;

  4. all persons must have meaningful options and be free to make their own choices, with support if they desire, regardless of their disabilities;

  5. laws, policies, programs, services and structures must take into account the disabilities of persons, the different ways that persons interact with their environments and the multiple and intersecting forms of marginalization and discrimination faced by persons;

  6. persons with disabilities must be involved in the development and design of laws, policies, programs, services and structures; and

  7. the development and revision of accessibility standards and the making of regulations must be done with the objective of achieving the highest level of accessibility for persons with disabilities.

These principles align with Zendesk’s commitment to Diversity & Inclusion, and our belief that accessibility is a human right. To that end, a cross-functional team at Zendesk collaborated to develop this Plan with the goal of improving accessibility across all Zendesk stakeholders – including customers and their agents and administrators, as well as Zendesk employees, contractors, and service providers.

Feedback process

Zendesk welcomes feedback on the Accessibility Plan, including the manner in which Zendesk is implementing this Plan and any accessibility barriers encountered by persons that deal with Zendesk. We have designated the Senior Manager of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as the recipient of feedback as well as requests for alternate formats of this Plan and/or a description of our feedback process. We have also designated the Senior Director of Product Accessibility as the recipient of feedback specifically pertaining to Zendesk products. Individuals may provide feedback by submitting the Accessibility Feedback Form below. If you provide feedback to Zendesk, your personal information will remain confidential, unless you consent to the disclosure of your personal information. If you prefer to submit feedback without including your contact information, please use the second link. Anonymous feedback is welcome; however, acknowledgement of receipt can only be provided for feedback where contact information is provided.

Accessibility Plan Feedback Form

Accessibility Plan Feedback Form (Anonymous)

Contact information

To the attention of: Senior Manager of Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (for general feedback) or Senior Director of Product Accessibility (for product-related feedback)
Email address: accessibility@zendesk.com
Mailing address: 989 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone number: 1 (888) 670-4887