Ensuring website accessibility for disabled persons in Canada is essential for several reasons, and there are both moral and legal obligations to do so. Let’s explore the benefits and the relevant laws:
- Inclusivity and Equal Opportunity: Accessible websites enable individuals with disabilities to access and navigate digital content on an equal basis with others. By making your website accessible, you provide an inclusive online environment, fostering equal opportunity for all users.
- Enhanced User Experience: Web accessibility improves the overall user experience for everyone, not just disabled individuals. Implementing accessible design principles, such as clear navigation, readable text, and alternative text for images, can benefit all users by making content easier to understand and interact with.
- Expanded Audience and Market Reach: There is a significant population of people with disabilities in Canada, estimated at over 6 million individuals. By ensuring accessibility, you tap into this potential user base and expand your audience, potentially increasing customer engagement, loyalty, and revenue.
- Legal Compliance: In Canada, there are laws and regulations that require websites to be accessible. The primary legislation is the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) in the province of Ontario. AODA sets standards for accessibility and mandates that organizations in Ontario, including private businesses and nonprofits, make their websites accessible. While AODA is specific to Ontario, other provinces in Canada are also moving towards implementing similar accessibility regulations. BC are introducing laws in 2024 to legislate accessibility to join Ontario and Nova Scotia.
In addition to AODA, the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination and promote equal access to goods, services, and facilities, which includes digital platforms.
Ensuring website accessibility not only aligns with legal requirements but also demonstrates a commitment to social responsibility, inclusivity, and user satisfaction. By investing in accessibility, you create a better online experience for all users while complying with the law and promoting equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
99 Digital Inc. supply managed web accessibility solution for WCAG & ADA compliance:
Increases your audience & reach.
Increase your potential traffic by 20%.
People with disabilities are the most loyal customers when they find accessible website.
People with disabilities have $490 billion in disposable income.
Minimizes risk of civil law suits.
Increases your positive reputation.