Case Study

The Salvation Army Australia

The Salvation Army Congress Hall in Perth, Australia



The national website was not compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the de facto global standard for digital accessibility.


The Salvation Army needed to upskill the digital team in accessibility, while creating a culture of inclusion across the organization.

Our Solution

Monsido, powered by Acquia


With help from Monsido, The Salvation Army improved its website accessibility from 60% WCAG compliance to 97% compliance in approximately three months. 

The Client

The Salvation Army Australia is an international Christian movement united by faith and giving hope where it’s needed most. Across Australia – in cities, country towns, and rural communities – the organization’s work touches every demographic and age group. The Salvation Army is involved in national issues while also bringing hope to people experiencing hardship or injustice.

The Situation

With a website that receives more than 2.3 million visits per year, The Salvation Army wanted to ensure all people — with all abilities — could access its services. The Salvation Army is committed to being inclusive and wanted to ensure they were also digitally inclusive, in a rapidly changing digital world.

“As an organization that cares for people — including 18% of Australians who identify as living with disability — we need to ensure people can engage and interact with our content as they expect and need.” said the organization’s Disability Inclusion Lead, Joseph Pinkard.

The Challenge

Staff realized achieving digital accessibility would require a comprehensive understanding of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and a commitment to continuous improvement. And on its path to digital inclusion, it faced numerous challenges, including: 

Educating and upskilling the team: It was essential to ensure all team members — from content creators to developers — shared an understanding and respect for accessibility principles. As The Salvation Army’s Digital CX Manager, Erryn Barlow, shared, “It was more than training the team for certification. We wanted a rich, robust dialogue around what we were learning and how we might apply what we learned within The Salvation Army.”

Identifying and addressing accessibility issues: With a website comprising numerous pages and components, establishing a systematic approach to locate and address accessibility issues across all digital platforms was a daunting task. The website’s initial WCAG accessibility score of just over 60% highlighted the significant work ahead.

Maintaining ongoing compliance: Web accessibility isn’t a “one-and-done” activity; it’s a continuous process. Web accessibility guidelines and best practices are constantly evolving, meaning the organization needed to put tools and processes in place to help ensure ongoing compliance. As Pinkard explained, “We needed to do more than ask people to make something ‘accessible’ — we needed to articulate what that meant and be able to determine if we delivered.” 

Asset reference
Case Study Graphic-The Salvation Army Australia-Browser Mockup.png

The Solution

The Salvation Army took initial steps toward digital inclusion by implementing an accessibility toolbar on its website. When Pinkard collaborated with Leah MacGibbon, General Manager of Digital Marketing, they both knew the toolbar was not the answer for digital inclusion. 

Pinkard shared, “From experience, I knew these toolbars could be a bit hit and miss, so I was glad to hear senior leaders were open to do more.”

Working together, MacGibbon created the “Accessibility Hour of Power” initiative, which brought together cross-functional teams to participate in online web accessibility training. “The cross-team collaboration meant we had a shared understanding of and respect for accessibility,” the Barlow noted.

Next, The Salvation Army implemented the Monsido platform to automate the process of identifying and fixing accessibility issues. Monsido’s browser extension and tagging system allowed the team to quickly and efficiently locate and assign specific accessibility tasks to individuals. 

“We prioritized tasks that had the greatest exposure or would deliver the biggest impact. Content issues went to publishers, SEO fixes went to the SEO specialist, development issues were assigned to our front-end designer and developer, and we occasionally tapped into our backend development team, and our Monsido point of contact was always on call – ready to answer our questions,” stated MacGibbon.

The Results

Building on its initial accessibility successes, The Salvation Army doubled its efforts to reach its compliance goals. “After we completed our initial Monsido project, we identified an additional 20 components that, once fixed, would apply across all pages and help us reach our goal. Within three months, we went from just over 60% to 97% WCAG compliance — a great achievement,” said Barlow.

“It was rewarding knowing we were helping our community to get the help they needed, and we know we couldn’t have achieved our goal within the timeframe without Monsido,” she added.

Monsido also helped ensure The Salvation Army could reap the search engine benefits of a more accessible website. “While our focus is to serve the people accessing our services, we know search engines prioritize websites with good accessibility rankings. Additionally, in terms of engagement, many third-party vendors (including government) require our websites to be accessible. This is great to see — and I think we can keep getting better by sharing knowledge and using tools like Monsido to identify issues quickly,” MacGibbon noted.

The Salvation Army has made huge strides toward accessibility but still shies away from claiming that its updated website is “fully accessible.” Pinkard shared, “Accessibility is a broad spectrum of individual needs interacting with digital environments, technology, and accessibility devices. Full accessibility is something we strive for, but we do so with the realization that digital accessibility is an ongoing commitment.”

And Barlow continued, “We’ve incorporated digital inclusion into our performance goals, which feed into the department's strategic plan and the organization's inclusion strategy. With continuous improvement in mind, we maintain our WCAG compliance by putting our learning into practice with the support of Monsido’s accessibility dashboard and policies. For example, we set up a policy to capture ‘click here’ and ‘read more’ links, which are common malpractices. This allows us to address potential issues before they make it to the live site.” 

By addressing accessibility barriers, The Salvation Army created a more inclusive, equitable digital experience that ensures individuals with disabilities can access vital information, services, and support without hindrance. 

The Salvation Army is already expanding accessibility initiatives to other services that have a digital presence, so they can make use of Monsido to the full extent under one brand family. “We’re now adding all our domains to Monsido and training more content administrators. And we plan to implement the same digital inclusion path for our internal audiences, including our intranet and other websites specifically utilized by our officers and volunteers,” MacGibbon concluded. 

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