What is digital accessibility?
Digital accessibility is a set of standards, rules and practices that aim to make digital content and tools accessible to anyone, regardless of their physical, perceptual or cognitive disabilities, according to the BANQ.
The aim is to enable all users, without discrimination, to Perceive – Understand – Navigate, but also Interact – Create content – Contribute to the digital universe.
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Who benefits from digital accessibility?
Today, the web is an essential tool in most aspects of society, be it education, commerce or even health. With this in mind, digital accessibility is part of the democratization of the Internet, reducing access barriers for people living with disabilities.
Applying the basic principles of digital accessibility not only benefits people with permanent or situational disabilities, but also businesses. By making their digital products more accessible, companies can present their products and services to this segment of the population, which represents 20%, or 1.5 billion people.
Digital accessibility isn’t just for people living with a disability, but also for all those who might have issues such as :
- People using cell phones, connected watches, connected TVs, and other devices with small screens, different input modes, etc.
- People whose abilities change with age.
- People with a “temporary disability” such as a broken arm or who have lost their glasses.
- People with a “situational limitation” such as being in direct sunlight or in an environment where they cannot listen to audio.
- People with slow Internet connections or limited or expensive bandwidth.
A more accessible, usable and understandable web experience benefits everyone.
Frequently asked questions
What laws govern digital accessibility?
In Canada, companies under federal jurisdiction must comply with the Canadian Accessibility Act (CAA). However, the CAA is very vague and does not specify any concrete measures for standardizing web accessibility.
There are several international standards, including the most influential WCAG 2.1 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), which is based on 4 principles and 13 accessibility rules.
Am I WCAG2.1 compliant?
To check compliance with international web accessibility standards, you can use auditing tools or ask for expert help.